Jon Cruddas enters Barking and Dagenham Council refuse pay dispute

Refuse workers on the picket line

Refuse workers on the picket line - Credit: Archant

Dagenham’s Labour parliamentary candidate Jon Cruddas has waded into the council refuse collection dispute, calling on bosses and workers to sit down with a government advisory body.

Jon Cruddas

Jon Cruddas - Credit: Archant

The row, which has seen GMB Union members striking, hinges on the cutting of overtime to staff carrying out health and safety checks on vehicles.

Jon Cruddas has called on all parties to meet with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to hammer out a solution in order to restore a full service to residents and avoid further strikes.

“This has not been the finest hour for industrial relations in the borough,” he told the Post.

“It’s hardly surprising that if you try and cut the wages of working people whose living standards have already fallen under the present government then a reaction is on the cards. Residents should not have to put up with this inability a find an agreement.”

Cllr Dominic Twomey, cabinet member for finance, said he appreciated the concern but urged the union to reconsider its position.

“In a climate where we have to make £54m cuts over the next three years, it would be irresponsible of us not to look at our overtime bill,” he said.

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“It wouldn’t be fair on the rest of our front-line workforce who have also shouldered cuts and the residents of Barking and Dagenham.”