Enterprise Liverpool brings scabs against GMB – UNITE joint action

Report by Greg Dropkin
Published: 04/09/09

GMB report (24 Aug):

GMB report (3 Sep):

Last weekend, as Liverpool celebrated the annual Mathew St. festival, Enterprise Liverpool brought in scabs employed by "Assist/Street Care" against the resurgent dispute by 600 GMB and UNITE members employed by Liverpool City Council as refuse collectors, street cleaners, recycling and highways staff.

The pay and conditions dispute follows ballots of 97% (GMB) and 100% (UNITE) for industrial action aimed to consolidate bonus payments and allowances into the basic wage. Workers began industrial action from midnight on Friday 28 August.

The action was previously postponed on 11 August when Enterprise Liverpool agreed to consolidate the bonus, but the agreement was never implemented and the employer later backed away it.

The unions had hoped to prevent Enterprise Liverpool deploying scabs, through a rolling programme of short actions by different groups at different times and locations. The tactics meant there were no picket lines.

According to UNITE Regional Officer Peter Clee “From last weekend, management have been using scab labour to supplement their own efforts. The scabs are recruited through an agency to work for a sub-contractor using Jobcentres. Apparently people are being told that they will be expected to cross a picket line. Obviously as a consequence, we are reviewing our own tactics. At the same time, we have agreed to meet the company in ACAS on Monday afternoon.”