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Bin workers calling indefinite strike brought results
This morning, Doncaster bin-workers, employed by Sita UK, voted 70-50 to accept a revised pay offer and return to work.
This follows two days of strike action taken last Friday and Monday and notice of indefinite strike action effectively starting from today.
The workers, all members of Unite the union, were demanding £1 an hour pay rise to bring them parity with Sita staff in West Yorkshire.
Before the strikes, Sita insisted their 1.7% pay offer was final - "Let me make this crystal clear, there is no more money" repeated one manager in negotiations.
However after a very militant picket last Friday which turned back scab bin-wagons, workers rejected a self-financing productivity deal and agreed to go on all-out strike.
This forced Sita to concede a 3.2% rise for this year (no strings and backdated to April) with inflation-rate pay rises in the following two years.
One worker said that he had worked on Doncaster bins for 17 years and this is the biggest annual pay rise he had ever had.
That said, nearly half the workers voted against this deal believing that the strike had Sita on the run and more could have been achieved by striking into next week.
Even so, this is a partial victory and will give confidence to a group of workers only recently unionised and still in the process of building a branch uniting all three depots.
Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 28 September 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.