Bin collectors fear they are being spied on by council bosses – and threaten ballot on strike action
News | Richard Gurner | Published: 17:18, Saturday October 5th, 2019.
Bin collectors could ballot for strike action in a dispute over fears they are being spied on by council bosses.
Caerphilly Observer understands that footage from CCTV installed on rubbish trucks has been used as evidence in disciplinary action against workers. One worker at the protest told Caerphilly Observer that staff had been told they could finish a shift once their collections had been completed – only for workers to be fired for doing so.
Seven staff have so far been dismissed and a further 20 are being investigated.
Refuse workers from Caerphilly County Borough Council staged a protest, organised by the Unison and GMB unions, outside council headquarters on Thursday, October 3.
Jess Turner, regional organiser with Unison, said: “There is a strong feeling that staff have been let down. There is a lack of trust with managers with workers being watched and spied on with CCTV.
“This relates to the cameras on the vehicles and what they can and cannot be used for. We think the cameras are being used to try and catch staff out. These cameras are supposed to be for insurance purposes and this has led to a lack of trust.
“If the dispute moves on there will be more information. Currently we are in talks with the council in which we are looking to resolve matters. If we cannot, we can ballot for strike action.”
A Caerphilly County Borough Council spokesman said the issue was related to time management and said: “We can confirm that a number of staff within the council’s waste management service are currently under investigation.
“Any disciplinary action taken by the council against an employee is only done if there are appropriate grounds to undertake such an investigation.
“The investigation is now in the latter stages and we aim to complete it over the next couple of months
“As this is an ongoing disciplinary matter and discussions are ongoing with the unions, it would be inappropriate to add anything further at this stage.”