Refuse collectors protest over disputed bullying claims

A protest over an alleged culture of bullying of some refuse workers within Cardiff Council took place outside of Cardiff County Hall.

Refuse workers represented by the union Unite have complained that their union representative was suspended after the allegations – which Cardiff Council denies – were reported.

Ruth Hydon, Unite’s regional officer, said the workers are ‘demanding respect from their employer.

“They’re demanding to be treated fairly, they’re demanding that the issues that they’ve got, the council take them seriously and investigating when they raise concerns.” she said.

The council has denied the claims made by Unite, saying in a statement: “We take all allegations of bullying seriously, and will always work with Trade Unions when they bring forward specific allegations to investigate.”

However, the council has questioned the validity of Unite’s claims.

“The council has met with Unite on these claims and has asked the Union – on several occasions – to bring forward any evidence of bullying or health and safety concerns which can be investigated properly. So far they have failed to do so.”

The council also questioned whether Unite’s survey is a fair representation of the issue.

 “We are yet to see the details of the survey – although we understand only around one tenth of the workforce took part.”

Its not only the council who questions Unite’s claims, but also fellow union The GMB.

Angie Sheils, branch secretary for GMB, said despite also representing refuse workers at Cardiff Council the GMB has heard no such complaints from their members.

Sheils also said once GMB caught wind of Unite’s complaints they sent letters to hundreds of their workers over the same issue and heard nothing back.

Unite has no further industrial action planned over the alleged bullying.