Strike Suspended

I worked quite late last night. When I finally got the bus home I checked up on Twitter, and found that CityClean workers who had been on strike had decided to suspend their strike action and return to work. It seems that Brighton and Hove Council made an offer which the GMB Union reps decided was worth putting to their membership. The strike is therefore suspended while a ballot takes place. There’s no guarantee that the offer will be accepted, of course, and the refuse collectors and the rest will presumably go back in strike if it isn’t, but in the meantime the CityClean staff will at least be working properly. This morning I saw signs of the cleanup starting. They seem to be concentrating on the main roads, so the residential streets are still an absolute nightmare, but at least it’s a start. It will probably take weeks to return to normal and “normal” for Brighton is in any case fairly grubby…

Relieved at the news I stopped off for a pint at my local in Kemptown. Most properties in this area are divided into flats (like mine) and there is therefore a very high density of occupation. Kemptown has consequently been hit particularly badly by the strike. Anyway, the offer made to CityClean operatives is covered by a confidentiality agreement so at this point the general public aren’t being told the terms. In the pub a rumour was going around that the offer that is now being put to a ballot has actually been on the table for some time, and that the Union is balloting on it now because public support for the strike has evaporated. I took that all with a pinch of salted peanuts, actually, but when there’s confidentiality it’s human nature that there should be rumour…

Anyway, at least there’s a light at the end of this very long and unpleasant tunnel. If the union does accept the offer made by the Council then hopefully the two sides can start to build a proper working relationship for the future without recrimination or triumphalism on either side.

To paraphrase the Book of Ecclesiastes: better is the end of a strike than the beginning thereof.

Anyway, before yesterday evening’s news I’d already decided to head out of Brighton for the weekend. Hopefully, the place will just a bit more inhabitable when I return to work on Monday.

One Response to “Strike Suspended”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Which meaning of “refuse collection” will they vote for?

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