The Green Company is owned by the charity Salvaire. The dispute is over failure to secure an agreement on premium pay for weekend and overtime working, on welfare facilities and how the contract is managed. GMB secured a living wage for members in the recycling centres from the out-going senior management team effective from April 2014. All of those managers have since been dismissed or have had to leave the company. The Finance Director and Operations Manager have already been dismissed and a HR manager and others have also left after raising concerns over bullying. GMB reps have been sacked and other members have also been issued with disciplinary letters after a previous, unofficial, walk out over the bullying of a disabled worker.
The five recycling centres are located at Beighton Road, Woodhouse, S13 7PS, Blackstock Road, Gleadless, S14 1FY, Manchester Road, Deepcar, S36 2DT, Greaves Lane, High Green, S35 4GR, and Longley Avenue West, Shirecliffe, S5 8WA.
Peter Davies, GMB Organiser said, “Clearly Green Co has found even more ways of abusing the use of zero hours contracts. This entire contract requires no more than 34 staff to staff the sites. By GMB’s estimates they have 50+ and the way things are going, those on zero hours contracts will soon outnumber employees on proper terms and conditions. This is typical of this employer that it is hell bent on delivering this service as cheaply as possible to maximise their own profits. It’s certainly not about enhancing or extending the service, far from it. Green Co is now also deploying unpaid staff, referred to them from the probation service on ‘Community pay back hours’ in an attempt to break this dispute. We have a number of members who are disabled and classed as vulnerable adults working on this contract, in January at least two were made to work, unsupervised with probation work placement’s all day.”
Jim Rodgers, one of the sacked GMB reps said, “We have nothing against these guys on probation, we have helped them in the past but this is no more than chain gang mentality that is driving this company now. Green Co Directors are getting a small fortune on this contract with 35% of the entire budget going on management. What they do isn’t rocket science and it’s about time the public were aware of just what they are paying for.”