London faces rotten rubbish

HUNDREDS of thousands of Londoners could face the threat of rotting rubbish this winter after the GMB union threatened to ballot its members over a strike.

The proposed industrial action raises raises the prospect of the first national bin strike since the Winter of Discontent in 1978/79, when uncollected sacks of rubbish piled up in streets.

The threatened industrial action revolves around Veolia, which collects bins and recycles waste for 16 London boroughs – as well as councils in Birmingham, Liverpool, Sheffield and Cardiff.

The GMB said it would ballot thousands of members if it failed to persuade the firm to drop plans for redundancies and changing employment contracts.

The union claims Veolia has put its staff on 90 days notice of its plan to make them redundant or re-employ them on inferior terms and conditions.

GMB national officer Justin Bowden said Veolia was “holding a gun to the heads” of its members by issuing the letters and notices.

Veolia’s other business clients include BAE Systems, BASF, Esso and GlaxoSmithKline and the Olympics site in East London.