Concerns raised about future of refuse jobs

Councillors voted to outsource bin collections.
Councillors voted to outsource bin collections.

A “secret decision” to privatise bin collections in Antrim and Newtownabbey will cause 50 job cuts, says GMB.

Last night (October 30), councillors voted behind closed doors to outsource black bin collections in the legacy Newtownabbey area and the brown bins in the legacy Antrim area.

According to the union, this decision will mean a further 50 jobs will be lost with many if not all of the employees living within the area.

GMB says this is a clear example of the council attempting to make so called savings by outsourcing a public service and doing away with local jobs.

GMB represents the majority of staff within the council and continues to be in dispute with the authority after it failed to provide the cost of other options being considered by the council.

Alan Perry, GMB Regional Organiser said: “We were due to meet with senior management on Thursday, for the first time in a long while, to discuss the possibility of re-engaging again on collective issue.

“But last night’s secretive decision has cast a dark cloud over the discussions.

“We are concerned for our members’ jobs and the rest of the service both now and for the long term.”

He added: “While the council officers won’t give any commitment that other services will not be affected it is clear that this council, along with its elected representatives, are putting savings before jobs.

“GMB will meet with reps in the coming days to decide what action to take.”