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GMB warns ‘waste will pile up at the Edinburgh Festival’

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

GMB warns ‘waste will pile up at the Edinburgh Festival’ as strikes over pay begin tomorrow 

Eleven days of strike action affecting waste and recycling services in the City of Edinburgh Council will start tomorrow morning (Thursday 18 August).

 And GMB members in the service taking part in the action alongside colleagues from the Unite trade union say waste will pile up in the city’s streets and properties unless a significantly improved pay offer is tabled for local government staff.

 The warning comes on the same day that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation measure rose to 10.1 per cent, just days after COSLA chiefs offered staff a “a quantum equivalent of a 3.5 per cent increase” which was roundly rejected.

 Strikes start at 05.59 hours tomorrow morning (Thursday 18 August) and will run until 05.00 hours Tuesday 30 August.

 GMB Scotland Organiser Kirsten Muat warned:

“Waste will pile up for the remainder of the Festival and when people ask why we will tell them: GMB members are not prepared to accept working poverty in our local services as an inevitability even if our political leaders are.

“These strikes are a direct response to the failures of COSLA and the Scottish Government over the last six months to recognise the impact of this cost-of-living crisis on our members and to bring forward a pay offer worthy of their consultation.

“The 3.5 per cent tabled last week - a miserly lift on the previously rejected 2 per cent - is a pathetic response while our members struggle against double-digit inflation and energy bills rising to over £4,000 this winter. 

“Tomorrow’s strike is locked-in but if political leaders want to curtail its impact and avoid the prospect of more strikes across more councils in the weeks to come, then they must urgently make a significantly improved pay offer.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Kirsten Muat 07785 575475 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 047077.

Notes to Editors:

GMB manned picket lines will be in operation between 05.30 hours and 07.30 hours at the following City of Edinburgh Council waste and recycling depots:

  • Bankhead        
  • Craigmillar
  • Seafield