GMB Union announces dates for planned gritters strike in Carmarthenshire

Gritters in Carmarthenshire County Council Highways department have announced dates for planned industrial action in January.

The move comes after failed talks, with the GMB Union claiming that Carmarthenshire council simply walked away from talks with the Unions.

The first strike is planned for the 6-7th January. They will then down their shovels between 17 – 21 January and again between 24 – 28 January.

With the current shortage of HGV drivers, strike action could see the entire road network of Carmarthenshire come to a standstill.

Earlier this month around 70 gritters in GMB, Unison and Unite unions overwhelmingly voted for industrial action early in the new year.

The union says that the dispute follows on from action taken two years ago that saw the introduction of the comprehensive collective agreement between the union and the authority.

Peter Hill, GMB Regional Organiser said:

“Due to the intransigence of Carmarthenshire County Council our members now have no other option than to take action.

“It’s not something we take lightly but until they come back to the table, we will continue.

“It’s a disgrace that a local authority refuses to follow a signed agreement, and then breaks off talks meant to resolve the problems.

“No other local authority in Wales behaves in this way.”

Mark Evans, Unison Branch Secretary said:

“Despite what the council says they are not negotiating, if they are not willing to come back then they will have a fight.”

“It costs nothing to follow the agreement, why would they risk strike action which will cost taxpayers a lot of money when they could settle it easily.”