May 28, 2022
1 mins read
Police in East Sussex have arrested 3 GMB refuse workers peacefully protesting for a better pay deal outside their depot. Priti Patel’s crackdown on protest was always a fascistic move, designed to clamp down on anyone daring to speak out against the Tories regime, but it was only going to be a matter of time before a Trade Union picket line got targeted. As has happened at a GMB protest at the Biffa waste depot in Wealden, East Sussex. Clearly the police had their hands full with all these cheering, whistling, peacefully protesting refuse workers stood around drinking tea, that three arrests had to be made. Three men in their 50’s and 60’s. Do you think there were enough police there in attendance? It’s not like the gates are being torn down and they’ve had to turn up in full riot gear is it? Most of these workers earn less than £10 an hour, they’ve been on strike for 4 weeks, talks have stalled because Biffa don’t want to know and the arrests were made as picketers asked scabs not to cross the picket line. They’ve been charged with obstruction under the Highways Act of 1980, which is frankly pathetic as well since they’re gathered about the gates of their employer who they’re protesting against. The police have said pickets are not immune from criminal law, there was no criminality involved here though, just workers striking to get a fairer deal from an employer who instead of engaging with them, called the police down on them instead. East Sussex Council should be ashamed they’ve got a refuse contract with such a disreputable employer, employing scabs and removing itself form any engagement. Wealden District Council should be embarrassed this is happening on their watch. The local Tory MP is Maria Caulfield, for which I offer my commiserations. All these guys want is better pay. When their pay is so low, especially now with a cost of living crisis happening, it’s not like what they’re asking for is unreasonable. Biffa refusing to engage with GMB is unreasonable though. Shame on them and shame on the police for their pathetic role in this sham too.