Welsh council playing “Russian roulette” with safety amid pay row with road gritters

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Crunch talks between road gritters in Carmarthenshire and the local authority will take place on Monday (17 January) in an attempt to end strike action over pay and conditions.

Council gritters first downed tools on 5 January after the GMB union claimed the council had failed to adhere to a collective agreement signed back in 2020.

The union also accused Carmarthenshire Council of playing “Russian roulette” with residents’ safety over a gritter strike.

It said it was pleased the council had come back to the table to stave off further action, but that if no agreement was reached, then strikes would start again on 18 January.

And the GMB warned that this could mean Carmarthenshire’s road network remained ungritted for two weeks.

Peter Hill, GMB regional organiser said: “Let’s be clear, the council can resolve this dispute by honouring the agreements that they already signed with us two years ago.”

However, Carmarthenshire council said its contingency plans put into place last week helped ensure the safety of the public and that all planned routes were treated.

Councillor Hazel Evans, cabinet member for environment, said: “The council spent two years negotiating the winter maintenance agreement and have fully adhered to it since its implementation.

“The arrangement recognises the valuable contribution our employees make and ensures the safety of our employees.

“The authority has always wished to maintain a dialogue and we look forward to the planned meetings with ACAS next week.”

The post Welsh council playing “Russian roulette” with safety amid pay row with road gritters appeared first on Motor Transport.

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