Bin workers under pressure to work harder and longer hours, claims Northampton opposition

The leader of the Northampton Labour group says Amey staff are concerned about their working conditions. Editorial image only.
The leader of the Northampton Labour group says Amey staff are concerned about their working conditions. Editorial image only.
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Bin men in Northampton claim they are being pressured to work longer and harder and are faced with a lack of protective equipment, according to claims by the borough’s opposition group.

Leader of the Labour opposition at the Guildhall, Councillor Danielle Stone (Lab, Castle), claims to have been approached by a number of Amey workers in recent days about their concern for the job.

The company won the contract to dispose of all of Northampton and Daventry’s waste in 2011, but there have been concerns about the level of service both councils have been getting in recent years.

Councillor Stone says workers have highlighted several issues with her.

She claims to have been told there is pressure on front line workers to “work longer and harder”, there is a “reduction in the number of vehicles,” an increase in serious accidents, a high turnover of staff and a “lack of gloves and other personal protection equipment”.

Councillor Stone added: “I have been contacted by concerned employees working on the waste collection contract.

“I am disturbed to hear the issues that have been highlighted to me. It is clear that the workforce is under increasing strain and being expected to do more for less.

“An immediate worry is that some employees feel safety is being side-lined for the sake of performance.”

Councillor Stone added: “This was a bad contract that was designed and set up by Enterprise, Daventry and Northampton councils and now the workforce are being expected to work miracles to overcome this. All three must make sure the workforce is treated better and given the tools to do the job properly safely.”

A spokesman for Amey said it is the aim no employee comes to harm in the course of his or her duties.

He said: “Amey takes the safety of its employees and the communities it serves extremely seriously.

“We are aware of this allegation and are investigating the claims. We always encourage employees to report any health and safety concerns they have so we may find effective ways of addressing them.”