In June 2008, Kier Street Services took over LB Waltham Forest's street cleaning, sacking all the agency staff (half the workforce). There were often complaints about the previous privatised service, but complaints have doubled since Kier took over.
Kier's performance and its behaviour towards its staff have become a major issue in the borough, chronicled weekly in the local paper - the Waltham Forest Guardian.
Waltham Forest Trades Council is very concerned at what has happened to street cleaning in the borough since Kier took over the contract.
The council has received a record number of complaints. Kier almost halved the number of street sweepers on the first day of the contract. Our dirty streets are the direct result of putting private profit above public need – the same ideology which has caused the current banking meltdown.
Many of the refuse workers are on the minimum wage, with scores of them employed through an agency. We have heard disturbing reports of a bullying management trying to intimidate those workers it sees as most vulnerable. In October 2008 one street sweeper died from a heart attack whilst working for Kier on the streets of Waltham Forest. The trade unions representing Kier workers are considering what action to take to stop Kier wrecking their health and our services. The Trades Council will offer them full support in any action they take.
We are calling for the Kier contract to be immediately terminated and for street cleaning to be brought back in-house, with responsible councillors clearly identified. We want a decent service for residents and fair treatment for staff.
We, the undersigned, call on Waltham Forest Council to KICK OUT KIER and bring the street cleaning back in-house, under local control.
The Kick Out Kier petition to LB Waltham Forest Council was written by WFTC and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.