75% of GMB members have voted to strike and will be striking next Tuesday 6th April as Bristol Water has imposed a pay freeze for 2020/21 and no increase to their pension contributions, despite essential workers working throughout the pandemic putting their health and that of their families at risk.
The GMB members’ pay has been eroded over several years and has not kept pace with the cost of inflation. Last week, Bristol Water presented an underwhelming offer for 21/22 which has been rejected by members. Despite GMB attempting to reopen talks to avoid strike action, there has been no counteroffer from the company.
Bristol Water awarded the second worst pay out for England and Wales’ Water authorities in 2019 (which we had to fight to get) and the 2020 pay deal means they remain bottom of the league for company pension contributions. Meanwhile, Mel Karam, CEO, has received a 2020/2021 bonus of £300,000 on top of his £240,000 annual salary. We have challenged him on this as well as his conduct at meetings, and his only response has been to remove himself from talks with GMB.
The GMB sees this offer as an insult to their hard-working members who deserve much, much better. The GMB members are skilled and dedicated workers who take great pride in delivering safe, clean water to 1.2 million people. In return, they ask to be paid fairly and valued by the company.
The GMB members would be grateful for messages of support.
If anyone wishes to come and support the (Covid-safe) picket line on the day, then pickets will be there Tuesday 6th April 7.30-11am (Head Office, Bridgwater Road, Bristol, BS13 7AT).
For further information: Bristol Water workers set to strike over pay freeze