Video shows Scots sanitation workers drag bins up and down stairs around “300-400” times

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A GLASGOW trade union has posted a video showing how sanitation workers are having to drag bins up and down flights of stairs daily.

GMB Branch 40 filmed their convener Chris Mitchell dragging a recycling bin up and down stairs, which he reckons he did “300-400 times” in just one shift. 

The video starts with Mitchell criticising the Scottish Government’s recent £800 a year pay rise for sanitation workers.

He then highlights the work that the sanitation workers do by taking an emptied recycling bin through a tenement building and back into a garden area.

Mitchell then takes a new bin back up the garden stairs, down the tenement stairs and towards the bin lorry.

Built up areas across Scotland prohibit residents from leaving their bins out on residential streets.

The trade union rep revealed how the shift took eight hours and consisted entirely of trips to tenements with only a 30 minute break.

Shifts for Glasgow sanitation workers can often last 10 and a half hours on busy days.

GMB Branch 40 bins post - Scottish News
GMB Branch 40 posted the video highlighting the difficulty of sanitation work.                                         (C) GMB Branch 40

Speaking today, Mitchell said: “Sanitation workers have been offered an £800 a year pay rise. After tax and insurance that works out at less than £8 a week. 

“It’s an insult, these people have been deemed as key workers during the pandemic. 

“We’ve had eight years of budget cuts, and it’s a necessity, sanitation. 

Chris Mitchell dragging bin upstairs - Scottish News
Mitchell dragged a bin upstairs through a tenement.                                                                             (C) GMB Branch 40

“Glasgow is around 70% tenement properties. 

“That day I reckon I climbed 300-400 staircases. 

“Two hours in one area, two hours in another area, a half hour break and then another four hours.”

GMB also represents NHS staff who Mitchell also said also need a better pay rise.

He added: “The 4% offered to the NHS, that should be a lot more as well. That’s an insult.

“The £500 given to care staff during the pandemic was so deserved. 

“But it’s left us behind. 

“We deal with thousands of tonnes of waste, we touch thousands of door handles. 

“We’re cleaning hospitals and care homes.

“Glasgow has the fourth highest rat population in the UK. They’re moving to the communities now so we’re stopping the spread of other diseases too.

“We are asking for a £2,000 raise for all key workers, not just sanitation workers.

“The response from the public so far has been fantastic, we’ve had lots of support.”