Binmen are threatening to take strike action in the New Year in a dispute for fair pay.

Strike ballot notices have been issued to Gosport Borough Council’s waste contractor Urbaser Ltd after members’ pay stalled.

The ballot opened on Monday and members have until November 27 to vote to take action, which would see a strike at Wilmott Lane Depot from early January 2024.

GMB, the union for refuse, recycling and street services, is warning that rubbish on the streets is to be expected throughout January and February if the dispute cannot be settled.

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Charlotte Gardner, GMB regional organiser, said: “Our members are some of the lowest paid in the waste sector on the south coast and they have had enough of being exploited by a national company intent on making profit off their hard work.

“Let’s remember what they earn, they spend locally - unlike Urbaser.

“Just like all exploited workers, they can no longer afford to live on what they earn and are simply asking for a fair rate of pay.

“It’s time for Urbaser to do the right thing and pay the going rate to their workers - £15 per hour for HGV drivers and £12 for all other operatives.

“This is the minimum going rate and as far as our members are concerned, the work in Gosport is just as hard, dirty and dangerous as that being carried out anywhere else.

“If management ignore us, or even worse try to bully or intimidate staff into not standing up for themselves, GMB will not hesitate to support our members through any action until they get what they so thoroughly deserve."

GMB anticipates any action would put a stop to residents’ kerbside collections at a time when ‘household waste is at an annual high’, with the additional rubbish from the festive season.