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UNION CALLS FOR SERVICETEAM TO ACT TO PROTECT REFUSE STAFF - PLUS SERVICETEAM & COUNCIL COMMENT (UPDATED)

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Refuse collector Jason Pattinson has been sacked by private ...
Refuse collector Jason Pattinson has been sacked by private
contractor, Serviceteam for defending himself from two young men who chased
him and his dustcart after they felt they were obstructed by the vehicle.
Mr Pattinson's union, the GMB, carried out a survey amongst Serviceteam's workforce
and has found that this is not the only case of our members being assaulted,
nearly all have reported regular verbal abuse and threats of violence just
for carrying out their job. They have further found that Serviceteam ignore
this risk to their employees health and safety.
As GMB senior organiser, Roger Count said: 'Serviceteam is not interested in
the safety of its workforce even though it has a legal duty to make sure
they are safe. They have a Violence at Work policy but it is not implemented
by the management team. Jason had never been told that he should not leave
his cab if he is attacked. Whenever refuse members report attacks, the
company just tells them to forget it and get on with the job.
'Refuse workers do a hard, dirty demanding and vital job. With increasing
congestion on the streets, the likelihood of similar incidents increases.
We all knew about the possible consequence of road rage. At Jason's appeal
against dismissal, Martin Frood, the company's divisional director calmly
admitted that it was not Serviceteam's policy to have radios in cabs so that
they can summon assistance.'
* A statement from Serviceteam follows:
Referring to the dismissal of Mr Pattison, Serviceteam director of human resources Mike Reed said:
'As a public service provider, Serviceteam has a duty to protect its staff and provide the highest quality service to its customers.
'We take very seriously any reports of violence involving staff and each case is investigated thoroughly.
'In the case of Jason Pattison, the member of the public involved did not make any allegation of assault but the evidence indicated that Mr Pattison was initially responsible for the violence. His employment was therefore terminated.
'An internal appeal upheld the decision as correct in the circumstances'.
* A statement from South Bedfordshire DC follows:
'When the council appoints a contractor they are strictly vetted for health and
safety for employees and the public. Compliance is monitored on a regular
basis. Serviceteam are however responsible for their internal
disciplinary procedures and unless the council receives a complaint from the
public or a Serviceteam employee then we would not interfere in an internal
dispute.'
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