Thursday 5 February 2015
Sheffield City Council has reacted angrily at the reports that Green Co, the company currently operating Sheffield’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, are engaged in the abuse of zero hours contracts.
Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene said: “The council has a good record of working in partnership with the trade unions as both an employer and contractor in preventing the abuse and exploitation of zero hours contracts.
“Our position on this issue is absolutely clear, abuse of ‘zero hours’ by Green Co as a measure to strengthen their position in an industrial dispute is absolutely unacceptable as far as the council is concerned. We were not aware of these practices and would like to thank GMB for bringing this issue to our attention. We are committed to taking action to resolve this situation immediately.
“This new information now adds to the questions that have already been raised about the practices that Green Co operate in running their organisation and the perception that could be created about the misuse of public funds. When the council signed the contract with Sova back in 2012, a nationally recognised and reputable company, it was agreed that all profits would be invested in charitable purposes. We have made it clear to Green Co and their parent company Salvaire that issues about the companies weak governance must be addressed. The fact that they have not been for such a long period only makes this ever growing list of allegations about financial impropriety and bad employment practices, even more concerning. This is something that would quite rightly infuriate the people of Sheffield.
“This contract is using public money delivering services to the people of Sheffield, and there has been an ongoing dispute with the workforce that Green Co has been unable to resolve for months, which is putting the operation of the sites at risk. Regrettably after a lot of patience and months of giving them an opportunity to resolve the dispute and concerns about the governance of the company, it seems that things are only getting worse not better. The culmination of all of these problems means that the council can no longer have confidence in the ability of the Green Co to manage Sheffield’s Household Waste Recycling Centres and to act as a responsible provider of public services in the city.”