Copenhagen bin collectors restart work after week-long strike 

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Copenhagen bin collectors restart work after week-long strike 
Waste that has piled up in Copenhagen is set to be cleared after refuse workers broke off a strike on Monday. Photo: Emil Nicolai Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Refuse collectors in Copenhagen returned to work on Monday after a week-long strike.


Waste collectors in Copenhagen went on strike throughout last week but have now resumed work in the hope of restarting negotiations with their future employer Amager Ressourcecenter (ARC), news wire Ritzau reports.

“A meeting was proposed on ARC’s side this morning so we have the chance to start a dialogue. That’s been missing for two years so we really want to hear what they have to say,” Ulrik Blessing, a spokesperson for the refuse collectors, said.


“Now we are extending a hand. We hope this will be well received by our employer and will lead to new negotiations,” Blessing also told the B.T. newspaper at 5.45am, adding that they would be “back at work in about an hour”. 

Garbage collectors have been on strike since Monday last week over working hours and other conditions at ARC, who will take over management of garbage collection in Copenhagen on May 1st. 

READ ALSO: Why are waste containers overflowing on Copenhagen’s streets?

Public-owned ARC is set to become the collectors’ employer as Copenhagen Municipality takes over refuse collection businesses in the city from private subcontractors.

In a statement, ARC said that negotiations over working hours were resumed at a meeting at 7:30am on Monday.

“In that dialogue, it remains crucial for ARC that we ensure refuse staff the necessary time to fulfil their duties in line with safety needs         so that the pace of work is not unnecessarily forced,” ARC head of waste collection Helena Hasselsteen Nielsen said.

Part of the dispute is reported to be related to the timing of shifts and the view of the waste collectors that the model ARC intends to impose would leave them on the roads during rush hours.

Fines were handed down to the striking workers by the Danish Labour Court (Ardejdsretten) on Thursday last week. The court can fine workers for striking if the strike has not been officially sanctioned by their trade union and is thereby in breach of collective bargaining agreements.

READ ALSO: What is a Danish collective bargaining agreement?


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