Refuse Collectors To Be Balloted On Strike Action In Birmingham

22 February 2019, 07:57

Birmingham Bin Strike Unite Union

Fresh strikes are being threatened in the bitter dispute involving refuse collectors in Birmingham.

Unite said it will start balloting its members on Friday for industrial action which the union warned could run into early summer if there is a Yes vote.

Members of Unite have already launched strikes in protest against alleged "secret payments" to some staff who did not take part in strikes in 2017 which caused widespread disruption for residents, with rubbish left piled on the city's streets.

The local authority said it has made a reciprocal offer to Unite to take to its members, but talks through conciliation service Acas broke down last week without agreement.

The GMB union said it was a "grotesque slur" to suggest its members received payments in return for not striking.

Regional secretary Joe Morgan said the GMB secured a settlement because the council had imposed changes to the terms and conditions of its members.

The council has insisted payments to workers were as a result of a failure to consult during the negotiations that ended the 2017 dispute, adding: "They were not payments for working during the industrial action."

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: "The Acas talks have concluded for today. There was sufficient listening and commentary for Unite to agree to resume Acas on Monday. The industrial action will continue in the interim."