Birmingham council was accused of acting in a deceitful and deliberately misleading manner by Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, after peace talks aimed at preventing next week’s bin strikes collapsed within minutes today (February 12).
Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said, “Unite attended talks at Acas today in good faith only to discover that the terms of settlement proposed now by Birmingham council are worse than the unacceptable terms previously on offer.
“Under those circumstances the talks collapsed immediately and given the attitude of the council there is little prospect of further talks taking place in the near future,” he added.
“It is clear that Birmingham council has one agenda which is to provoke strike action, which will cause misery for the city’s residents.
“Birmingham council is seeking to justify its position by deliberately misleading residents and publishing distorted and untrue information. The material provided to today’s Birmingham cabinet meeting were nothing more than a work of fiction. This is senior officers distorting the truth in order to protect their own reputations and sadly it appears the leader of the council is prepared to allow this to happen.
“Judging by its actions today it is clear that the council officers’ agenda is not to resolve this dispute but instead to challenge Unite’s collective organisation in Birmingham. The people of Birmingham should blame the council for the inevitable escalation of industrial action.”
The collapse in peace talks comes ahead of tomorrow’s High Court hearing where Unite will seek start injunction proceedings to stop Birmingham council breaking the agreement which resolved the 2017 bin dispute The injunction hearing is on Wednesday, February 13 at the High Court in London (Royal Court of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL).