News that Birmingham city council had cancelled tomorrow’s (September 1) cabinet meeting and would instead start issuing redundancy notices to refuse workers, would provoke the resumption of strike action, Unite warned today (August 31).
Describing the news contained in a letter from the council’s interim chief executive as ‘deeply provocative’, Unite warned that refuse workers could resume their industrial action as early as tomorrow and walk out for three hours on a daily basis at the following times — 7am, 10:30am and 1pm.
Unite said it would re-ballot its members meaning industrial action could extend until the New Year.
“This is a deeply provocative act that drives a coach and horses through the agreement Unite reached with the council in good faith at the conciliation service Acas,” said Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett
“It does a great disservice to the people of Birmingham and the city’s refuse workers who now face being made redundant and losing their livelihoods or pay cuts of thousands of pounds.
“The last thing refuse workers want to do is resume industrial action and see piles of rubbish accumulating on Birmingham’s streets,” he added. “This is their city too. Our members want to focus on delivering a safe efficient service to people of Birmingham.
“Sadly it seems the council does not want to see that happen. Instead of embracing an agreement that would have seen compromise on all sides, the council seems content to put people on the dole and cut their wages by up to £5,000.
“Unite calls on the council to come to its senses and withdraw these redundancy notices to avoid the disruption of industrial action.”