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Peace deal stalled

Friday’s Birmingham bin strike set to go ahead
Barckley Sumner, Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Bin workers employed by Birmingham council are gearing up for fresh strike action this Friday (March 8) as progress on a potential peace deal has stalled.


Unite called on the council to turn positive words into positive action to resolve the dispute which concerns ‘secret payments’ and the ‘blacklisting’ of workers. Unite is disappointed there has been no further movement since talks held between the council and Unite concluded on Monday (March 4).


Unite suspended actions on Monday, March 4 in order to ensure talks aimed at resolving the dispute could progress.


“Ian Ward the council leader’s positive words need to lead to positive actions,” said Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett.


“Since the talks concluded on Monday there has been no further progress from the council in turning the advances made in talks on Monday into a negotiated settlement,” he added.


“Regrettably, as things currently stand Unite does not have anything in writing in order to postpone Friday’s strike.


“Unite has no doubt that the elected leadership of Birmingham council want to see a negotiated resolution to this dispute but the officers of the council need now to get busy settling this dispute instead of being busy trying to play union against union,” he went on to say.


“The elected leadership needs to instruct the council officers to carry out their wishes because as things stand the council officers inaction is forcing Unite into fresh strike action.”


Workers have already undertaken three days of strike action and have been undertaking an overtime ban and a work to rule since late December.


Unite is currently balloting members for further industrial action as a result of the council ignoring the High Court agreement which ended the 2017 strike, by sending bin lorries out without sufficiently trained staff in place, endangering the safety of the general public and workers.


The ballot for this industrial action will close this Friday (March 8) and additional industrial action could begin by late March and run throughout the spring and into the summer.



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