21 September 2017 by Elizabeth Slow

Birmingham waste strike on hold following court ruling

Birmingham city council’s refuse collection workers will suspend strike action, following a High Court ruling over redunancies yesterday (20 September).

Birmingham bins

Birmingham city council has been involved in a long-running dispute with collection crews and the Unite union

Trade union Unite, which represents the workers, announced that the High Court had ruled in its favour, after it had sought an injunction against the council for serving redundancy notices on 113 refuse workers.

As part of the ruling, Unite agreed to suspend industrial action involving the refuse workers, until a full hearing into the redundancy notices, the date of which is to be confirmed.

Industrial action

Bin workers had been due to continue their industrial action of three hours a day until Friday 22 September when their existing mandate ran out, but will now return to working a full day.

Unite also agreed to suspend further industrial action as part of the ruling. Earlier this week refuse workers voted to extend their strike action by a further 12 weeks after the first day of fresh action.

In response to the ruling yesterday (21 September), Birmingham city council said: “We obviously accept today’s ruling which will mean further consideration by the courts. The council wants to offer the best possible refuse service for citizens and wants to work with Unite and all the other unions to do this.

“This judgment will be a huge relief to Birmingham’s bin workers, who in just a matter of weeks were facing losing their job or pay cuts of up to £5,000 a year.


Howard Beckett
Unite

“We remain committed to resolving the dispute as quickly as possible and we hope Unite will support us in doing this.”

‘Relief’

Commenting on the result, Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “This judgment will be a huge relief to Birmingham’s bin workers, who in just a matter of weeks were facing losing their job or pay cuts of up to £5,000 a year.

“As part of the ruling Unite will suspend its industrial action until the matter is put before a full court hearing at a later date.”

This is the latest update in a dispute between Unite and Birmingham city council over proposed changes to working practices of the council’s refuse and recycling workers.


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