Union suspends industrial action in Birmingham bin dispute

By Dan Peters | 20 September 2017

Trade union Unite has suspended industrial action involving refuse workers after the High Court ordered Birmingham City Council to withdraw redundancy notices it had served on 113 employees.

The union said it would halt strikes until a further court hearing, a date for which has yet to be agreed.

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.

'The High Court ruling leaves Birmingham City Council’s unfair and unjust plans in tatters.' 

Mr Beckett called for the resignation of the council's interim chief executive Stella Manzie, adding: 'She has repeatedly used the threat of equal pay cases to frighten and bully the council into agreeing the downgrade of long serving bin workers when it has no substance whatsoever and was not so much as mentioned by her legal team. 

'This ruling underlines that Unite will not shrink away from using all the tools at its disposal to defend its members and the services they deliver.

'We urge the council to stop wasting further taxpayers’ money in defending its dishonourable actions and honour the Acas deal which offers compromise on all sides and will settle this dispute once and for all.'

A council spokesman 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.

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

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