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  1. ITV Report

Refuse workers wait for judge to rule on Birmingham bin dispute

Credit: PA images

Refuse collectors fighting for jobs in the wake of a dispute which has led to piles of rubbish being left in Birmingham streets are waiting to hear whether a High Court judge will come to their aid.

Union leaders want Mr Justice Fraser to block redundancy moves by Labour-controlled Birmingham City Council.

The judge has analysed the dispute at a two-day High Court hearing in London and is due to deliver a ruling at 11am on Wednesday.

Mr Justice Fraser has been told how council bosses had outlined plans to make more than 100 redundancies earlier this year as part of a restructure of their waste and recycling service.

Unite lawyers said council bosses wanted to remove a "leading hand" role and change a four-day, nine hour shift pattern to a five-day, seven-hour arrangement.

Union leaders had raised health and safety concerns - saying "leading hands" had responsibilities which council bosses planned to re-allocate to lorry drivers.

The judge heard that in July bin workers had begun industrial action.

He was told the dispute was continuing and that the council had said it was costing taxpayers £300,000 a week.

Unite had also taken legal action, arguing that council bosses' redundancy plans were unfair and a breach of employment contracts, Mr Justice Fraser heard.

Council bosses were contesting those claims. Union lawyers want the judge to grant an injunction which would block redundancy plans pending a ruling on that underlying legal dispute.

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