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  1. ITV Report

Birmingham bin workers vote in favour of industrial action over Christmas

  • Industrial action to start on December 29th
  • 95% of members voted for action
  • Last time the dispute cost the City Council £6.3 million

Birmingham bin workers have voted to take industrial action over Christmas.

75% of union members turned out to vote and 95% were in favour of industrial action.

Members of the Unite union plan to work-to-rule from December 29th.

They won't work overtime or above grade and will return to the depot for hygiene breaks and lunch.

The union say if the dispute with Birmingham City Council over payments to GMB members not resolved Unite will escalate to full strike.

What does work to rule mean?

Credit: ITV News Central

Why is the dispute happening?

The Unite workers are angry because payments of up to £4,000 each were made last autumn to colleagues in waste management who belong to the GMB union.

The GMB did not take part in the long-running strikes over last summer but took the council to Acas over non-consultation on the new working practices which were brought in after the strikes were settled.

The Unite workers say the payments are unfair and were effectively a reward for not striking. Birmingham City Council and the GMB union both deny that claim.

The series of on-off strikes in July and August last year ran for 7 weeks during July and August leaving piles of rubbish all over Birmingham.

The dispute cost the City Council £6.3 million.

The cabinet member for clean streets, waste and recycling said:

The people of Birmingham want us to reach a swift resolution and our request to Unite the Union is to suspend industrial action while we take this dispute into ACAS.

– Cllr Majid Mahmood, Birmingham City Council

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