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Birmingham residents told to leave bins out as industrial action continues

Bins left out on Pershore Road, Birmingham Credit: ITV News Central

Birmingham City Council has reminded residents to leave their rubbish out, even if it's not collected.

They have also brought in contractors to collect rubbish, as bin workers continue their industrial action.

There is now one single collection for all waste as part of plans to minimise the disruption caused by the strikes.

The collection could happen on any day of the week.

75% of union members turned out to vote and 95% were in favour of the industrial action which started on December 29th.

The work-to-rule means they aren't working overtime or above grade and are returning to the depot for hygiene breaks and lunch.

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

The on-and-off strikes in 2017 lasted for 222 days and cost Birmingham City Council more than £6 million.

The Labour-run council’s then leader, John Clancy, was forced to resign after a deal he personally struck with Unite proved to be unworkable.

The dispute was finally settled last November, with crews agreeing to work five days a week instead of four in return for the council scrapping its plans to re-grade 106 workers.

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.

Lat year, the dispute cost the City Council £6.3 million.

Credit: ITV News Central

The former leader of Birmingham City Council is found to have acted without authority during last year's bin strikes, according to a new report.

It said Cllr John Clancy didn't have the power to make an agreement with the UNITE Union to try to end the industrial action.

In 2017 Birmingham City Council announced a redesign of its waste collections which included extending the working week for bin workers.

He dismissed the report as "utter nonsense from start to finish".