Further bin collection strikes announced following alleged bullying row in South Tyneside

The strikes will take place over four days in December. Credit: ITV

Bins will not be collected in South Tyneside over the Christmas period due to strikes announced by refuse workers.

The GMB union have said it is over a row over bullying and harassment.

They have claimed that the council is refusing to share an independent report with workers on working practices.

The union has said that it informed the council that four more weeks of strike action will take place over the next three months, with the next taking place on 27-30 December.

According to the union, workers have long complained about a toxic management culture in refuse, with members being disciplined for helping residents.

The local authority commissioned an independent investigation into the allegations in September. 

Mark Wilson, a GMB Organiser, said: "It is staggering that they are holding back the promised independent report, no doubt because it vindicates GMB's position that bullying is widespread. 

"We have, therefore, reluctantly resolved to take regular strike action over the next few months."

In response, the council said: "The preliminary findings of the Investigator’s report were shared with all Trade Unions representing those involved in the grievance who have raised further questions that the Council will pose back to the independent investigator."

In a statement, they added: "Despite these questions, the independent investigation is close to conclusion and the council is committed to ongoing dialogue and discussion with Trade Unions and will continue to make repeated efforts with them to focus on working together to find an appropriate and amicable resolution.

The council says it will advise residents and businesses of ongoing contingency plans during this period. Credit: GoogleMaps

A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council said: “We are absolutely committed to resolving matters through ongoing dialogue and are extremely disappointed that GMB and Unite have stepped away from planned ACAS conciliation.

“GMB and Unite unions planned industrial action before the outcome of the independent investigation and are now proposing further strike action without getting round the table for conciliation with ACAS. Despite this, we remain committed to resolving matters through dialogue.

“It is unfair that residents continue to suffer, and contingency planning is underway. We are investigating all options to provide a service; however, we must act within the legal parameters set out by industrial action.”

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