Rubbish collections in Cardiff are set to face disruption after bin collectors from the city's council voted to go on strike for six weeks.
Members of the Unite union voted by a majority of 98% to strike in a dispute over an alleged culture of bullying within the city council's waste services department.
The six weeks of continuous strike action will begin from April 22, with the union saying the action will cause widespread disruption to the city’s refuse and recycling collections.
A survey of Unite members working within the waste services department at Cardiff Council found 60% of workers said they had either witnessed workplace bullying or had been bullied themselves.
Cardiff Council has previously rejected claims of a culture of bullying and maintains that talks with Unite are ongoing.
Unite, which represents around 350 people across Cardiff Council's workforce, says it has raised a number of other issues with the council including health and safety failings, misuse of agency labour and unfair targeting of Unite union reps.
Sharon Graham, Unite General Secretary, said: “Unless the council urgently resolve our grievances then six weeks of strike action will start in just nine days’ time.
“Our members are completely united and determined to win this fight for justice and they will receive the full support of Unite during the strike.”
'We will continue to work with them to resolve dispute'
Cardiff Council says talks are ongoing with representatives of Unite.
A council spokesperson said: “In recent weeks, the council has been engaging in constructive discussions with senior officials of Unite Cymru and we will continue to work with them to resolve this dispute with the support of the other trade unions representing the Council’s workforce.
“We take all allegations of bullying seriously and will always work with Trade Unions when they bring forward specific allegations to investigate.
"We have robust and long-standing processes in place that have been developed in partnership with our Unions – to do just that.
"All the Unions know we take a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and the health and safety of our staff is a priority for us.”
'Time is running out'
Unless a resolution is found, the strike action will begin on April 22 and last for six weeks.
A Unite spokesperson said: “We have tried to resolve this dispute through negotiations with the council but have hit a brick wall.
"Although it is not too late to find a resolution, time is quickly running out.
“We have an overwhelming mandate for strike action and our members are determined to force change within Cardiff’s waste services department.
"This strike will unfortunately see major disruption to the refuse collections of Cardiff’s residents. However, the blame for this will lie squarely at the door of Cardiff City Council.”