Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham's waste collectors urged not to strike

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Waste collectors are being urged to reconsider industrial action over working patterns and job losses.

The Unite union says its members voted for strike action after Birmingham City Council said it would be getting rid of 122 refuse collection jobs.

The council says its current collection method is no longer modern or efficient.

"We urge the union to reconsider its stance on this issue as a matter of urgency," a statement said.

Cabinet member for clean streets, Lisa Trickett, said "We know that the efficiency of our crews that work four nine-hour days is not as good as that achieved by crews working five seven-and-a-half-hour days in other cities.

"If we can move into line with other councils we will help Birmingham save £4m a year and deliver a better service for citizens."

Alternative employment within the council will be offered for those affected, she said.

A Unite spokesman said: "Loyal employees, who have worked, in some cases, for up to 30 years in waste services, are being told that they are no longer wanted and need to find alternative work.

"The loss of jobs in this area is a disgrace, as bosses continue to increase recruiting agency workers - there appears to be no coherent workplace planning by the council."

The union is now consulting with its members over its next step.

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