Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham waste collectors set to strike

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Image caption Unite members will strike for about five hours on 30 June

Refuse workers are set to strike six times over plans to cut more than 120 waste collection jobs, a union says.

Birmingham City Council wants to cut about a fifth of the "collection squad" after a "woefully inadequate consultation" with unions, Unite said.

Unite members will strike for about five hours on 30 June. There will be two-hour stoppages in July and August.

The council said working arrangements were not cost-effective and it wanted to "get round the table" with unions.

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It has said its current collection method was no longer modern or efficient and alternative employment within the authority would be offered for those affected.

Unite said members voted by 90% for strike action over proposed job cuts and "attempts by council bosses to tear up long standing agreements with the union covering staffing levels and working patterns".

It also said the job losses were the result of an authority overspend rather than a means to offset pressures driven by budget cuts - a specific charge put to the council by the BBC.

'Farce'

Unite regional officer Lynne Shakespeare said: "The council wants to axe 122 waste collection jobs after a woefully inadequate consultation with the unions.

"The process was a sham, bordering on a farce."

Council corporate director for place Jacqui Kennedy said it regretted "disputes have been registered by four unions" and action to disrupt its refuse collection services was planned by Unite.

She said: "We want to get round the table with the unions. But our priority must be Birmingham residents and businesses.

"The current working arrangements are not cost-effective and do not provide citizens with a good service. We know we have to change that, and are determined to do so."

Unite said the two-hour stoppages would be on 3, 11, 19 and 27 July and 4 August and there would be an overtime ban.

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