Sussex

Brighton and Hove bin strike could hit Pride festival

Brighton & Hove rubbish
Image caption There are fears piles of rubbish will mount up as visitors stream into the city

Refuse collectors are planning to go on strike in Brighton and Hove, with one of the walk-outs coinciding with the city's Pride celebrations.

The first will take place on 29 July, with further strikes from 2 to 5 August raising fears rubbish could pile up at the height of the tourist season.

The GMB union said action by its members was in response to "anti-union behaviour" by the city council.

The council said it was keen to resolve issues. Talks will be held on Thursday.

This summer's three-day Brighton Pride festival runs from 2 to 4 August.

Pop icon Kylie Minogue will headline the Pride in The Park event at Preston Park, with other acts announced including Grace Jones, Jessie J and Clean Bandit.

The weekend attracts about 450,000 visitors to the city.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brighton Pride attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the city

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said it was disappointed the GMB's dates for industrial action affecting street cleansing, refuse and recycling services would include the Pride weekend.

"We're still fully committed to resolving any outstanding issues through the Acas talks to ensure the service we provide for our residents and businesses is maintained and not disrupted," he said.

The dispute centres around whether a GMB official should be allowed to return to work at the depot in Hollingdean or be restricted to working from the union's offices.

Branch secretary Mark Turner said the official had been subjected to "unfair persecution and anti-trade union behaviour".

The council spokesman added: "We take seriously the allegations of anti-trade union behaviour and are investigating this.

"The staff member involved can continue to undertake their role, but at a different site to allow a fair investigation to take place."

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