Latest Public Sector News

21.09.17

Birmingham bin strikes called off following key High Court ruling

Strikes by refuse workers in Birmingham have this week been called off after the union won an important High Court ruling.

Unite has called off the strike as a judge granted an interim injunction to stop Birmingham City Council handing redundancy notices to striking workers.

Union members had been striking for three hours on a daily basis in a dispute over pay, leaving Birmingham’s streets covered with uncollected litter.

Howard Beckett, Unite’s assistant general secretary, said the judgement would be “a huge relief to Birmingham’s bin workers,” who were facing the possibility of losing their jobs.

“As part of the ruling Unite will suspend its industrial action until the matter is put before a full court hearing at a later date,” Beckett explained. “The High Court ruling leaves Birmingham council’s unfair and unjust plans in tatters. The council needs to reflect on how it got here and the misery it has inflicted on the people of Birmingham and its own bin workers.”

He also described Birmingham’s redundancy threats as “scaremongering” that has now been outed by the court as “a work of pure fiction.”

Following the resignation of the authority’s leader John Clancy, Beckett also called on Birmingham City Council’s interim CEO Stella Manzie to leave her post.

“Stella Manzie, the chief executive of Birmingham city council, must now step down,” he argued. “She has repeatedly used the threat of equal pay cases to frighten and bully the council into agreeing the downgrade of long-serving bin workers when it has no substance whatsoever and was not so much as mentioned by her legal team.

“This ruling underlines that Unite will not shrink away from using all the tools at its disposal to defend its members and the services they deliver.

“We urge the council to stop wasting further taxpayers’ money in defending its dishonourable actions and honour the Acas deal which offers compromise on all sides and will settle this dispute once and for all.”

The ruling comes in the same week that Birmingham council was forced to recall the DCLG-assembled Improvement Panel amidst unprecedented changes to its leadership following the industrial action.

A council spokesperson said the authority “obviously” accepted the ruling, which would now lead to further consideration by the courts.

“The council wants to offer the best possible refuse service for citizens and wants to work with Unite and all the other unions to do this,” they added. “We remain committed to resolving the dispute as quickly as possible and we hope Unite will support us in doing this.”

Top Image: Aaron Chown PA Wire

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Comments

Philipgh   21/09/2017 at 11:35

Most overpaid cleaners ever!. They get all kinds of bonuses just for turning up to work! On top of their large basic salary.

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