Mark Whitehead 04 March 2019

Birmingham refuse strike called off

Unions called off a planned strike by refuse collectors in Birmingham today after the city council lost a bid to have the action declared illegal.

Unite and Unison were set to meet council officials for talks in an attempt to reach a settlement of the dispute involving payments made to members of another union which did not take part in a strike last year.

However, a ballot of union members over the staffing of refuse collection trucks, which could boost the union campaign, is being held currently with the result expected on Friday.

The council applied to the High Court in London last week for an urgent injunction to try to stop the unions taking what it claimed was unlawful industrial action pending a full trial.

But the unions argued the application was 'entirely without merit' and the industrial action was protected by trade union laws.

Mr Justice Freedman dismissed the council's application ruling that it was 'more likely than not' that Unite and Unison would succeed at trial in proving that the strike action was lawful.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said the union remained committed to further negotiations to end the dispute.

A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council told LocalGov: 'We've had the court outcome and now we want to get it resolved. That is the golden thread running through all of this.'

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