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Birmingham waste collectors announce further strikes

Refuse collection staff at Birmingham city council have voted for further strike action following an ongoing a pay dispute.

Members of the GMB, Unite and, Unison and UCATT unions, who are directly employed by the council, will strike for two half days on 13th and 14th January after it was found that pay and conditions for 450 waste management and fleet staff did not meet equality laws.

According to Birmingham city council, salaries for refuse collection loaders stand at just under £20,000 and drivers at over £26,000 under the new pay deal. However, the GMB union believes that the new deal has reduced salaries by £4,000.

The announcement of further action follows a one day strike on 20th December and the introduction of “work to rule” operations ever since – a form of industrial action where workers drastically slow their operations.

Birmingham City Council cabinet member for equalities and human resources Cllr Alan Rudge said: “Although we are still in a work to rule situation, the contract of employment states crews work on a task to finish basis. Under these circumstances they have sufficient time to complete scheduled collections.”

Further union talks are planned for today.

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