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Eleventh hour talks scheduled to prevent refuse strikes

Union officials and council officers will meet on 30 April, the day before eight days’ further strike action are set to take place, to try to resolve a pay dispute at Barking and Dagenham Council.

More than 100 GMB members employed as bin lorry drivers are currently scheduled to strike from 1-8 May.

Further discussions have been arranged for tomorrow after an initial meeting took place with concilliation service Acas on 28 April.

The long-running dispute began after it was announced that the time allocated for pre-start checks would be slashed from 30 to 15 minutes.

The council says the change is to regulate the pay scale of drivers with those working at the same skill level in other London boroughs.

gmb at work logo

Brian Strutton, GMB national officer for public services, said: “The GMB does not believe there is any need for change but, in the spirit of Acas negotiations, said for a £1,000 pay cut and loss of pension we want £5,000 compensation.”

Councillor Dominic Twomey said: “In terms of when it will be resolved, it depends on the figures talked about in the negotiations.”

Outcomes from the discussion are set to be announced tomorrow.

As reported in MRW, strike action has already taken place from 18-20 March, 7-8 April and 23-24 April over this dispute.

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