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Leeds bin strike ends and Brighton bin strike suspended

A Leeds bin strike has ended after union members agreed to accept a deal made by Leeds City Council.

Workers will return to work on 25 November and rubbish collections will return to normal.
 
Striking refuse collectors have been embroiled in a row over pay and had been on strike since 7 September (see MRW story).

GMB Union regional organiser Desiree Risebury said that 79 per cent of members accepted the new offer. She said that it was a win-win situation for the workers and that the new offer was far more acceptable than previous offers and a majority of members will have no loss of pay.

Leeds City Council councillor Andrew Carter said: The end to the strike is very welcome news.
Im glad union members have agreed to accept what is a very fair deal. It is a victory for the people of Leeds who will benefit, in due course, from a much improved refuse collection and street cleaning service.

The significance of this deal shouldnt be underestimated. It means at last we can achieve the efficiencies we need and boost productivity at the same time. That translates to better value for money for the residents of our city.

GMB regional organiser Neil Derrick added: GMB members have voted emphatically to return to work because they recognise the victory that their solidarity over 12 weeks has delivered. 12 weeks ago they faced savage pay cuts and privatisation.

GMB would like to place on record our thanks to the people of Leeds who, despite the inconvenience they faced, recognised the just cause of the cleaning workers. The practical support from trade union members throughout Britain has also been fantastic.

Meanwhile, in Brighton bin strikes that started at the beginning of the month have been suspended.

Council leader Mary Mears said: Were delighted the GMB union has decided to suspend the strike so that normal rubbish collections can resume. We will now resume talks about the details of our proposal. While we cant go into this offer, we can say that we have aimed to meet our legal and moral duty to pay employees fairly without passing on unnecessary costs to council taxpayers.

Although the strike has lasted only two days, it will take a short while for the council to catch up on any missed collections and wed ask for residents patience during this brief period. We have a hard working and dedicated workforce, which we are proud of, and Im confident they will get the job done as quickly as possible.

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