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Striking bin men back at work

Striking bin men from Haringey in London resumed work yesterday after reaching a settlement with employers Haringey Accord.

In a narrow secret ballot held by the transport and general workers union (TGWU) on Monday the striking workers agreed to return to work immediately.

The two-week strike by 48 TGWU members started on July 31 after a long-running dispute over cuts to the refuse collection service in the borough.

Refuse crews refused to go to work on health and safety grounds, after Haringey Accord wanted to remove two refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) from rounds and have the remaining crews complete the additional work in the same amount of time.

The workers had been offered individual payments of £1,450 to accept the vehicle cuts, but rejected the money saying the changes made by Haringey Accord forced them to work outside the bounds of health and safety standards.

As part of the settlement Haringey Accord has agreed to reinstate one of the rounds and clear the backlog of rubbish that had piled up over the strike.

TGWU regional industrial organiser Paul Fawcett said a fair compromise had been reached, but warned a wait and see approach was being adopted. He would not reveal the value of any monetary settlement. 

Harringey Accord general manager Doug Taylor said: No one wanted this strike and I am delighted it has been resolved. Our refuse collection crews are now out on the streets of Haringey and will be collecting the backlog, which has built up during the strike, as quickly as possible.

The strike was estimated to have affected 95,000 residents, causing overflowing bins. A council spokeswoman said its reuse and recycling centres would remain operating on extended working hours until August 21, to help cope with the backlog.

 

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