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Third refuse collection strike planned for Southampton

Southampton City Council staff have announced a third week of strike action for 28 June.

300 Unison and Unite members, including refuse collectors and street cleaners will walk out for seven days over allegations that the council is “sacking” its workforce and re-employing them on 5% reduced wages.

The new wave of strike action follows the reported failure of talks with the council on 19 June and talks are due to resume today (22 June).

Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker said that the council is “still not negotiating seriously with the trade unions” and warned that “unless the council withdraws the mass dismissal notices, the industrial action will escalate”.

Council leader cllr Royston Smith said: “I am surprised and disappointed that more strike action has been announced during ongoing discussions aimed at resolving the situation. I am truly sorry for the impact that this industrial action is having upon our residents.

“We want to work with the unions and have actively sought their views for months. The next meeting will be the sixth time we have met formally to discuss our plans to make savings and each time we have offered concessions, the unions have offered nothing in return. I hope they take this latest opportunity to contribute their own ideas on how we can make those savings.”

The first round of strike action took place in May and lasted for five days. The second, which lasted for two weeks, commenced on 8 June.

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