Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Unite branded a review for Birmingham city council of its handling of 2017’s bin dispute a ‘waste of taxpayers’ money’ that was being used to ‘cover the backs’ of unelected council officials.

Responding to the review by the law firm VMV, Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “The only independent review that mattered was the High Court action Unite was forced to take when the officers of the council issued the workforce with 30 days redundancy notice.

“The council, of course, lost the interim hearing, Unite successfully preserved the jobs of those who had been issued with redundancy notices and the behaviour of the officers was openly criticised by the High Court judge.

“The people of Birmingham will be shocked that money is being spent on reports that, once again, try to persuade people that it should be unelected officers who run Birmingham city council and not the elected representatives.

“Those officers, most of whom have thankfully now left, were busy wasting money on an unnecessary dispute when weeks and months later it was substantially the deal that former council leader John Clancy struck with Unite which settled the dispute.

“The only lesson that should be learnt from the dispute, and should be remembered now given the current dispute, is that the officers are accountable to the elected representative, not the alternative.”        


For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 [email protected]

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web:

Notes to editors  

• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.