Members of Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, employed by Birmingham council on its refuse collection service will begin strike action tomorrow (Tuesday 19 February), in a dispute over ‘secret payments’ and blacklisting.

Picket lines

Picket lines will be in place at all of the council’s refuse depots from 05:00 until 14:00. The primary focus will be at the picket line at Redfern Road Depot, Kings Road, Typsley, Birmingham B11 2AB, where Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett will be in attendance and available for interview.

WHEN: Tuesday 19 February 05:00–14:00

WHERE: Redfern Road Depot, Kings Road, Typsley, Birmingham B11 2AB

Secret Payments

The dispute is a result of Birmingham council making secret payments to refuse workers who did not take part in the 2017 bin strikes. Unite has argued that the payments amount to the blacklisting of its members and has argued that all workers should receive an equal payment, a proposal rejected by the council.

Peace talks aimed at resolving the dispute collapsed last week, when Birmingham council made a poorer offer than that which was previously on the table.

Last resort

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “Birmingham bin workers are taking strike action as a last resort.

“This industrial action is entirely of Birmingham council’s making. It was Birmingham council which made secret payments to bin workers who did not go on strike in 2017

“Then, when Unite discovered the secret payments, it was Birmingham council which refused to accept that it had blacklisted our members and refused to make an equal payment to our members.

“Since the dispute began it is Birmingham council which has been deliberately endangering the safety of workers and residents alike by sending out bin lorries without the required safety staff.

“It is Birmingham council whose actions led to the collapse of peace talks last week by tabling an offer which was worse than the one which Unite had already rejected.

“The resolution to this dispute is in the hands of Birmingham council which needs to end the discrimination and make payments to Unite members equal to what the non-striking workers have already received.”

Short film

Unite has produced a short film to explain why the union has been forced to take strike action.


Notes to editors:

Birmingham council accused of provoking strike action as peace talks collapse

The strike dates that Unite has announced are: Tuesday 19 February, Friday 22 February, Wednesday 27 February, Thursday 28 February, Monday 4 March, Friday 8 March, Tuesday 12 March, Wednesday 13 March, Thursday 21 March, Friday 22 March.

In the industrial action ballot which was announced on December 14 the workers voted by 94 per cent in favour of strike action and 97 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: [email protected]

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