Birmingham council was accused of acting in a deceitful and deliberately misleading manner by Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, after peace talks aimed at preventing next week’s bin strikes collapsed within minutes today (Tuesday 12 February).

Talks collapsed in minutes

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “Unite attended talks at Acas today in good faith only to discover that the terms of settlement proposed now by Birmingham council are worse than the unacceptable terms previously on offer. 

“Under those circumstances the talks collapsed immediately and given the attitude of the council there is little prospect of further talks taking place in the near future. 

“It is clear that Birmingham council has one agenda which is to provoke strike action, which will cause misery for the city’s residents.

“Birmingham council is seeking to justify its position by deliberately misleading residents and publishing distorted and untrue information. The material provided to today’s Birmingham cabinet meeting were nothing more than a work of fiction. This is senior officers distorting the truth in order to protect their own reputations and sadly it appears the leader of the council is prepared to allow this to happen.

“Judging by its actions today it is clear that the council officers’ agenda is not to resolve this dispute but instead to challenge Unite’s collective organisation in Birmingham. The people of Birmingham should blame the council for the inevitable escalation of industrial action.” 

High Court hearing

The collapse in peace talks comes ahead of tomorrow’s High Court hearing where Unite will seek start injunction proceedings to stop Birmingham council breaking the agreement which resolved the 2017 bin dispute The injunction hearing is on Wednesday 13 February at the High Court in London (Royal Court of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL).


Notes to editors:

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.

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.