Unite’s Beckett speaks re #BirminghamBinStrike injunction win

As the SKWAWKBOX published earlier, the Unite union scored a huge victory for Birmingham’s refuse workers when a court granted an injunction this morning banning Birmingham City Council (BCC) from making 113 ‘leading hand’ workers redundant on 1 October.

The redundancy notices were issued by BCC in spite of a firm – and now proven both to exist and to have been legitimately reached and approved – agreement with Unite for the leading hands to retain their ‘grade 3’ status and their safety responsibilities for the good of the public.

The SKWAWKBOX’s revelation of the emails proving the agreement and its legitimacy led to the resignation of the council leader, which BCC attempted to use to deny the agreement.

beckett tuc
Howard Beckett speaking to the TUC last week

Last week, Unite’s assitant General Secretary Howard Beckett spoke movingly to assembled trade unions about the situation and called on BCC’s interim chief executive, Stella Manzie, to resign. Today, he pulled no punches in assessing the significance of the legal decision and repeated his resignation call:

This judgment lambasts Birmingham City Council and its officers. It prevents the redundancies from proceeding but more importantly the Judge has placed on record the internal communications of the Council which clearly confirm an agreement at Acas and how the Council officers sought to renege on that agreement.

In over two days in the High Court there was not a single mention of Equal Pay concerns, simply nonsense being peddled by Stella Manzie and her officers.

This unnecessary dispute has cost the Council millions and Labour councillors should read the judgment and realise that Stella Manzie has misled them as to Equal Pay risks – and that she has intentionally prolonged an industrial dispute for her own ideology of wanting working people to pay for mismanagement.

It’s is time now for Stella Manzie to go and I call upon Labour Councillors to find their core and stand up to her and dismiss her.



  1. The failure by the right wing Labour councillors on Birmingham City Council to dismiss Stella Manzie is highly instructive.

    It exposes the corruption of those councillors.

    It is time for the NEC to carry out a full investigation of these dishonest and untrustworthy Labour officers.

    Corruption may well be tolerated by the Conservative Party but it must be made crystal clear by the NEC that it will not be tolerated by the Labour Party.

    Government is a matter of trust. Corruption within the party must be rooted out and must be seen to be rooted out if we are to be trusted to govern.

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