Birmingham City Council (BCC) is embroiled in a dispute with the Unite and Unison unions over BCC’s extra payment to GMB members among its refuse collectors who did not participate in the successful strike against pay cuts, redundancy threats and bad faith in 2017 – apparently because it wasn’t ready in time for the meeting.
BCC’s head of waste, Majid Mahmood, resigned this week over the council’s decision to take legal action against Unite and Unison for their industrial action. The decision forced the unions to escalate their action.
At the beginning of this month the SKWAWKBOX revealed that the council could have averted or delayed the industrial action simply by responding to a letter from the unions – but instead ignored it for over a month. As a result, the people of Birmingham faced disruption over the Christmas and New Year period.
This morning, it has emerged that the council has cancelled a meeting with the unions scheduled for today. No reason is known and the council has not yet responded to the SKWAWKBOX’s request for more information.
A Unite source told the SKWAWKBOX that the council had not finished considering the unions’ representations in time:
Official Acas talks have been rescheduled for Monday to allow time for the council to further consider our representations.Unite
This whole situation has reflected badly on a supposedly Labour council, whose decision to take legal action against its own people shows the urgency of Labour bringing its local government groups into line with the national party and membership.
Local residents around the country need genuine Labour values in the running of their towns, villages and cities – and Birmingham residents need BCC to get its skates on and call off what Unite’s Howard Beckett has called ” a declaration of war against their own workforce [affecting] the people of Birmingham”.
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