Industrial action ends after Birmingham City Council bows to Unite’s demand for fair treatment for its members and for agency workers
The long running Birmingham bins dispute over ‘secret payments’ and the ‘blacklisting’ of workers has ended after Birmingham city council approved detailed legal agreements to correct its inequitable treatment of Unite members. As part of the agreement between the council and Unite:
- all Unite members who were balloted for industrial action in 2017 will receive £3,500 to correct the discrimination of the council’s secret payment to GMB members
- all workers who claimed they were blacklisted by having holiday request refused during the current dispute will receive £500
- Unites’ high court case, concerning the council’s breach of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) which ended the 2017 dispute, will be terminated
- the council will end the use of ‘mop-up crews’ without a qualified Waste Reductions Collections Officer
- the council has committed to holding a recruitment day so that agency staff can apply for permanent positions
- all other outstanding legal issues have been resolved
Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said:
Unite is pleased that it has been able to reach agreement with the council to finally bring an end to this lengthy dispute.
By standing together our members have secured an excellent settlement and ended the injustice that they had been subject to. Their success demonstrates what can be achieved when workers are united.
Unite has been consistent from the beginning of the dispute that our members were simply seeking parity, with the payments that workers who did not take part in the 2017, subsequently received. Once that principle was understood the dispute could be resolved.
Unite is firmly committed to developing strong industrial relations with Birmingham council in the future and hopes that the recent industrial disputes can be put behind us.
The council’s leader and deputy leader were referred to Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for their conduct.
The SKWAWKBOX congratulates the union and its members on another outstanding victory for solidarity and collective action. While this dispute has now been resolved, the unions are having to take legal and industrial action far too often to correct the behaviour of a supposedly Labour-run council.
Labour members in Birmingham are entitled to replace any councillors or candidates who are failing to live up to Labour principles in their treatment of some of the city’s lowest-paid workers and must do so at the earliest opportunity. Likewise, the NEC must not hold back if it feels action is required.
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