Newham council and the Unite union have reached an agreement in a dispute over pay and terms and conditions which means proposed strike action has been called off.

The two sides reached agreement after talks at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).

Strike dates were originally set to run from Monday 24 June to Friday 5 July, but were suspended pending Acas negotiations. No new dates were set and as a result of the Acas agreement all strike action is now cancelled.

The agreement will see lorry loaders receive a one off payment to settle a pay dispute, and the council has committed to review terms and conditions of employment for the service.

Newham chief executive Althea Loderick said: “I am very pleased that Newham council and Unite have been able to come to this joint agreement which avoids the risk of strike action. We are grateful to Acas for their assistance in reaching this deal which means Newham residents will continue to have their bins emptied in the regular and efficient way. We would also like to thank Unite for working with us to avoid a damaging strike.

“We have already conducted a cultural audit of the refuse service which has generated a series of recommendations and these are being put in place to address how some staff were feeling about their working lives.  The full report, recommendations and actions have been shared with the staff.”

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Our members should be congratulated for the tenacity they’ve shown in pursuing this claim through a lengthy grievance process and strike ballot. We are a member-led union and I am very proud that we only reached agreement after a consultative ballot of our members. In this case the members voted by a large majority to accept the offer.

“As a union we are proud our members were prepared to act collectively and to stand by each other to reach a mutually acceptable outcome. This should be a shining example of collaborative working in these times of division.

“We look forward to working with the council to review wider terms and conditions and to implement recommendations from the cultural audit.”   


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065

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