Bin workers employed by Birmingham council are gearing up for fresh strike action this Friday (8 March) as progress on a potential peace deal has stalled.

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, called on the council to turn positive words into positive action to resolve the dispute which concerns ‘secret payments’ and the ‘blacklisting’ of workers. Unite is disappointed there has been no further movement since talks held between the council and Unite concluded on Monday (4 March).

Unite suspended actions on Monday 4 March in order to ensure talks aimed at resolving the dispute could progress.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “Ian Ward the council leader’s positive words need to lead to positive actions.

 “Since the talks concluded on Monday there has been no further progress from the council in turning the advances made in talks on Monday into a negotiated settlement.

 “Regrettably, as things currently stand Unite does not have anything in writing in order to postpone Friday’s strike.

 “Unite has no doubt that the elected leadership of Birmingham council want to see a negotiated resolution to this dispute but the officers of the council need now to get busy settling this dispute instead of being busy trying to play union against union.

 “The elected leadership needs to instruct the council officers to carry out their wishes because as things stand the council officers inaction is forcing Unite into fresh strike action.”

Workers have already undertaken three days of strike action and have been undertaking an overtime ban and a work to rule since late December.

Unite is currently balloting members for further industrial action as a result of the council ignoring the High Court agreement which ended the 2017 strike, by sending bin lorries out without sufficiently trained staff in place, endangering the safety of the general public and workers.

The ballot for this industrial action will close this Friday (8 March) and additional industrial action could begin by late March and run throughout the spring and into the summer.


Notes to editors:

Birmingham council must stop attacks on its own employees

The remaining strike dates that Unite has announced as part of the strike action over ‘secret payments and blacklisting’ are: 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.


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