Birmingham’s Tory-led council has made a number of concessions in a dispute with refuse workers, who suspended their ongoing work-to-rule and a planned strike.
Bosses have backed off from making a proposed 20% pay cut and has offered a 4-day week of 9.25 hours per day. Many workers are sceptical about the decision to abandon strikes, believing that it puts unions in a position of weakness in ongoing negotiations. The dispute has its roots in a significant pay-cut which in turns results from an equal pay dispute. The bin workers’ struggle is particularly important given that Birmingham is one of the authorities pursuing mass dismissals across the board; if the bin workers are defeated, bosses will take it as a green light to push through cuts elsewhere.