Unite the Union

Unite the Union

February 21, 2008 05:02 ET

Birmingham City Council Workers Threatened With the 'Stick' Over Strike Action

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 21, 2008) -

Attention: National business and industrial correspondents

Birmingham City Council has threatened bin men with privatisation if they take part in industrial action planned for Tuesday (26th February).

Bosses have told them if they continue to strike they cannot protect them from the privatisation of refuse collection and street cleaning.

Workers are due to go on strike for the second time this Tuesday over a new pay and grading structure the council have imposed without trade union or workforce agreement.

The new scheme could affect some employee's pay by as much as Pounds Sterling 18,000 a year and doesn't even solve the equal pay issues bosses were trying to address.

New contracts have been issued to staff which they have been reluctant to sign because of the inferior terms and conditions. These have now been followed up with an intimidating letter from management. The letter states that anyone who does not sign and hand in their new contracts before the 31st March could be dismissed.

Gerard Coyne, Unite Regional Secretary for the West Midlands said:

"Despite the councils behaviour there was overwhelming support from Unite members for industrial action to go ahead. The council is now using a big stick threatening privatisation of service if they take part in the strike action planned for Tuesday. This is an absolute disgrace and a clear indication of the bullying tactics of the Council instead of getting round the negotiating table to resolve the dispute."

Over 40,000 staff are affected by the new pay and grading structure. The 20,000 staff who had received their pay and grading contracts went on strike on Tuesday 5th Feb. More are expected this Tuesday after further contracts were sent out.

Notes to editors:

A calling notice will be issued on Friday with details of picket lines

Contact Information

  • Jody Whitehill
    Unite Press Officer
    020 7420 8938 or 07768 693956