Unite the Union

Unite the Union

February 25, 2008 12:21 ET

Trade Unions Postpone Strike as Birmingham Council Agree to Talk

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2008) -

Attention: Newsdesks, Industrial and Social Affairs Correspondents

Unite members working for Birmingham City Council have agreed to suspend strike action for two weeks to enter into negotiations with the Council.

The workers had been due to strike tomorrow in an ongoing dispute over new pay and grading structures imposed by the council without trade unions or workforce agreement. Trade union's say the proposals could reduce council workers pay by up to Pounds Sterling 18,000 a year and will not solve equal pay issues outstanding at the council.

Unite Regional Secretary, Gerard Coyne, said:

"Birmingham City Council has at last agreed to negotiate with the trade unions in an attempt to resolve the dispute and we are viewing this as a positive development."

"On this basis we have agreed to suspend strike action for two weeks to allow the negotiations to progress, and will review our position at the end of this period pending the outcome of those discussions."

New contracts containing inferior pay and conditions have already been issued to 20,000 Birmingham Council staff. Over 40,000 workers would be affected by the new pay and grading contracts in total. Workers who refused to sign the new contracts had been threatened with dismissal.

There has already been one day of strike action on Tuesday 5th February, involving 5,000 Birmingham City Council workers which resulted in major disruption to vital services, including the closure of more than 120 schools, the complete closing down of refuse collecting services and affected the operation of libraries and leisure facilities across the city.

Contact Information

  • Unite Press Office
    Catherine Bithell
    020 7 420 8909 or 07958 473 224