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Wirral binmen vote in favour of industrial action
WIRRAL’S street cleaners and binmen have voted for possible strike action in a row over pay and conditions.
Trade union Unite confirmed last week that it is in dispute with Biffa, the council’s current contractor for recycling, refuse and street cleaning services.
The union’s 190 members were balloted on July 4 and voted in favour of possible industrial action.
A Biffa spokesman said it was “disappointing” that union members had backed the vote, adding: “The union has four weeks in which to notify Biffa of potential dates for industrial action and the nature of such action, and must give at least a week’s notice before any specific date action.”
Biffa and Unite have both agreed to meet with conciliation service ACAS on July 17.
Brian Nelson, local officer for Unite, said: "We have had a resounding yes vote in favour of strike action, short of strike action.
"We are now considering our options and we have the meeting later this month.
"There may be a resolution, we are looking for a resolution without the need to take action."
The ballot comes exactly a year after more than 200 Biffa staff voted to strike last year.
At the time, union officials blamed the situation on reductions to local government budgets.
The action was averted after a deal was reached and Biffa hopes the same will happen this time and that negotiations can “resolve the threat” of industrial action and the possibility of local service disruption.
In a statement, Wirral Council said: "Biffa management are keeping the council updated as to the progress of their discussions with union representatives.
"This is a matter for the contractor to resolve their own workforce.
"As part of their contractual obligations, it is the responsibility of Biffa to ensure that adequate contingency plans are in place to ensure that any plans are in place to ensure that any plans are in place in order to ensure that any disruption to frontline services is minimised should industrial action occur."