Harlow bin workers call off strike threat after securing pay deal

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Bin workers in Harlow have called off strike action after a pay deal which Unison said was worth 9%

Bin workers in Harlow have called off planned strike action after securing a 9% pay rise.

The town's refuse collectors were set for a summer of disruption after 97% voted for industrial action, according to public service union, Unison.

Members originally turned down an offer of 7% from Harlow Council's contractor, Veolia.

Caroline Hennessy, of Unison, said the deal was "huge for some of the lowest-paid workers in Harlow.

She added that it would allow workers to "keep their heads above water amid spiralling food and energy costs.""No-one wanted strikes and we're glad that we can now call them off after Veolia finally agreed to talk to their staff about pay," she said.

Veolia has been approached for comment.

The union claimed below-inflation deals in recent years had left workers earning "barely" above minimum wage.

Negotiations opened last week and the deal included commitments to negotiate on future pay.

Workers accepted the agreement at a meeting on Monday.

Harlow Council has welcomed the settlement.

Alastair Gunn, in charge of governance, said: "The new pay offer is good news for the hardworking bin crews and for Harlow residents.

"There is a clear need to ensure an improved way of negotiating these matters locally is established in future. I look forward to working with Veolia and Unison to ensure that this happens."

In 2021 residents were left with late bin deliveries after problems with the council's contract with Veolia.

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