Manchester's bin collectors vote to strike over pay

  • Published
Refuse collection in ManchesterImage source, LDRS
Image caption,
The unions said Biffa was offering a deal that fell far below standard commercial rates

Manchester could face bin collection strikes within weeks after workers involved in a pay dispute voted in favour of taking industrial action.

The strikes would affect up to 220,000 homes and could start in two weeks.

Unions have said Manchester City Council's contractor Biffa had offered staff an "insulting" 1.75% rise.

A Biffa spokesman said the firm was "in active and ongoing negotiations" and "committed to reaching a solution as quickly as possible".

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said about 200 members of the GMB and Unite unions, which included drivers, loaders and environmental operatives, had been balloted, with 90% supporting industrial action.

'Final chance'

The unions will now meet with workers to discuss when any strike action could take place.

GMB regional organiser Michael Clark said the city's refuse collectors and street scene services had "worked through the pandemic, doing a tough job" and they now needed help "to get them through the biggest fall in living standards for 50 years".

"We urge Biffa to come back to us with a decent offer to stop this strike before it begins," he added.

The unions said Biffa was offering a deal that fell far below standard commercial rates.

Unite regional officer Tanya Sweeny said the union was "giving Biffa a final chance to make a fair offer".

A Biffa spokesman said the firm was "in active and ongoing negotiations with the unions and remain committed to reaching a solution as quickly as possible".

A Manchester City Council spokeswoman said: "We will continue to work with Biffa and we will monitor the situation while negotiations are ongoing to reach a solution and avoid strike action.

"We will continue to put plans in place to minimise potential disruption during any planned strike action."

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