A union is balloting Birmingham refuse workers for strike action as union officials accuse the council of blacklisting staff who took part in last year’s lengthy industrial action.

The action comes as the unite upon says Birmingham City Council has “admitted that it had made payments worth several thousand pounds each to a group of refuse workers who did not take part in last year’s bin dispute.”

The ballot, of 300 Unite members, closes on Friday 14th December, with the potential for strike action over the festive period.

The union has also lodged claims with the Employment Tribunal, saying that: “the payments are tantamount to the blacklisting of workers who took part in the long running bin dispute.”

Unite’s assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “It is simply astounding. By making these secret payments Birmingham city council has effectively blacklisted Unite members for carrying out their legal right to defend their jobs last year.

“We have pressed the council to explain why it made these secret payments to workers who did not go on strike, but have so far been met with a wall of silence.

“As a result the council’s secrecy and what we believe as discriminatory behaviour has forced us to the point where we are pursuing legal action and now balloting for industrial action.

“The residents of Birmingham should be aware that the last thing Unite members want to do is disrupt bin collections over Christmas. We would urge the city council to come clean with our members and put a stop to its discriminatory blacklisting behaviour.”

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson responded: “We are committed to delivering the best possible services for citizens as that is what they expect and we are continuing to work to improve waste collections.

“It is frustrating and surprising, just a few weeks after offering full support for the new operating model, that the leadership of Unite believe this course of action is necessary. We will continue to work with our dedicated staff on the ground and all Trades Unions to ensure that bins are collected when and how people expect them to be.”


  1. Good grief, well done BCC for doing deals behind the backs of unions even though their original intention was to save money by getting rid of jobs.

    So not only did they find the cash to fund these covert payments, but they have also cost the local council taxpayers almost £6m for the overall disruption of last year’s strike. As a consequence council tax payments for next year are going up by almost 5% with more swinging cuts in services to follow.

    This council really gives the word “incompetent” a bad name. But it’s okay because the humble minions will pay for all their mistakes.

  2. zola spot on… but unite are way too quick to strike they need to grow up…. they are going to court … thats good let the courts decide….and if numpties at BCC dont explain there actions then ballot…. but not upfront…
    Unite leaders are as stupid as BCC it appears and residents and the bin men will suffer as a result.

  3. It will go to court and the court will be in there favour because BCC is corrupt. Back handers going on in the yard. Pay for extra over time thats just a few. But they want to go on strike cuz somone else got paid instead of them sack the lot. Cuz our polltax will be going up again because of them .

  4. one went on stike don’t deserve the payement other got as other kept some of streets clear rubbish just want something others got for nothing which isn’t right all


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