300 bin workers – members of the Unite union – have voted to begin strike action as part of an ongoing industrial dispute.

The workers will strike two days a week from Tuesday 19th February, in addition to the current action – an overtime ban and work to rule – which has been in place since the end of December. 

‘Blacklisting’ dispute

The move comes as Union and Birmingham City Council negotiators failed to reach a deal over the alleged ‘blacklisting’ of workers who took industrial action in 2017.

Unite officials accuse the council of making ‘secret payments’ to workers who did not support the previous strike action, effectively ‘blacklisting’ those that did. Unite has said that workers should not be ‘discriminated against’ for their choice of union, or for taking legal industrial action.

Cabinet resignation

Majid Mahmood (Lab, Bromford & Hodge Hill), resigned from his position as Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Waste and Recycling in January, stating he was unable to support the actions of the council in the dispute.

Holidays refused

Unite is also now accusing the council of further blacklisting by refusing workers their holiday requests.

The union also says the council is in breach of the 2017 settlement by employing agency crews to “undermine the ongoing lawful industrial action”.

Union and council officials had been negotiating through conciliation service Acas, with Unite setting Friday 1st February as the deadline for an improved offer to be made to the workforce.

‘Council’s failure’

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “The decision to escalate the dispute and begin strike action is a direct result of Birmingham council’s failure to treat our members fairly.

“Rather than settle this dispute and end the discrimination the council has instead chosen to try to utilise anti-trade union laws and is penalising workers who have been taking industrial action by denying them their holiday requests.

“Unite’s members have taken the decision to move to full strike action as a last resort due to the council’s refusal to make a fair offer to resolve this dispute.

“This dispute is entirely of Birmingham council’s making and it is in the council’s hands to come forward with a solution to end the discrimination experienced by Unite members. If they fail to do so then the city’s residents will regrettably experience further disruption to their refuse service in the coming weeks.”

Strike dates: 

  • Tuesday 19 February
  • Friday 22 February
  • Wednesday 27 February
  • Thursday 28 February
  • Monday 4 March
  • Friday 8 March
  • Tuesday 12 March
  • Wednesday 13 March
  • Thursday 21 March
  • Friday 22 March


  1. Ridiculous! Effectively, residents are being treated here as hostages. Another strike means that city will not provide service that people pay for by means of their compulsory taxes. Therefore, residents should now claim money back from city council for all these weeks when rubbish collection didn’t happen.


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