Council binmen on strike in pay row

Refuse collectors employed by a city council started a week-long strike today in a bitter row over pay.

Workers in Southampton have been taking industrial action for the past few weeks in protest at moves to reduce their wages under spending cuts.

Ian Woodland, regional officer of Unite, said: "Months ago we put plans to the council which would have brought down costs and saved jobs and services while it got through a rough patch, but they made clear they were not interested - they wanted a fight with the unions.

"This is a serious misjudgment. Support for the workers locally is strong because people understand that, while the council may hit wages now, it won't be long before they come for the services too."