Talks bid to avert council workers' strike

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The Independent Online

Last ditch talks are to be held in a bid to avert a strike by 600 council refuse collectors and street cleaners in a row over pay, it was announced today.

The GMB union said its officials will meet managers at Leeds City Council on Thursday to try to break the deadlocked dispute, otherwise strike dates will be announced.



GMB official Bill Chard said: "GMB obviously regret the inevitable disruption that this strike action will cause to the people of Leeds. Not only will the bins not be emptied for weeks and weeks on end but if people live near a fish and chip shop or any of the fast food takeaways then the bins outside those premises will overflow on to the streets too."



The threatened strike is a fresh sign of growing unrest among public sector workers in disputes over pay, jobs and services. Around 600 workers at Liverpool City Council will stage a series of walk outs from Friday following a "complete breakdown" of talks aimed at resolving a dispute over bonus pay.



The Government has already been warned it faces an autumn of discontent by tens of thousands of public sector workers.



Disputes in the Royal Mail and the fire service are set to escalate in the coming weeks, while an increasing number of local councils are also being hit by industrial action.

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