Council warned of strike ballot in pay row

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Hundreds of council workers could be balloted for strikes in a row over pay, threatening "massive disruption" to refuse collections, street cleaning and other services, it was warned today.

The GMB said it will ask its members at Brighton and Hove Council to vote on industrial action unless a new offer is tabled.

Talks aimed at resolving the row have broken down, leading one union official to warn they were the worst negotiations he had been involved in for more than 25 years.

The row in Brighton, where Labour is holding its annual conference this week, is the latest in a spate of disputes over pay and jobs at several local authorities.

GMB official Mark Turner said: "The council is hell-bent on attacking refuse collectors' pay which could be up to £8,000 per person, but, not satisfied with that, they want to attack other frontline services, predominately women in the home care sector."

The GMB said it will launch an industrial ballot tomorrow unless the council tabled a new offer on pay.