Talks resolve strike threat

Date:27th June 2011.'Wheelie bins on Recreation Grove, Holbeck, Leeds.
Date:27th June 2011.'Wheelie bins on Recreation Grove, Holbeck, Leeds.
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STRIKE action planned by St Helens binmen was averted last week after last-minute talks between union chiefs and St Helens Council.

Eleventh-hour talks between Town Hall bosses and ACAS helped to stave off a planned walk out by refuse collectors last Thursday (July 14).

Around 40 members of the Unite union had threatened to walk out between July 18 and August 2 – a move which would have delayed bin collections across St Helens.

Council chiefs said the dispute centred on job evaluations carried out as far back as 2004.

UNISON and GMB union members at the Hardshaw Brook depot had previously accepted the result - which had no impact on salaries - a council spokeswoman said.

Contingency plans to minimise the effects of strike action - which were expected to affect one in four collections - were already in place, with a range of options considered.

And special arrangements were due to be made for “critical issues” like clinical waste.

But, shortly after 4pm last Thursday (July 14), council chiefs announced that an “amicable agreement” had been reached with Unite union bosses and that the strike had been averted.