Talks on city bin strike threat

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TALKS are being held today (Thursday) in an attempt to avert a bin strike in Sheffield.

Three days of action – all on Fridays, April 13, 20 and 27 – are planned unless a breakthrough can be achieved in a long-running pay dispute between the GMB union and waste collection contractors Veolia Environmental Services.

The union is angry that 200 binmen have not received a pay rise for three years, despite Veolia receiving an inflation-level increase in their fee from the council.

It hopes the threat of the strike will force the company back to the negotiating table.

Today’s talks will include representatives of the conciliation service, ACAS.

Sheffield organiser Peter Davies said members had voted “overwhelmingly” to take action but “we can assure the people of Sheffield we are fully committed” to resolving the dispute.

Meanwhile, some black bins and recycling boxes have gone unemptied as binmen say they are being “extremely careful” in the way they go on their rounds as opposed to rushing around. They deny it is a work-to-rule or an overtime ban.

A Veolia spokesperson said: “Since discussions started a few weeks ago we have been and still are committed to finding a resolution and will enter discussions with the GMB and ACAS in a positive manner.”

The company also said it wanted to assure residents that it had “contingency plans to make sure bins and boxes were emptied as soon as possible”.