Bin strikes that were set to leave 220,000 homes overflowing with rubbish have been called off after an improved pay offer was accepted by Unite and GMB members.
Negotiations between the unions and refuse collection contractor Biffa had stalled, with binmen set to strike. However, an agreement has been reached that would involve a pay rise of between 11% and 22%. The improved conditions will be seen by all members including drivers of bin trucks.
Initially, Biffa had offered most of its staff a pay rise of 1.75%, worth roughly 17p an hour, causing backlash from those who were working for the company.
The strikes were set to take place from May 3 and would have lasted for two weeks, with a potential further two weeks from May 23.
94% of those who voted in both the Unite and GMB ballots opted for strike action.
Sharon Graham, the general secretary for Unite, said ‘This is a great win for our members.” And praised the unity of members.
Michael Clark, a regional organiser for GMB, also welcomed the support given by the Manchester City Council, highlighting that pay rates would be further reviewed in the autumn.
Whilst students in halls were not likely to have been affected by the strikes, Mr Clark did suggest that “mass disruption for the people of Manchester” would have affected students in private housing.