Rubbish piles up as binmen strike over payments to non-strikers in old dispute

Binmen are today due to strike in ­protest over alleged reward payments to workers who did not take part in previous industrial action.

Mountains of rubbish have already piled up in parts of Birmingham before the planned walkout even begins.

Members of the Unite union have been working to rule since December 29 and have voted to escalate the action by going on strike twice a week.

The last dispute over cuts in 2017 led to ­thousands of tons of waste being left uncollected for up to three months.

But Unite has been locked in a new row over payments of up to £4,000 given to GMB members who crossed the picket line.

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Unite claims GMB staff received it as a “reward” for not taking part in strikes. Birmingham city council and the GMB deny this, and insist it was to settle a legal claim by the union.

Unite’s Howard Beckett said: “The decision to begin strike action is a direct result of Birmingham council’s failure to treat our members fairly.”

Collections have been cut to once a fortnight while the dispute rumbles on.

Naveed Mohammed, 66, of Small Heath, said rubbish had been building up on his street for a few weeks. He added: “It can’t be good for your health, it makes you ashamed to be a Brummie.”

The Labour-run council said: “We would urge Unite to continue talks as we want to resolve this matter.”

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