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Further Sandwell bin strikes called off as agreement reached

Further strikes by bin workers in Sandwell have been called off after an agreement was reached with union bosses.

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More action is planned this month

Binmen walked out on Tuesday in a row surrounding accusations of bullying, pay and health and safety, bringing disruption to collection rounds.

More strikes were planned during September but have now been called off following successful talks between the GMB union and Serco, which is contracted by Sandwell Council to run waste services in the borough.

Garden waste collections were suspended this week to allow the remaining workforce to focus on domestic waste collections. The council said they would resume on Monday.

Bosses said there might still be delays to collections this week and that bins should be left out until they are emptied.

Dozens of binmen gathered outside the Serco depot on Tuesday to make their feelings known, as the GMB declared they were "standing up to the bullies".

Iain Stockdale-Smith, senior contract manager for Serco, said: “We’re pleased that our ongoing talks with the GMB Union have been received positively and the proposed strike dates for September have been withdrawn.

"We will continue to meet with the GMB, and other unions, on a regular basis to communicate the progress of changes. Both parties agree that we must work together and give the time needed to deliver on what we’ve discussed.

“We apologise to residents for the disruption to bin collections this week and thank them for their patience while teams work hard to ensure all missed bins are collected.”

Council deputy leader Maria Crompton said: “We are happy to hear that discussions between Serco and the GMB Union have been successful and further disruption to residents waste services has been prevented.

“The garden waste service, which was suspended this week, will be able to restart on Monday, September 6. Unfortunately there have been some inevitable delays to household waste and recycling bin collections this week but teams will be working to get to any missed properties as quickly as they can.

"If residents do not receive a collection on their normal day, they should leave bins out and they will be emptied as soon as possible.”

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