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Dates named for possible Sandwell bin strike as bullying row continues

Bin workers in Sandwell could strike the day after the August bank holiday.

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Union bosses have named dates for possible strike action if a resolution is not reached with waste company Serco.

Workers would down tools on consecutive Tuesdays for four weeks, bringing huge disruption for residents in the borough. Binmen would also refuse to do any overtime when they are working.

The GMB union has ramped up the pressure on Serco, which is contracted by Sandwell Council to run waste services in the borough, by threatening to take action the day following the bank holiday on August 31.

The borough council and local politicians have urged both sides to come to a resolution to avoid widespread disruption for residents.

The row surrounds allegations of bullying, while workers are also unhappy about working conditions.

Talks have been held over the last few weeks to try and avoid a strike but an agreement has not yet been reached.

Justine Jones, from the GMB, said strike action would be a "last resort".

She said: "Should all the talks fail over the next few weeks we will be taking industrial action.

"There is another meeting this week so hopefully it will be resolved. There is some positivity but not as much as we would like. We will look to continue more frequent dialogue. We are hoping talks will be successful.

"This is a last resort. What members have requested over the last couple of months has been an ongoing issue for the last few years. That's why we are taking the action we are."

Serco has said it has held positive meetings with unions in the hope of avoiding strike action.