Strike action warning over rubbish collections in Edinburgh

Over-flowing rubbish bins on Drummond Street, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow
Over-flowing rubbish bins on Drummond Street, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow
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EDINBURGH could be facing major disruption to rubbish collections due to industrial action.

Union leaders warn council workers across the country, including the Capital, could strike over pay after the Scottish Government made a three per cent pay rise offer, which they say is not high enough.

They say strikes could be timed with the Edinburgh Festival season to cause maximum disruption, with rubbish collections shut down for weeks at a time.

Speaking to a Sunday newspaper, Drew Duffy, lead negotiator for the GMB union, said: “Our members are the lowest paid in local government and they have been hammered in terms of pay for years, but now they’ve had enough.

“Over the next few weeks we’ll ballot members of rejecting this offer because it is not good enough.

“Then, if Cosla and the Government don’t talk to us we’ll move to a full ballot on industrial action.

“It would be targeted summer action.

“We’d move the action to Glasgow, Edinburgh and elsewhere,” he added.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We were the first administration in the UK to commit to lifting the public sector pay cap. Our pledge is still unmatched across the UK.”

A COSLA spokesman said: “We hope that our trade union colleagues will recognise that in the current financial climate and with the budget settlement we received, we are making a fair offer to all our employees.”