By Spandan Manwatkar
An industrial dispute between Birmingham City Council and refuse workers regarding the new working plans has led the workers to go on strike until 1st of September.
A spokesperson for the council has revealed that the downgrading of supervisor jobs will save £5 million every year and modernise the service which will be of “high quality, value-for-money and reliable”.
According to the trade union Unite, the new plans affecting the working practices will leave more than 120 workers jobless and that workers who used to be paid £21,000 per year could face up to a £5,000 cut in their pay.
Refuse collectors began their strike to oppose the changes which resulted in uncollected rubbish left in the wheelie bins for weeks. The union has accused the Labour run council for being stuck on the conflict rather than finding a negotiation settlement, according to Birmingham Mail, and that they have already started issuing redundancy notices to workers.
However, the council have also stated that the workers have been offered numerous other options alternative to or similar to their current positions so they can stay within the refuse service, reported BBC.
Steve McCabe, the MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said, “I believe that both the council and Unite need to take a reasonable approach to the issues at hand and that more constructive talks need to take place.”
The situation worsened when people reported sighting rats and maggots near the overflowing rubbish. Pest controllers have warned that this is because such areas are the perfect eating and breeding ground for rodents and could cause a plague of giant rats, reported The Sun.
Abbas Hussain in Sparkhill whose business is affecting due to the pile of garbage said, “My customers…all of them are complaining every single day, we can’t come to your place, it’s quite stinky.”
The council was also criticised for mixing recycling waste with general waste to clear the collected rubbish to which a council spokeswoman said: “Regrettably, due to these exceptional circumstances, we have to combine waste streams, but this is very much a temporary measure.”