The talks between Leeds City Council and the trade unions (Unite, GMB, Unison) have failed. About what you’d expect when they are the responsibility of a Liberal Democrat leader of a Tory/Lib Dem council.
The trade unions have been trying to have a sensible discussion with Leeds City Council as to how to resolve the proposed pay cuts which the council is trying to impose on bin workers as a result of the court rulings to do with the different pay levels between men and women doing similar jobs. Led by Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Richard Brett, the Tory/Lib Dem council has been obstructive every step of the way.The council is proposing massive£6,000 per year pay cuts for the hard working staff in the refuse and street cleaning departments.
Bill Chard, organiser for the GMB explained: “There seems to be a complete lack of understanding and basic decency on behalf of the leadership of the council and their highly paid managers. I cannot comprehend why they believe such huge cuts of this magnitude would be acceptable to our members. This strike will cause mayhem in Leeds and they must take the blame.
“Our members take this action out of desperation; they know however they juggle their home finances they will not be able to pay their household bills. This situation has been hanging over their families for over 12 months, it is intolerable. I hope that council leader Richard Brett can live with his conscience.”
A bin strike won’t be good for the people of Leeds and is likely to cause us all considerable inconvenience. But the Tories and Lib Dems should remember that Leeds folk are made of strong stuff and they won’t take kindly to a handful of well-paid councillors trying to cut the pay of workers who provide us with essential services.