Threat of Manchester bin strikes over as Biffa workers accept improved pay offer

Planned refuse collection strikes by members of Unite, the UK's leading union, employed by Biffa on the outsourced Manchester council contract have been called off following an improved pay offer.

Strikes off

The strikes were due to begin next Tuesday (3 May), however following the announcement of industrial action, fresh negotiations were held and a vastly improved offer was made which Unite's members accepted overwhelmingly. The two year deal will see notable increases for all the workforce with the lowest paid seeing their pay increase by over 11 per cent.  The drivers who hold a HGV licence will see their pay increase by 22 per cent.

Great win

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "This is a great win for our members at Biffa. Their unity secured this improved pay increase.

 "At a time of punishing living costs, this deal further demonstrates Unite's total commitment to improving the pay and conditions of its members."

Further review

As part of the deal, Biffa has agreed to further review pay rates this autumn if inflation "stays at an exceptionally high level". Unite regional officer Tanya Sweeney said: "From the beginning Unite made it clear that this dispute could and should be resolved by Biffa returning to the negotiating table and making an offer that our members could accept. Once Biffa fully understood the strength of feeling among our members that is what occurred."

The GMB union was also involved in the dispute. ENDS Notes to editors:

Manchester facing prolonged bin strikes as Biffa workers back strike action in pay dispute For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland's leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.