Bin collection staff could go on strike after a breakdown in negotiations over back pay for drivers

Members of the Unison union at Harrow Borough Council depot voted unanimously to move forward with industrial action.

The dispute is over calls for back pay for drivers of up to £18,000 from ten years ago, and the union says members are frustrated by their treatment.

The also believe they have experienced an erosion of their terms and conditions through a probable breach of the collective agreement.

Branch secretary Gary Martin said: “I think our members have been treated appallingly.

“The people want to see services run well and the way this authority is being run like an upside down triangle, there's too much management.

“The people of Harrow want to see their services run well and they want services they can be proud off.

“Our members and this union have been ignored and we have had enough.”

Unison claim its members have been excluded from the job evaluation process to save council money and have not received the same consultation rights and treatment given to other employees in the Environment department.

Council leader Cllr Susan Hall said: “The claim for an extra £18,000 per driver is baseless and this threatened strike is needless. The council has made every effort to meet union concerns and we remain open for talks.

“It is important to remember this is not about protecting jobs - our drivers are already among the best paid in London.

"This strike will mean nothing but grief to our residents, many of whom might be grateful for a job that pays as well as the rates our drivers receive.

“We are working on emergency arrangements to try and avoid the prospect of rubbish bags piling up on the streets of Harrow.

“In the meantime my appeal to the moderate hard-working majority of staff at the central depot is: don’t be pushed into a manufactured dispute by people who don’t have your real interests at heart.”