Refuse collectors to ballot on strike action

Workers on a refuse collection

Workers on a refuse collection

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BIN men across Fife will be formally balloted on possible strike action.

The dispute centres on changes Fife Council wants to make to employees’ working hours, including the implementation of a back-shift.

The Unite union says its environmental service members are wholly against the proposal, while the authority claims that a two-shift system would save around £700,000 a year.

Unite regional organiser Richard Whyte said: “Our members are crystal clear that working a two-shift system of day-shift and back-shift to collect bins is a daft idea.

“Who wants bin lorries running about their streets at eight o’clock at night?

“Who wants to work a back-shift lifting bins when the work is best done through the day?”

Mr Whyte said a consultative ballot held recently showed over 80 per cent support for strike over the issue.

Dr Bob McLellan, head of the council’s transportation environmental services, said that the proposals as put forward by the council did not require any job losses.

He added: “In addition, as part of the consultation on the possibility of introducing these proposals, more than 90 per cent of the Fife residents, who were asked, were happy with evening collections.

“In conclusion, we await formal communication from the trade unions before any further comment can be made.”

A formal strike ballot will now follow.