Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 17:42 UK

Refuse strike talks reach no deal

The council described the strike plans as "extremely disappointing"

Talks aimed at averting a strike by refuse collectors in Leeds have ended without an agreement being reached.

Union bosses and council chiefs have met to try to resolve a pay dispute.

The GMB, Unison and Unite unions say Leeds City Council plans to cut refuse collectors' pay by up to £6,000 per year from February 2011.

The strike action is set to start on Monday, but another "last-ditch" meeting will be held on Friday, a Unison spokesman said.

Tony Pearson, the union's regional organiser, said the council had given "no concrete proposals" to stop staff having their salaries cut.

'Indefinite' strike

He said: "We have said throughout this process that we are fully prepared to enter talks to resolve this issue in a fair way which will ensure the service is maintained and improved and that our members' homes and livelihoods are protected."

Mr Pearson added: "We will have to see what is on the table [on Friday]."

The unions announced that "indefinite" strike action would take place from 7 September after talks with the council broke down last week.

They said plans put forward by the council for a bonus scheme were unacceptable.

The city council has described the decision to take strike action as "extremely disappointing".

Council leader Richard Brett said the council was "committed to resolving this dispute with further discussions".

He said: "We firmly believe industrial action will not resolve the pay issue, it will also inconvenience the public and lead to loss of pay to those involved."

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