Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 15:40 UK

Glasgow strike threat suspended

bin bags
Edinburgh has already seen industrial action by refuse collectors

The threat of strike action by Glasgow cleansing staff has been lifted after a deal was reached on new shift patterns.

Unions and the city council have agreed on a phased introduction of new "four days on, four days off" rotas.

There are also guarantees that workers will routinely get their weekends off in December and January.

A strike due to start on 10 August involving sweepers, cleansing teams and park workers has been suspended for a week while staff are consulted.

The council has argued the new system will be more efficient and save £5m a year.

But representatives from GMB, Unison and Unite unions argued it would lead to a poor work-life balance.

If cleansing staff go on strike, bin men could refuse to cross picket lines, resulting in rubbish building up on the streets.

The deal agreed with the council would see a working group set up to monitor how the changes were working.

Binmen in Edinburgh have been taking part in industrial action for the past seven weeks in protest at proposed changes to pay structures, which could see their earnings cut from £18,000 a year to £12,000.

However, following a breakthrough in talks on Monday, hopes were high that the work-to-rule action could soon end.

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