Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 17:11 UK

Arbitration hope in bins strike

A strike by bin collectors and street cleaners in Bristol could be called-off if workers vote to accept arbitration.

Almost 300 employees of refuse firm Sita are to hold meetings at three depots to decide whether to press on with their series of one-day walk outs.

If they accept the offer of binding arbitration, then they will return to work by 1000 BST.

However, rejection of the terms will mean Monday's strike goes ahead and an all-out stoppage starts from Wednesday.

Members of the Unite union have been in dispute with their employers after rejecting a pay increase of 2.75%.

'Extra resources'

Monday's strike would be the sixth one-day walk-out since the start of the dispute last month.

Union negotiators have been demanding a pay increase of 4%.

They are putting the arbitration offer to union members but are not giving a recommendation for it to be accepted.

A Bristol City Council spokesman said it was working hard to encourage both sides to resolve the dispute and is in talks between Sita management and Unite representatives.

He said: "Sita has brought in extra resources and are deploying extra crews to help clear the backload.

"In the light of this, the city council is continuing to advise residents to leave out all bins, waste and recycling for collection on the usual day.

"This now includes the organic food waste (brown bin), cardboard and green waste (green bin) services, which had been previously suspended."

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