Page last updated at 06:19 GMT, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 07:19 UK

Walk-out hits waste collections

Refuse collections in parts of Cumbria are being disrupted by an indefinite strike by council staff.

Members of the Unite union who work for Copeland Borough Council began the industrial action on Tuesday in a row over working hours.

The authority said it had contingency plans, but warned that some collections would be suspended.

Union officials are in talks with the council over how to reduce working hours from up to 45 hours to 35 a week.

A council spokesman said: "We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the strike, and assure all customers that we are working hard to ensure that disruption to the service is kept to a minimum.

"We aim to collect black sacks, black bins, trade waste and clinical waste during the period of the strike.

"Garden waste collections, bulky waste collections and kerbside recycling collections will all be suspended for the duration of the strike."

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