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Mon, Jul 15, 2024

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Local Agreement Ends Tower Hamlets Strike

Tower Hamlets Council has announced that the waste service workers and street cleaners are set to return to work after an agreement was reached to end the pay dispute with Unite the Union. The strike, which had persisted for up to four weeks, was initially part of a national pay dispute being negotiated by the union. However, mounting concerns over the safety hazards posed by accumulating refuse led to a crucial intervention by the borough's Fire Commander.

In response to the safety concerns, private waste contractors were temporarily employed to alleviate the backlog of waste collection and street cleaning. While discussions with Unite the Union were ongoing, local negotiations began in an effort to find a resolution that could bring an end to the strike.

Lutfur Rahman, Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, expressed his gratitude to all parties involved in reaching this agreement and extended his appreciation to residents for their patience during the strike. He emphasized the importance of a local solution, given the impasse in the national pay dispute.

"We value our refuse staff and we have listened to their concerns to see how we can work constructively and collaboratively to resolve this dispute," said Rahman. "Together, we will clear backlogged refuse and clean our streets as quickly as possible."

Unite the Union's Tower Hamlets members in the waste service voted to end the strike, accepting conditions offered by the council. These conditions align the terms and conditions of staff who joined the council in 2020 with those of other council staff. This local agreement aims to ensure the efficient and safe continuation of waste collection and street cleaning services in Tower Hamlets.

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