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Despite completely made-up media reports of 100 strikers returning to work, resolve amongst Leeds refuse and street cleaning workers remains high going into the tenth week of all-out strike action. They are fighting council plans to cut their wages by as much as a third, up to £4,500 a year, supposedly in the name of equal pay.

Alistair Tice

For the first time since the strike started, the joint Tory and Lib-Dem council leaders along with senior council officials actually attended talks with the trade unions.

Tony Pearson, Unison regional officer said: “It’s astounding that you can have the largest strike in Yorkshire since the miners’ strike and the council hasn’t wanted to involve itself directly in the negotiations until now.”

Rumour is that progress is being made in relation to the impossible productivity targets tied to the last offer that was rejected by 92% of members. The strike action has forced the council to concede negotiations, come up with more money and drop their threats of privatisation of the bin service. What’s already been won on the picket line must not be lost in the civic hall. Any revised ‘deal’ will have to go before a mass meeting.

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