Birmingham refuse collectors await High Court judge delivering redundancy ruling

Updated: 

Refuse collectors fighting for jobs in the wake of a dispute which has led to piles of rubbish being left in Birmingham streets are waiting to hear whether a High Court judge will intervene.

Union leaders want Mr Justice Fraser to block redundancy moves by Labour-controlled Birmingham City Council.

The judge is due to deliver a ruling at 11am on Wednesday after analysing evidence at a two-day High Court hearing in London.

Mr Justice Fraser has been told how council bosses had outlined plans to make more than 100 redundancies earlier this year as part of a restructure of their waste and recycling service.

Unite lawyers said council bosses wanted to remove a "leading hand" role - and change a four-day, nine-hour shift pattern to a five-day, seven-hour arrangement.

Union leaders had raised health and safety concerns - saying "leading hands" had responsibilities which council bosses planned to re-allocate to lorry drivers.

Rubbish bags piled up in Birmingham
Rubbish bags piled up in Birmingham (Aaron Chown/PA)

The judge heard in July bin workers had begun industrial action and the dispute was continuing.

Unite had also taken legal action, arguing council bosses' redundancy plans were unfair and in breach of employment contracts.

Council bosses were contesting those claims.

Union lawyers want the judge to grant an injunction which would block redundancy plans pending a ruling on that underlying legal dispute.