STRIKE action by Somerset waste collection crews has been suspended for two weeks pending a union ballot.
Talks on July 11 between the Unite union and Suez UK – Somerset Council’s collections contractor – made progress and the union has agreed to ballot its membership on an improved pay offer.
The strike action that was planned to start on July 12 has been suspended pending the outcome of the ballot and all collections services should be running as normal this week.
Residents are asked to present their refuse, recycling and garden waste as usual.
The online garden waste form has been reinstated to take new subscriptions, renewals and requests for replacement garden waste bins. The council is also taking requests for container deliveries.
In the coming days it will be reinstating bulky waste collections.
The www.somerset.gov.uk/strike website will have the latest updates and advice.
Mickey Green, Somerset Council’s Executive Director for Climate and Place, said: “We’re very glad that there has been some progress and that this week’s strike action has been suspended.
“Any disruption to waste collections would have a major impact on residents, but we also appreciate that cost of living pressures are affecting everyone, including waste collection crews.
“We very much hope an agreement can be reached. It is in everyone’s interests for this to be resolved without industrial action.
“We now await the outcome of the ballot and any subsequent talks. We thank everyone for their patience.”