COVENTRY City Council said it was ‘bitterly disappointed’ talks with the Unite union – in a bid to prevent the next two days of strike action by bin lorry drivers – did not take place today.
Negotiations between the council, Unite representatives and the independent mediation service ACAS were suggested before Christmas.
But local representatives from Unite told the council it would not take part in the talks involving ACAS until it had spoken to its membership.
The council says it could have been arranged in advance of today’s meeting and the council claims it could be a delaying tactic at a time when more and more disruption would be unfairly felt by Coventry residents.
Coventry City Council says it is writing to the regional representative of Unite following news of the requirement to speak to its members to include ACAS.
The council believes the planned strikes for tomorrow and Thursday (January 5 and 6) should be called off until this has been completed.
Coventry City Council added it remained committed to talking with all parties to resolve this situation and hoped the urgency in finding a solution is shared by all sides.
As a mitigation to the inevitable disruption the strike action will cause, six drop-off points are now open for residents to take their waste to. No appointment is necessary, and sites open 8am to 4.30pm seven days-a-week.
The sites are at War Memorial Park car park (main car park), Hearsall Common (off Beechwood Avenue), Cheylesmore car park (off New Union Street), Sowe Common car park, Wyken Slough (off Aldermans Green Road) – opening Thursday and Leicester Row car park – also opening Thursday.
People should make sure waste is bagged securely to avoid any spillages and double-bagging of waste is recommended. People are also advised to wear gloves when handling waste. After arriving at the sites people will be directed by the on-site team.
Height restrictions for vehicles are in place and any over 6ft 9in or 2.05m will not be admitted. Only bagged waste can be brought to the pop-up sites and no bulky items will be accepted.
The council has thanked the 11,000 residents who have used these sites in the first four days.
Anyone wishing to dispose of bulky items should go to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre (the tip) on London Road.
Appointments to go to the tip are needed and can be booked by visiting www.coventry.gov.uk/tip or by calling 08085 834333.