LABOUR members affiliated to the UNITE Union left the room as opposition Tories attempted to get Warrington Borough Council to condemn the ongoing bin strike.
Rather than agreeing to a motion condemning the bin strike, the controlling Labour group pushed through a “watered-down” version, regretting the strike action.
Tory spokesperson Cllr. Kath Buckley said: “The Conservative group condemn the action by the Unite union. This strike action is affecting all residents of Warrington, but disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable. We regard the strike action as a wholly disproportionate way of applying pressure in a local dispute of terms and conditions. We call upon Unite to end its strike action and negotiate with the Council.”
Cllr Buckley added: “To this end last night at Warrington Full Council the Conservative Party put forward a motion that said:
“This Council resolves to:
1.Condemn the continuation of strike action by Unite after the national collective agreement on pay on 1st November 2023
2.Encourages UNITE to return to work immediately for the benefit of all our residents, public health and the environment
3.Encourages constructive joint collective local trade union discussions on any issues associated with local working arrangements
“The Labour group tabled an amendment which watered this motion down by replacing the word Condemn with Regret. The Conservative motion was voted against by Labour and others and the watered-down version was passed.
“However, in this process, more than 10 Labour Councillors had to leave the room as they were/are a member of or affiliated to UNITE. We are also calling on the Labour-run Council to ignore their trade union connections and be far more robust in the handling of this dispute, whilst at the same time increasing support for residents as they grapple with the daily consequences of the industrial action.
“We also raised the issue that the extra refuse collection sites are not open long enough to serve the whole of the community and yet again Warrington South is poorly served as there are no extra sites in the outlying areas.”