Dundee residents should brace themselves for a “summer of chaos” after environmental staff voted “emphatically” for industrial action – meaning bins could go two weeks without being collected.
Council waste sites at Riverside and Baldovie will also be affected, with no staff to operate them and keep them open.
Union bosses said the strike action was being taken to have “the greatest impact on service possible”.
Unite the Union confirmed that more than 500 workers will go on strike following two ballots of Dundee City Council’s construction and environmental services departments.
More than 95% of those balloted “emphatically” supported industrial action on a 68% turnout.
Strike action and an overtime ban will start on July 1, with two weeks of strike action and continuous action short of a strike – effectively an overtime ban – to get under way.
Unite said that thereafter strike action will take place every Monday and Tuesday “until further notice”.
Unite has also confirmed it will ballot hundreds more of its membership in the parks, leisure and culture and housing departments.
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Unite shop steward George Barr said: “No bins will be emptied or streets swept for two weeks. There will be chaos.
“We are upset and disappointed that we have been forced to take this action but we feel we had no choice.
“This action is intended to have the biggest impact possible on services.”
He added: “It will mean that bins will be overflowing and the streets will be left unswept and dirty but we have to get the council to sit up and take notice.”
The union said it had been forced to take action to “safeguard” working conditions.
Council ‘willing to listen and engage’
Councillor Anne Rendall, convener of the council’s neighbourhood services, said: “We continue to be proactive in our efforts to reach a way forward which will avoid the need for industrial action and will keep the channels of communication open with the trade unions and our workforce.
“As we have consistently said, this policy is not about compulsory redundancies, nor is it about any changes to staff contracts.
“Our commitment to avoiding compulsory job losses is as strong as ever.
“Instead it is about allowing the council to change, modernise and redesign services to meet citizens’ future needs and deal with financial challenges.
“Those challenges have been significant – we have been required to make savings of more than £65 million since 2016 – and look likely to continue.
“Staff and their trade union representatives have a vital role to play in shaping the necessary changes.
“We have offered a way forward and continue to be willing to listen and engage with constructive proposals from the trade unions.”
She added: “I really hope that officers and unions can get back round the table and talk this through to avoid industrial action which would affect the citizens of Dundee.”