2009 Leeds refuse workers strike

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The effects of the strike seen in Headingley.

The 2009 Leeds refuse workers strike was an eleven-week industrial dispute in City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England between Leeds City Council and the city's binmen.[1]


The strike began on 7 September 2009[2] and was over the city council's plans to equalise the pay of men and women, which some workers argued would see considerable reductions in their wages.

Council reactions[edit]

On 27 October 2009, with the strike having lasted for eight weeks, the council began advertising for new refuse workers. The council said it was advertising for staff in order to meet its target of a fortnightly black bin collection.[3]


In November 2009 Leeds City Council put fresh proposals to union members which would see 20 staff getting a pay cut, but most workers receiving small increases. At a secret ballot of about 600 union members on Monday 23 November, 79% voted in favour of the proposals and refuse workers returned to work on the morning of Wednesday 25 November.[4] The first bin collections took place the following day.


  1. ^ Wainwright, Martin (21 October 2009). "Leeds bin strike continues after crews reject 'best and final' deal". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  2. ^ Robinson, Andrew (4 September 2009). "Leeds bin strike starts Monday and could last for weeks". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Bin strike council recruits staff". BBC News Online. BBC. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2009. 
  4. ^ "Refuse collectors return to work". BBC News. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009.