A long-running dispute between HGV drivers and employer Coventry council looks unlikely to be settled soon after they voted to renew their strike mandate and continue industrial action into the summer.

The Unite union said 100% of the drivers voted to continue striking over what it described as low pay and a refusal by the council to pay the waste collectors the market rate.

However, the council said it was committed to talks in order to resolve the dispute.

Strikes among around 70 drivers began in January, with the union saying the basic pay rate was just £22,183: “far below the pay workers receive in the private sector and well below pay rates of neighbouring councils,” it added.

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Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “These workers are standing firm in their fight for the rate for the job. They have their union’s backing all the way.

“The truth is that Coventry council is squandering millions in a failed attempt to break the strike, money that would be far better spent addressing low pay in this workforce and supporting local people through the cost of living crisis.”

A spokesman for the council said it was disappointed by the union’s decision to ballot its members again and that it had already offered to pay all drivers no less than £27,393.

He said it had also offered a £4,000 tax-free payment to all staff in order to buy out existing working arrangements; a commitment to train 20 collectors to be HGV drivers and a £500 retention payment should driver turnover hit 15%.

The spokesman added: “We have done our best to mitigate the impact on our residents this action has caused since the start of this year while offering what we believe are generous and fair offers that remain on the table.”