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Industrial action by Serco bin workers has been called off after the public services provider agreed to suspend round changes that the GMB union claimed had forced employees to cut corners.

In a statement, Serco said it would suspend the changes made in November 2019, in order that a wider review can be completed.

The GMB said two rounds were removed from the Sandwell domestic waste contract and the work was put onto existing crews, which was on top of new build houses placed onto rounds over the last few years.

The union had said this decision had raised “serious concerns about health and safety” and that when it had advised members to make sure they follow the company’s safe working practices, “Serco hauled workers into management meetings about their performance levels".

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Annette Joyce for Serco said “Given the concerns raised by our employees and the unions about the changes to the collection rounds we have agreed to suspend the round changes made in November 2019.

“We have also agreed to the unions’ request to revisit work allocations which we will do over the next three months.”

Stuart Richards, GMB senior organiser said: “This is a big win for our members, for the general public and for common sense.

“Our members never wanted to take industrial action - but they didn’t want to put themselves and the people of Sandwell in danger by ignoring safety regulations.”