THE union representing striking bin strike workers in Warrington has hit back at the council ahead of a High Court hearing.

It comes after Warrington Borough Council says its case will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in a bid to bring crippling bin strikes to an end.

Members of the Unite union have been taking industrial action since early October in a dispute over pay, with this stretching into December.

The council says that Unite plans to extend this action up to Christmas Eve, and although this has not yet been confirmed by Unite, it has issued a response to the council’s statement this morning, Friday.

Unite regional officer Brian Troake said: “It is disappointing that a Labour council has resorted to using Tory anti-trade union law to try and defeat the legitimate claims of their own workforce, who are suffering from years of real-term pay cuts.

“Unite will not stand back from defending our members, whether that be in the courts, in the workplace or on the picket line, and we will do so on Tuesday in the High Court.

“This dispute will not be resolved by wasting taxpayers' money on costly legal challenges.

“The best way forward is for Warrington Borough Council to get back round the negotiating table with Unite to find a solution that addresses our members’ entirely justified pay concerns.”

While Unite says that the council is dithering and delaying an agreement to end the ongoing action, the council wants strikes cancelled immediately, citing a national agreed deal.

The current fourth round of strikes is due to end on December 4, but a new round could then be called from December 5 to Christmas Eve.

Before then, the council hopes a High Court ruling on Tuesday could force staff to go back to work.

A spokesman said: "We continue to pursue the legal options available to us and have been in constant liaison with our Solicitors.

"We have again asked Unite for the strikes to be cancelled immediately, but at this point, the decision has been taken by their members to continue.

"We are also aware that Unite has stated its intention to conduct another period of strike action from December 5 until December 24.

"It is therefore more important than ever that we continue to pursue legal action to stop any further strikes.

"To that end, we have commenced legal proceedings in the High Court ,and our case will be heard on Tuesday, November 28, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

"Notwithstanding the legal action we are pursuing, we remain fully committed to discussing and listening to the concerns of all of our trade unions locally through our proper channels.

"This has been and always will be the case."