WARRINGTON Borough Council has been unsuccessful in appealing to the High Court to end the ongoing bin strikes.

Arguments were put forward at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this week, with the judge ruling in favour of the striking refuse collectors.

Warrington Borough Council took the trade union Unite to court, claiming that the conditions the strikes were continuing were different to the issues that union members voted to strike over.

Warrington Guardian: Bins have not been regularly collected since October 3Bins have not been regularly collected since October 3 (Image: Newsquest)

However, Mrs Justice Eady refused the council's application on Friday, meaning that strike action can continue.

One of the items raised by the council was the fact that workers on strike wanted assurances from the council that they would still accrue holiday pay while taking part in the walkouts.

Comments from Mrs Justice Eady's legal conclusions are as follows: "I do not consider that raising the question of holiday accrual for those involved in the strike action, or the issues relating to agency workers who did not cross the picket line at the depot, demonstrates that the defendant was in some way pursuing a different dispute.

"Equally, I do not see the narrowing down of the dispute resolution payment (from all workers, to only those who had been involved in the industrial action) to somehow signify that the defendant was pursuing a different dispute: this was again something sought in order to bring to an end the industrial action that had been taking place in relation to the continuing dispute about the 2023/24 pay deal."

She added: "I find that it is most likely that, after a trial, the defendant would succeed in showing that it had called for industrial action in relation to the dispute identified on the ballot paper of June 2023.

"It was not required to call out all those balloted and it is entirely understandable why it would focus on the workplace where it had the highest number and density of members, with maximum impact.

"The negotiations it then entered into might not have precisely mirrored the NJC claim - although there were some points of overlap – but that is entirely explicable taken in the context of an attempt to resolve a trade dispute which has led to strike action."

The judge continues: "The limited negotiations that have taken place since 1 November 2023 have to be seen against this background.

"To the degree that there is yet further focus on the particular workers who are currently on strike, that is understandable: both sides would wish to see an end to the industrial action; it does not mean that action has been taken for some other purpose."

Regarding the council's application for an injunction, it was concluded: "In considering this issue, I recognise the impact that this must have on those living, working, and running businesses in Warrington.

"I also acknowledge the very real costs and difficulties faced by the claimant. At the same time, however, I must include in the balance the rights of the defendant and its members.

"Weighing the balance of convenience in the light of all these factors, I do not find that this is such an exceptional case as to warrant the grant of an injunction.

"For all these reasons, I refuse this application."