Waste will “pile up” in Edinburgh’s streets this month as refuse workers go on strike for nearly two weeks over pay, according to unions.
Waste, recycling, and street cleaning workers, according to Unite and the GMB, will stage a mass walkout during the “first wave” of industrial action.
The protest in the capital is scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 18, and end on Tuesday, August 30, the day after the Edinburgh International and Fringe festivals conclude.
The second wave of industrial action is being planned in Scotland’s other major cities, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Dundee, with school and nursery walkouts to follow next month.
Unite, the GMB, and Unison are in a pay dispute with council umbrella body Cosla, with the current offer of 2% described as “derisory.”
Following talks with the Scottish Government this week, council leaders will meet on Friday to discuss whether they can make an improved pay offer.
With hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting the city and infrastructure under pressure, the strike action in Edinburgh is intended to cause the most disruption possible during the festival.
“Waste will pile up during the Edinburgh festival unless a significantly improved pay offer for local government staff is tabled,” said GMB Scotland organiser Kirsten Muat.
“When visitors from all over the world ask why this is happening, the answer will be simple: our members are not willing to have local services delivered on the backs of the working poor.”
“Our key workers deserved to be properly valued, and with forecasts of double-digit inflation and eye-watering energy bills, they urgently require pay that addresses the cost of living crisis.”