By Rory Reynolds
TALKS aimed at resolving Edinburgh’s increasingly bitter bin dispute could see industrial action finally drawing to an end.
There was hope of a breakthrough tonight with a new deal on the table to be put to union members after what was described as “positive” discussions between workers and City of Edinburgh Council.
The month long row over pay between the Council and public workers union Unite has seen the city left littered with rubbish at the height of the tourist season.
Outside contractors drafted in for emergency clean up operations while council staff work to rule over proposals that could see wages drop from £18,000 to £12,000 for some.
Bu tonight Council Leader Jenny Dawe said she was “pleased with the outcome” of the latest round of talks.
She said: “I am pleased to announce the Unite union will recommend to its members that they return to a normal working week and we hope these recommendations will be acted on.
“The discussions will obviously be ongoing but we have had a very positive result today.
“I don’t feel we have given too much ground and I think both sides left the table satisfied.
“We won’t be seeing workers losing the big sums of money that have been suggested over the last month.”
Ms Dawe claimed she was hopeful the industrial action will be resolved by the time the world-famous Edinburgh Festival begins later this week.
She added: “Obviously it’s a big relief that the streets will be clean for our residents and visitors.
“I hope by the end of the week we will be seeing people back to normal working hours.
“The contingency measures taken have worked out really well and the trade waste department has dealt with the backlog that was filling up the streets.”
There was no immediate comment from the Unite union.
During the dispute there have been allegations of intimidation against contractors and sporadic acts of vandalism across the capital.
Today fears were also raised that Scotland’s biggest council, Glasgow, could also face problems.