by Shaun Milne
A WORKER drafted in to help beat Edinburgh’s bitter bin dispute has quit after being attacked at the weekend – and left unable to walk.
Police are probing claims the 30-year-old man was called a “scab” and set upon by two burly men in the city’s Market Street on Saturday night.
The victim – who works for Assist Recruitment – told police he was on an evening shift when stopped by two passers-by looking for directions.
He led the men, who smelled of drink, to the Scotsman Steps to show them the way.
But he was bundled to the ground and badly beaten.
The man was stamped upon, suffering injuries to his knee, bruising to his stomach and other wounds.
He was evacuated back to the depot by colleagues but initially refused hospital treatment.
It was only when he was unable to put any weight on his legs or walk the next day that he went for medical attention.
He is now understood to have quit his job. One eyewitness said: “As he was showing them the way to go the lads just tore into him.
“They stood on him, calling him a scab and using really abusive language.
“The boy who hit him was a big, strapping lad – he was really shaken up by it.
“They hurt him so bad he was sick with the pain.”
The brutal assault came just hours after council bin staff held a mass meeting at Easter Road Stadium about the three and a half month long dispute.
Tempers are said to have flared at the meeting about the strategy of the union leaders after council chiefs drafted in outside strike busters.
But one private worker said it could get worse.
He said: “We’ve had abuse since we started – but this is the first time there has been violence.
“We’ve had people spitting at us, shouting at us. It’s pretty shocking.
“But what if they had a blade on them?”
Lothian and Borders Police confirmed they were hunting the attackers.
Both were described as stocky, aged between 30 and 40 years old, with one wearing a grey and blue top.
A spokesman said: “Officers are keen to trace two males seen walking up the Scotsman Steps shortly after the incident at 7.20pm.”