LABOUR is calling on the Green Party to appoint an independent mediator to help resolve the ongoing bin strike.

Piles of rubbish continue to appear on the streets of Brighton and Hove as the strike reaches the one-week mark.

A ballot by the GMB union showed that 100 per cent of the members who voted were in favour of the walk out, which began on Tuesday, October 5.

As a result, Brighton’s Cityclean, recycling, commercial waste and HGV drivers will be on strike for two-weeks.

The strike was triggered by a dispute over pay and working conditions.

GMB are calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to settle an ongoing dispute around unilateral imposed daily changes and removal of drivers from long standing rounds.

Labour highlighted the role of a senior industrial relations expert who helped avoid strike action at Cityclean in autumn 2019.

In a statement, Labour said that same expert has indicated he may be available to help again.

“Labour are calling upon on the Green administration to get in touch with him as a matter of urgency and ask for his assistance to resolve the current dispute,” a spokeswoman said.

“Labour is clear that when industrial disputes reach an impasse it can be really beneficial to bring in some independent and objective advice and expertise.

“With the bin strike having been ongoing for almost a week now, and rubbish and recycling piling up on the streets of Brighton and Hove with residents suffering, Labour are keen to find a solution to end the dispute.”

On Friday, the GMB union met with Green Party councillors again to discuss the ongoing dispute.

Deputy leader of the council and Green Party councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide Hannah Clare said the meeting was “productive” and another meeting had been agreed for early this week.

Councillor John Allcock, co-leader of the opposition, said he is “keen to help bring an end to this” that is having such a “detrimental effect on our residents and our city’s reputation”.

“The previous Labour administration succeeded in avoiding strike action by keeping lines of communication open, negotiating and when necessary bringing in an independent mediator to help resolve disputes,” he said.

“This is what we are calling on the Green administration to do now. Bring in an independent expert who has the trust and respect of both parties to help end the strike in the interests of residents.”

The GMB union says the leader and chief executive of the council must “stop burying their heads in the sand and take notice of the seriousness of the dispute”.

The strike is due to be the first of a number of walk outs.

Branch secretary Mark Turner previously said: “I am sure the council will want people to believe that this is just the GMB union and its members causing disruption once again, but the truth is that this avoidable dispute is completely as of a result of the councils own making.

“They have been told time and time again about the service issues and detriment to our members health and well-being resulting around tinkering with well-established rounds and moving of HGV drivers outside of their own council formal procedures, yet they ignored our members and workplace reps’ complaints allowing it to go on anyway.”

Gary Palmer, GMB regional organiser, said the council has had “plenty of time” to resolve the issue.

The council, who were given a two-week grace period before the strikes, previously stated its “continuous commitment” to work with the trade unions and staff to resolve the dispute and “provide a good service to residents”.

A council spokesman said Covid-19 had a “detrimental impact on the health of Cityclean staff”.

“The country also now faces a national shortage of HGV drivers due mainly to EU HGV drivers no longer being able to obtain visas to work in the UK,” he said.

“Combined, we know these factors have created pressure within the Cityclean service and we thank all Cityclean staff who have continued to work incredibly hard in these challenging and unprecedented times.”