THE GMB union is calling for the council's negotiating team to be replaced and have announced a new series of strike dates.

From October 21, refuse workers will now walk out for five weeks, instead of a fortnight as announced last week.

The binmen are already on a two-week strike which is due to end on October 19.

The five weeks of the next industrial action starting two days later would mean residents facing seven weeks in total, up until November 25.

Speaking to The Argus, branch secretary Mark Turner said the union has "lost confidence" in the council's current negotiating team, and called for the chief executive of the council to stand down. 

Mr Turner said: "We call on the Greens - if they want to solve this, remove your current negotiating team and bring in another one that wants to negotiate and resolve this dreadful mess they've now created."

The news comes just hours after representatives from the GMB left talks after they claimed the council backtracked on an offer proposed in talks last week.

However, a council spokesperson said that no offer, formal or informal, was made in negotiations on Friday.

Mr Turner added that the new strike dates were regrettable but necessary.

He said: "We went into a meeting where we were expecting to further develop what we had talked about on Friday and button it all up today.

"In fact, we've had quite the opposite - it's got worse."

While he accepted some residents may be angry with the GMB for the extension of strike action, he said: "The people they should really be angry with are the council officers."

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.

The council have been approached for comment.

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