Refuse workers will stage a week-long walkout which will leave rubbish piled up across Brighton and Hove.

Hundreds of thousands of bin bags will be left uncollected as the entire workforce at the city council’s waste department goes on strike from Monday, November 9, to Sunday, November 15. No refuse will be picked up from any of the city’s 120,000 households.

The GMB union announced the industrial action yesterday after a ballot of members showed they were overwhelmingly in favour. Of the 76% who responded to a postal vote, 94% supported the walkout.

The action follows months of unsuccessful talks between the union and the council, which wants to make about 800 workers take pay cuts of up to £8,000 each to address equality issues.

The GMB said the council now had a week to come back with a better offer if it wanted to stop the strikes. It warned further action involving more staff was likely to follow.

GMB branch secretary Mark Turner said: “Our membership is determined to protect the terms and conditions of their employment and those of others within the council.”

The 300 CityClean binmen, street cleaners and mechanics will start their industrial action with a period of work to rule from November 5 before walking out the following Monday.

Among them will be Osei Frimpong, the street sweeper named public servant of the year by the council at a ceremony last month.

The strike will coincide with Remembrance Day events on Wednesday, November 11, and Sunday, November 15.

The council has proposed the cuts to address a long-standing issue because some unskilled workers receive higher pay than others in different departments.

CityClean staff believe their wages will be cut from the current rates, which average £19,000 a year, to be equivalent to teaching assistants, who earn less than £15,000. Leaked documents revealed they would be sacked if they did not accept the deal.

A second trade union, Unison, is involved in the pay dispute with the council on behalf of 3,500 members. It remains in talks but warned it too could move to industrial action which could close schools, libraries and other services.

It emerged yesterday the leaders of the opposition Labour and Green parties at the council held emergency meetings with union representatives in a bid to defuse the situation.

Labour’s Gill Mitchell and Green convenor Bill Randall will meet new council chief executive John Barradell today to propose solutions.

Mr Turner wants Mary Mears, the leader of the council’s Conservative cabinet, to become involved.

He said: “We’ve had meetings with Labour and the Greens which have been very positive for us. However, Mary Mears is not responding to emails or requests for a meeting.”

A spokesman said the council was disappointed about the GMB’s action.

He said: “There will, undoubtedly, be some disruption to collections over the days of the strike if it goes ahead. We ask for residents’ patience and remain hopeful we can resume talks with the GMB.”