Planned strikes by bin men and women across Somerset have been called off after workers voted to accept a revised pay offer.

The strikes were planned as part of a dispute over pay and between bin crews and the Somerset Council's collections contracting firm, SUEZ.

Members of the Unite union rejected an initial offer of a 4.85 per cent pay rise, and then a second offer of 8 per cent.

The industrial action was halted at the eleventh hour when negotiations were ongoing, and have now been called off after workers voted to accept a pay rise of 9 per cent.

Somerset Council welcomed the resolution. Mickey Green, Somerset Council’s Executive Director for Climate and Place, said: “We’re very glad that this dispute has been resolved without industrial action.

“Crews make more than 350,000 collections each week, in all weathers, helping us achieve our highest ever recycling rates. It’s a tough job and we know how valued these services are by our residents.”

Unite celebrated what they described as a win. nite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “When workers stand together in a union they win, as Suez’s Somerset workers have shown. Once again, Unite’s laser focus on improving jobs, pay and conditions has put money into the pockets of our members.”

Unite regional officer Tim Morris said: “This result shows why those looking to improve their wages and working lives should join Unite and get their colleagues to do the same.”