INSTEAD of a planned 48-hour strike which was due to start today (January 21) binmen have been out on Bromley’s streets trying to do as many of today’s collections as possible.

The Veolia Environmental Services workers, had been set to walk out for 48 hours after an agreement for four fired workers to return to work collapsed.

But it has now been patched up and the crews, which collect rubbish on behalf of Bromley Council, are working as normal.

This is the second time in a month the union has called off strike action. It had originally planned to hold a series of strikes to impact on the Christmas collections but these were averted after crunch talks between Unite and Veolia Environmental Services hammered out a deal.

The issue for today’s planned strike was over whether the four fired men could return to work on the Bromley Council contract.

They were fired last October for breaching their contract by removing unauthorised waste including garden waste and car seats.

Portfolio holder for the environment Councillor Colin Smith said: “I know all Bromley residents will be extremely pleased to learn Unite has reviewed its position and cancelled this needlessly threatened action.

“I am particularly grateful to all the hard working, honest bin crews out there, out there fighting through the foul weather conditions on the ground instead, for helping to bring this matter to a sensible conclusion.

“Please spare a thought for them if they can’t reach your bins today and do follow updates on the council’s website as to when they will return should your collections not prove possible”

And a Veolia spokesman said: “We continue to make progress in negotiations with Unite and the four employees about alternative working options.”