Coordinated strikes by Newham street cleaners and refuse workers is possible.

That's according to Unite, members of which in Newham will begin voting on industrial action today (October 11) amid a dispute over pay.

A Newham Council spokesperson said: "By law, during periods of strike action, staff are not paid and such a reduction in wages will only cause our street cleansing staff severe financial hardship, which is something we do not want to see them go through."

This comes after two sets of waste worker strikes took place in Newham from August 27 to September 3 and September 20 to October 3.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: "By failing to address the real financial hardship faced by council workers in Newham, council bosses risk allowing industrial action to spread across the borough.

"If these workers choose to escalate their campaign for pay justice, they have Unite's full support."

Newham Council said its offer to street cleansing staff includes the £2,229 national pay offer, 1.5 overtime rate for Monday to Saturday and double on Sunday, an £100 payment per day for working three days over the Christmas period and a retention payment of £2,000 for HGV drivers in 2023.

The spokesperson continued: "We want to support all our staff during the cost-of-living crisis and have made a fair offer to end the dispute with our waste and recycling service."

Unite lead officer, Onay Kasab, called on Newham councillors to declare the cost of providing the services during the refuse strike.

He said: "Unite members at Coventry City Council employed in the refuse service took strike action for a period of nearly eight months.

"This cost the council in excess of £4 million and possibly more when the council chose to attempt to break the strike rather than negotiate."

Newham Council added: "Ahead of the ballot, we are talking to our staff about what strike action will mean and importantly about the offer for increasing pay that is currently available to them.

"We want Unite to come back to the table and discuss the fair offer we have made. Currently we have talks planned for October 12 facilitated by ACAS."