Jon Cruddas has approached ACAS to help bring the current dispute between Barking and Dagenham Council led by Cllr Rodwell and workers represented by the GMB union in the council's refuse collection service to an end.

The dispute is over the imposition of wage cuts to staff carrying out Health and Safety checks on vehicles.

Speaking to the Post, Jon Cruddas called on all parties to this week sit down with ACAS and hammer out a solution which restores a full service to all residents and avoids any more strikes.

Jon said: "This has not been the finest hour for Industrial relations in the Borough. It's hardly surprising that if you try and cut the wages of working people whose living standards have already fallen under the present government then a reaction is on the cards. Residents should not have to put up with this inability to find an agreement, which is why I am personally seeking ACAS involvement and calling on both sides to meet with ACAS and resolve matters in a professional and meaningful way. The levels of uncollected waste is becoming a very serious problem for the people of Dagenham and they want to see leadership and resolution, not a long drawn out war of attrition between the Council and the workforce, and therefore the residents"

"To this end I have contacted the head of ACAS Sir Brendan Barber for assistance"

He continued:

"I have become increasingly frustrated at the inability to sort out this out. I have met with the front line workers and GMB members on strike across the Borough and heard their concerns about reduced time to inspect their vehicles and cuts to their pay. I have been out on the trucks with them. I have also met with and heard the Council arguments. Most importantly I know that local residents want this resolved - I have been inundated by local residents who want this disagreement sorted out. It is the biggest issue concerning residents at present.

"So today I am imploring the unions and the council officers to take up this initiative and to go to ACAS this week and stay there until this strike is resolved - that is what the residents of this Borough want.

"I have written to both the Leader and Chief Executive of the Council as well the national leader of the GMB union Paul Kenny urging them to respond positively to this initiative."