Kirklees Council has admitted it will not be collecting thousands of bins during strike action which is set to last until Monday.

Tuesday saw the first day of industrial action which Unison says is about alleged racism, bullying and an inability by staff to take their holidays.

There were tense scenes at the Vine Street Depot early on Tuesday as police turned up with the dog unit as dozens of pickets showed up.

Later in the day it seemed there might have been a breakthrough with Kirklees saying: “The local authority and Unison met with the Joint Secretaries yesterday (Mon) to undertake a further conciliation exercise.

“As a result of these discussions, Unison agreed to take a proposal back to their members with a positive recommendation to accept.

Kirklees bin workers on the picket line. Photo by Kevin Larkin, Political Reporter for BBC Radio Leeds & Sunday Politics @kevin_larkin

“Both parties acknowledged that at that late stage, it would be logistically difficult to call off the planned industrial action for Tuesday.

“Unison will recommend the proposal at a meeting with their members which is likely to take place around lunchtime on Tuesday.”

However, the meeting at the Methodist Mission in Huddersfield town centre unanimously agreed to continue with the strike with Unison regional officer Gary Cleaver saying what was being offered didn’t come close to what was needed.

He said feelings had been running high given the presence of police, the dog unit and a security firm at the early morning picket.

Bin workers reject Kirklees Council peace deal with week-long strike set to continue

On Tuesday afternoon a spokesman for Kirklees Council, reflected the changing mood when he said: “Unfortunately the situation in Huddersfield and South Kirklees has changed from what we had expected, and as a result we are now unable to collect any bins during the strike despite our best efforts.

“We apologise for this. Bins missed will be collected on their next scheduled collection date – please do not report them as missed.

“If you live in North Kirklees, please put your bin out as normal, we have less crews on strike in that area and today managed 95% of the collections.”

Mick Lacey, 58, who has been a dustbin lorry driver for 28 years, said of the strike: “It’s been a long time coming. We have had to put up with bullying and racism.

Photos of Kirklees bin workers on the picket line. Photo by Kevin Larkin, Political Reporter for BBC Radio Leeds & Sunday Politics @kevin_larkin

“Some people have two years of holiday which they can’t take.

“Two men are expected to shift an average of 32 tonnes of rubbish and walk an average of 15 miles a day. It used to be only 18 tonnes!

“And if the rounds aren’t completed the harassment starts.”

His colleague, Nick Spivey, who has been working for 33 years for Kirklees, said: “You don’t expect this behaviour at Kirklees Council.

“It’s sad that we have had to do this and I feel sorry for the people of Huddersfield.

“There have been Health and Safely issues and enough is enough. The amount of bullying and intimidation that’s happening is unbelievable.”