Unite has said last week’s victory in the long running Birmingham bins dispute has protected a vital safety role. The union said that the city council had accepted the refuse workers’ case and restored the grade 3 jobs, which are responsible for safety at the rear of the refuse vehicles, leading to the suspension of the industrial action. Unite said the union and the city council would hold further talks at the conciliation service Acas to resolve outstanding issues. Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “We are very pleased that we have reached the stage where we can suspend the industrial action while we hold further talks about the future of the refuse service.” He added: “The council has addressed our members’ concerns, including the safeguarding of the grade 3 post that is vital to the safety at the rear of the refuse vehicles. Unite also welcomes the fact that our suspended rep is now returning to work.” The vehicle safety risks to the public and refuse workers has led to the introduction of specific new laws in in the US. Last year, New York State become the latest in the US to introduce a ‘slow down’ law to protect garbage workers. Slow down laws had already been introduced in 11 other states over the last decade in response to distracted driving that has led to sometimes fatal incidents for refuse collection workers.