BIN men in Sandwell have voted to take industrial action which could lead to over flowing wheelie-bins and household rubbish being uncollected.

But the workers’ union has said its members have stopped short of an all-out strike and will instead work to rule to protest their fears over safety.

The ballot for action comes after the private contractor Serco, which runs the service for the council, cut two rounds from the Sandwell’s domestic waste collection.

Darren James, GMB Branch Secretary speaking after the vote was announced, said bin men were having to cut corners to avoid an extra two to three hours on top of their normal working day.

He said: “We don’t want to go on strike because we don’t want to inconvenience the public

“The change to the number of rounds  means our members will have to rush to get their work done, they will have to virtually run to get the rounds finished.”

“That put’s staff at risk and members of the public as well.

“During the work to rule we will ensure that all health safety guidance is followed and that staff taken all their correct breaks and there will be an overtime ban.”

The GMB has said it wants the rounds reinstated while a time and motion study is carried out to see how they can be better managed.

Sandwell Council has said the dispute is between the company and the refuse collectors.

Cabinet member Councillor Maria Crompton said: “We hope that Serco, its staff and unions will be able to resolve the dispute quickly and reach an amicable agreement without further disruption to residents.”

Union officials were set to meet with the company and independent arbitrators, ACAS, today (Wednesday) to try to resolve the dispute.

If those talks fail then bin men will meet tomorrow to set a date for when the work to rule will begin.

Serco has been contacted for  comment.