STRIKE action involving 100 council workers has been called off at the last minute after a pay agreement was reached.

The union Unite said around 100 workers at Sandwell Council, who carry out building and maintenance duties, have called off a planned 14-date strike due to start on Monday (February 5) after reaching a pay deal with bosses.

The council’s carpenters, bricklayers, plasterers, roofers, glaziers, plumbers and painters and decorators were scheduled to begin 14 days of strike action throughout February and March starting from next week.

Following negotiations between Unite and Sandwell chief executive, Shokat Lal, an offer was put forward to pay workers an added £2,703.

The union has threatened to strike if the council does not pay the extra £2,703 at the end of February.

The union’s general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Congratulations to Sandwell Council’s building workers, who used their collective power to achieve this deal. Unite does what it says on the trade union tin and secures better jobs, pay and conditions for our members.”

Unite regional officer Lee Wiggetts-Clinton said: “Special credit must go to the Unite reps at Sandwell. Without their hard work and commitment, this pay victory would not have been possible.”

Unite had accused Sandwell Council of “disgraceful behaviour” after going back on a promise made in August to pay staff a market supplement of £2,900.

The council earlier commented that its ‘housing repair officers’ were part of a “vital service” ensuring that more than 28,000 council homes were maintained. The authority added that it ‘understood Unite’s concerns’ and would “continue to work with them to find a resolution” and hoped that strikes could be avoided.

The union said walk-outs would have taken place on February 5, 9, 12, 15, 19, 23 and 26 and March 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18 and 22.

Sandwell Council declined to comment.