Edinburgh bin strike: Fringe stars stage gala fundraiser to support workers’ strike fund

A gala comedy show is being staged to support Edinburgh’s striking refuse workers.

The scheduled line-up includes comedy stars such as Mark Nelson, Jason Byrne and Jo Caulfield
The scheduled line-up includes comedy stars such as Mark Nelson, Jason Byrne and Jo Caulfield

It takes place at the New Town Theatre, George Street, on Wednesday, August 24 - and features a number of top stand-ups from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Among the comedians scheduled to appear are Jo Caulfield. Jason Byrne, Mark Nelson, Mark Thomas and Susie McCabe.

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The gig come after members of the Unite and GMB unions walked out on Thursday morning after rejecting a 3.5 per cent pay offer made by local government umbrella organisation Cosla.

The strike is due to last until 5:00am on Tuesday, August 30.

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An improved pay offer which would give workers an average five per cent pay increase was tabled on Friday in a bid to avert further strike action.

Images of overflowing bins and rubbish scattered on the city’s streets have underlined the immediate impact of the industrial action at the height of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which has brought huge numbers back into the heart of the capital.

But workers have the support of a host of big names, who will be taking to the stage this week to raise funds for the official strike action.

Mark Thomas says “These are the workers who got us through Covid and now they are being told to take a real cut in their wages.

“It’s unacceptable and they deserve our support in fighting back.”

Tickets for the two-hour show are priced from £5 to £20.

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The show starts at 9:00pm.

City council leader Cammy Day has warned residents and businesses that disruption was inevitable as communal waste and individual waste bins may not be collected for the next two weeks.

He has written to the Deputy First Minister and called for an earlier meeting of Cosla to discuss a new pay offer.

Mr Day added: "None of us want strike action, but when we've got a Government failing to meet the demands of the workforce and Cosla leaders stretched for cash across every local authority in Scotland, we need them all to get around the table and find a solution."