Edinburgh council has drafted in a private refuse collecting firm to try to break a dispute with its workers over a single status pay deal.
Refuse collectors in the cleansing department in the Unite union began a ballot for strike action over proposals to change their pay and conditions last week.
These could leave some workers £60 or £70 a month worse off.
They have been working to rule since 25 June over the issue.
Workers at the Russell Road depot, who collect trade waste from businesses, did not receive the usual job sheets on Friday of last week.
The work had been given to a private company to ensure the city centre was clean for the major “Gathering” event of Scotland’s clans last Saturday.
The mood at the depot is hardening.
Workers are waiting outside until the last minute before they clock in.
One worker said, “Nobody wants to strike but they are leaving us with no choice.”
The strike ballot will run for two weeks.