RUBBISH tips will open later this week after a strike was suspended.

Planned industrial action by Veolia staff was expected to lead to the venues being closed through the festive period.

However, a service alert on the Veolia website stated that "planned industrial action was suspended".

The statement added: "Household Waste Recycling Centres in Merseyside and Halton will be open as usual over the festive period - only closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day."

This includes St Helens' recycling centres at Ravenhead on Burtonhead Road; Junction Lane, Newton-le-Willows and Tasker Terrace, Rainhill.

Tips will therefore be closed on Boxing Day but will then reopen between 8am and 5pm.

Strike action had been planned after members of Unite Union, employed by Veolia on household waste and recycling sites throughout Merseyside, voted to walk out.

The 180 workers were due to begin strike action at the 22 sites where they are employed.

The majority of the workers are paid £9.50 an hour, including those who have an HGV class two driving licence, with class one HGV drivers receiving £11.87 an hour.

Unite is seeking an increase of 50 pence an hour for the majority of the staff, increasing pay to £10 an hour, with class two HGV drivers being paid £12 an hour and class one drivers receiving £14.47 an hour.

As part of the pay claim, Unite expects the differentials to be maintained when the national minimum wage increases in April 2023.

Veolia had been prepared to offer a 20 pence an hour pay increase.