Tower Hamlets street cleaners and refuse workers are set for two-week long strike action amidst a pay dispute.

More than 200 workers have rejected the national pay offer of a flat rate increase of £1,925, according to Unite the Union.

The union claims the workers would be accepting real term pay cuts if they agree.

Strike action will take place from September 18 until October 1.

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Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, said: “Our members provide critical frontline council services.

"Despite the essential roles our members undertake their employer thinks it is acceptable to propose what amounts to, yet another real term pay cut, at a time when they increasingly can’t make ends meet. […] Unite will be providing members at Tower Hamlets with its complete support.”

Recent surveys conducted by Unite of its members who work in councils across England and Wales suggest that some workers have struggled to afford their utility bills, food and clothing, and rent/mortgage payments.

Workers are reported to be feeling disillusioned by the response they have received, with 71% of respondents not feeling valued by their employer and 26% of respondents considering leaving their jobs within the next six months.

Addressing the upcoming strikes, Unite regional officer Nick West said: “The proposed strike action will inevitably cause major disruption to bin collections and street cleaning services in Tower Hamlets.

"This dispute is a direct result of local government employers failing to value workers and failing to reward them for their hard work.”

Tower Hamlets Council said workers not participating in the strike will see their work reallocated in a bid to cover missed collections.

Executive mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “We value our frontline staff and know how hard they work."

He claimed the strike "is a national pay dispute and not limited to local issues".

“Naturally we are disappointed by the strike as keeping Tower Hamlets’ streets clean and litter free is our priority," Mr Rahman added.

"We apologise to our residents and businesses and want to assure them we are doing our best to maintain services throughout.”

The borough is one of 23 local authorities to be affected by industrial action in light of the pay dispute.