Edinburgh waste and street cleaning workers will strike during the festival after a pay offer was blasted as "derisory". 

Trade union leaders announced the first wave of industrial action after workers rejected a two per cent pay offer from Cosla, the council umbrella body.

Unite the union said around 250 of its members will walk out in Edinburgh between August 18 and 30. It will coincide with the end of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which will take over the city until August 29. 

Cosla says it is unable to offer more without extra funding from the Scottish Government and it held talks with ministers on Wednesday.

Unite is expected to announce the "second wave" of action once strike dates are finalised for other councils. This will hit Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow.

It hopes this coordinated campaign will persuade the Scottish Government and Cosla to make an improved pay offer. 

Strike action in schools across Scotland, meanwhile, is expected to begin in early September.

READ MORE: Council leaders say Scots Gov must stump up more money to stop strikes and school closures

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members can’t tolerate derisory pay offers any longer from Cosla or the Scottish Government who ultimately control the purse strings.

"We believe the public of Edinburgh and across Scotland will support our members in taking this stand because no worker should be forced to accept a 'take it or leave it' real terms pay cut.

"Our members simply have no choice but to take strike action in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite’s industrial officer, added: “Unite’s members in Edinburgh are now set to take strike action in a matter of days and this will severely impact the Edinburgh International and Fringe festivals.

"The blame for this situation lies squarely with Cosla and the Scottish Government who have continued to undervalue and treat council workers with contempt.

"Professional and hard-working people who turned up to work throughout the pandemic are being told to take a brutal real terms pay cut.

"It’s a shocking example of how those in power are now completely out of touch with working people in this country.”

Earlier, Johanna Baxter, Unison Scotland’s head of local government, said: “Cosla leaders and the Scottish Government need to understand the seriousness of this situation.

"The joint trade unions who represent local government workers have had extensive discussions to plan and co-ordinate industrial action cross Scotland.

"If council leaders do not substantially improve their pay offer for local government workers Unison, along with Unite and the GMB, will be notifying employers in the coming days of planned long-term disruptive strike action.

"We have already written to Cosla to warn them that the trade unions have between them legal mandates to disrupt the operation of over 1,200 schools across 16 local authorities and the waste/recycling services across 25 local authorities in Scotland.

"They have done little to try and engage with us, even though we stand ready to talk to them.

"The last thing Unison members want to do is strike. But that’s what we will do unless a substantially improved offer is on the table after tomorrow’s meeting.”