INDUSTRIAL action by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's refuse collectors could soon be coming to an end, thanks to the intervention of Redcar MP Mo Mowlam.

The MP has come up with a proposal which is a last-ditch attempt to solve the situation before today's deadline for 80 workers to accept new working conditions or face the sack.

At a meeting of the council's policy and resources committee yesterday, members agreed to adjourn discussions until this morning, to give the unions, who met later yesterday afternoon, chance to discuss the MP's proposals.

At the meeting, the council's chief executive, Colin Moore, said: "This is a very delicate moment and one wants to ensure the trade unions can consider a settlement without any comment which may dissuade them otherwise."

Last night, the council and the unions were not prepared to make a comment until after today's crucial meeting. A spokesman for Dr Mowlam also declined to comment.

The dispute began when the council issued the refuse collectors with termination of employment notices and offered new working patterns, which would involve evening work.