Refuse workers could strike if proposed new shift patterns are introduced which would see bins collected close to 10pm in the city.
The Evening Express can reveal more than 100 refuse workers were brought into a meeting where they were shocked to learn of proposed changes which could require them to work late at night.
The most controversial option would see employees work either a morning shift starting at 6am or a late shift finishing at 9.48pm.
Another unpopular option outlined to staff was a plan to work five weekends in a row.
Unions have slammed the move and said they are prepared to follow the lead of workers in Angus, who took strike action over a move to introduce a near-identical shift pattern last month.
At the moment, the city’s refuse workers do a 7am to 3pm shift Monday to Friday. They also currently have the option to chose to work overtime at weekends.
A three-month consultation is now under way into the five different options – including one to introduce shifts finishing at 4.45pm and 6pm.
It is understood any changes would be introduced from April next year in a bid to make savings for the cash-strapped local authority.
A refuse worker at the council, who did not want to be identified, said: “It was a case of take this letter and there was a 25-minute meeting.
“We had the meeting and were told there would be a three-month consultation and they would get our feedback.
“The option that we think they will go on is option three – to finish shifts at 9.48pm.
“Nobody wants to do it.
“No one wants their bins done at that time of night. If you have got a new baby or an elderly person then the bins could make a lot of noise getting emptied.
“During the day you’re more aware of what’s going on.
“Doing bins in the winter months, it gets dark at the back of 4pm. It means you don’t have such a good view of what’s going on.
“We find it hard enough to get into some of the areas just now and can hardly get in because of parked cars.”
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The worker said he and colleagues would strike if the unpopular option was introduced.
He said: “We had a show of hands at the meeting to let them know that if it did go ahead what would happen and about 99.9% of people put their hands up.”
Angus refuse staff took to the picket lines in protest over a change in their shift patterns which would have also seen them required to work at night.
Council chiefs there defended the change, saying it would involve no job losses and would save £160,000 per year as well as removing around £2 million-worth of vehicles from its fleet.
The local authority and Unite the union reached an agreement to bring an immediate end to the industrial action last month.
John Boland, Unite regional officer, said union representatives are involved in the consultation.
He added: “We have seen what has happened in Angus when they tried to make this change and if necessary the same thing will happen in Aberdeen. We will go through the consultation process but ultimately, if it’s not something that’s acceptable, then we will take further action.”
Douglas Lumsden, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “At this stage it is just a consultation to get the views of our workforce. The results of that consultation will be in mind when we make a decision.”
SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said: “The administration must ensure they listen to staff and if savings can be made on agency spend then that should be the immediate priority.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “The Waste and Recycling Service has recently begun a project to review potential alternative shift patterns and ways of working for waste and recycling collection services.
“A staff briefing was held recently to provide information and advise those staff who may be directly affected.
“A 12-week informal consultation is now under way to provide staff with the opportunity to provide feedback on potential options or offer any suggestions they may have that meet with project objectives.
“No final decision has been made on the proposals.”