Socialist Worker

Hammersmith & Fulham council back down on sackings

Issue No. 2128

Hammersmith & Fulham council has been forced to withdraw a threat to sack workers if they failed to sign new contracts that include a raft of attacks on terms and conditions.

Workers in the Unison union at the council unanimously rejected the threat by the council to attack their terms and conditions of employment.

A huge branch meeting of over 450 Unison members held in Hammersmith town hall on Tuesday of last week voted unanimously against the council’s proposals, which include cuts in maternity leave, bereavement leave and compassionate leave and introduces compulsory Saturday, Sunday and evening working without any extra pay.

Noreen Morris, Unison branch secretary, said, “On the one hand the council tell its workforce of the importance of family-friendly policies. On the other hand they are making it more and more difficult for people with families to work for the council.

“Just yesterday I received a letter from a mother who has a disabled child and will have to give up work if these changes go through. Obviously she is worried sick about what is happening.”

As a result of union pressure the council has withdrawn the notice of dismissal from 4,283 staff.

Noreen said, “We are glad that the dismissal notice has been withdrawn but it is only a temporary measure.

“We are prepared to negotiate but if the council reinstates its dismissal notice or tries to impose worse terms and conditions then we will have no option but to take strike action.”

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Tue 18 Nov 2008, 19:32 GMT
Issue No. 2128
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