Aberdeen’s refuse collection staff and street sweepers are being threatened with fines if they smoke within or outside their own depots.
Unions say staff have been verbally told that anyone caught breaking new council rules on smoking will be issued by City Wardens with a £50 fixed penalty notice.
Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: “This policy is frankly ridiculous and has been imposed on our members without any consultation with the trade unions.
“We don’t believe that the council has the power to threaten staff with fines and fixed penalty notices, and we have asked them to clarify how they propose to do that legally.
“The council’s management and HR department didn’t discuss this with the unions because clearly we would have rejected the idea of fines out of hand, as well as pointing out that city wardens can only issue fines for unlawful parking and littering.
“Staff have been told that they can still smoke in their designated breaks, but the council has said they will not provide ashtrays or shelters, and that there is to be no smoking anywhere in an enclosed space. Bizarrely, the council says that also includes outside yards.
“It means that if council staff at the Kittybrewster depot want to have a smoke on their break, they will have to walk around 200 to 300 yards until they’re on the main road, smoke their cigarette, and then walk 200 to 300 yards back.
“This is clearly another example of the ‘us and them’ culture within the city council - we are not aware of any council managers who have been told that they will be subject to fixed penalty fines.”
For further information contact Unite Scotland regional officer Tommy Campbell on 07810 157920, or Unite Scotland Media & Communications Officer David Eyre on 07960 451631. Email firstname.lastname@example.org