Bromley council workers fighting to retain the national pay and conditions agreement have been threatened with the sack – unless they sign an inferior local contract by Tuesday 23 April.
The threat to more than 500 employees made by the Tory-controlled council’s chief executive Doug Patterson has been branded as “blackmail” by Unite, the country’s largest union.
Onay Kasab, Unite regional officer, said: “While the majority of the workforce has accepted the new local contracts under duress, more than 500 workers don’t want to be bullied into accepting inferior contracts which slash pay and conditions.
“The threat to sack these workers by the close of play on Tuesday (23 April) unless they sign the new contracts (or face the so-called ‘dismissal and re-engagement’ process) smacks of blackmail.
“Workers should not be penalised for valiantly upholding the principle and reality of agreements negotiated nationally.
“We call on the council to engage constructively in consultations with Unite to avoid redundancies and not resort to these hardline tactics which mitigate against achieving a fair and equable settlement.”
The union is concerned that the new contracts will hit council services hard and plunge an already low paid workforce into poverty, with dire consequences for the local economy.
Unite fears that, in the long-term, the council intends to adopt an ‘easyCouncil’ model, by slashing the workforce to just 300 and outsourcing all of its services.
For further information contact Onay Kasab, Unite regional officer on 07771818637 and/or Shaun Noble, senior communications officer on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.