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Union attacks councils' jobs policy

Friday March 25th 2011

Union officials have claimed that a growing number of local authorities are dismissing staff before re-engaging them on worse pay and conditions.

Unite said a survey of more than 140,000 workers had revealed that an increasing number were losing their jobs, going on to part-time hours, having their pay cut or being forced to re-apply for their jobs on lower salaries.

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General secretary Len McCluskey said that the practice was "insidious" and highlighted how British workers are treated worse than their counterparts in other European countries.

"This simply couldn't happen in France or Spain or Germany," he said.

Unite staged a protest in Southampton, where it said the city council had decided to dismiss 4,300 workers and re-engage them on "massively reduced" terms.

The union warned it was considering an industrial action ballot and legal challenge against the council.

Workers who responded to the Unite survey spoke of having their pay cut by thousands of pounds a year and overtime rates slashed.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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