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Brent Indefinite Strike

Monday, March 4, 2013

GMB calls indefinite strike against Brent council in dispute over job losses in highway contract outsourcing.

Brent has contempt for staff as it transfers them to non-existent jobs from which they will be made redundant and receiving terms well below those currently offered by the council.

GMB members employed as technical operatives in Brent Highway Operations based in Pyramid House have voted, unanimously, to strike indefinitely from 11th March 2013, in protest at plans to outsource their roles to the contractor Conway/Aecom.

Alan Costello, GMB regional officer, said "GMB challenged this proposed outsourcing from the outset. It was clear from the published figures that there could not possibly be jobs with Conway/Aecom for all affected employees and the service they provide to the citizens of Brent would be severely curtailed.

This was denied by the executive and directors. After much lobbying it now turns out that the GMB was 100% correct in its assumptions. Conway/Aecom does not have positions for 4 of the affected staff. The other 6 workers will be used mainly on a contract which has nothing to do with Brent.

These 6 workers whose main duties are gully cleansing and traffic sign erecting are being taken of the jobs they do for local people so council can save money. Citizens of the borough may well wish to increase insurance against flooding in their homes because the amount of gully cleaning will be seriously reduced.

It is also puzzling to the GMB why despite the loss of these employees there is no decrease in management costs. In fact the council has increased management costs to deal with this outsourcing.

Brent made an offer to redeploy the 4 staff who would not have had jobs with Conway/Aecom but only if the strike was called off. That clearly demonstrates the utter contempt Brent has for its staff. It is quite prepared to sell them to the highest bidder or TUPE them to non-existent jobs from which they will be made redundant and receive redundancy terms well below those currently offered by the council.

GMB has put forward a proposal to end the strike, a proposal of minimal cost to the council, certainly well below the sums paid to directors who have left the council during this administration. That proposal has not been accepted by the council and therefore the strike will go ahead.

GMB has indicated that we continue to negotiate with the council, but no invitation has so far been received."


Contact: Alan Costello Regional Officer or George Fraser, Brent convenor 07909 626022. GMB Press Office 07921 289 880 of 07974 251823

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