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Mears Brighton Racecourse Protest

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

GMB Protest At Brighton Racecourse On August 19th As Part Of Dispute With Housing Contractor Mears

Mears Mr Long has not rescinded the notice of 30th July in line with his recent conciliatory statement and until he does this dispute will escalate says GMB.

GMB is to hold a protest demonstration outside Brighton Racecourse on the 19th August from 11.30 onwards as part of the dispute with Brighton housing contractor Mears.

Earlier this week GMB announced that members employed by the company are moving closer to a dispute over threats to impose unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment and to withdraw from agreement for the union to represent members.

Mears are sponsoring a race day and holding a corporate event at Brighton Racecourse on 19th August. GMB members with flags and banners will hand out leaflets to race goers explaining the details of the dispute with the company.

In response to GMB announcing the looming dispute Mears executive director Alan Long told local media “We do have a recognition agreement with unions in Brighton and I would emphasise that we do want to continue our relationship.” However GMB has received no communication rescinding company letter of 30th July instigating the 12 months termination clause in the agreement.

Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary, said “It would appear that there is a different approach to trade union relations between local and senior management in Mears. The company has not rescinded the formal notice of 30th July so the value of the statement by Mr Long the senior manager is not worth a lot until the notice is rescinded.

Locally this issue has come about with the failure of local management to simply adhere and abide by the content and spirit of the current agreement. Because GMB dared to raise the issue they opted to unilaterally implement detrimentally changes. These would place our members at even more of a disadvantage with regard to negotiations over pay and their terms and conditions, together with restricting even further their rights to union representation.

GMB would welcome talks with management outside of the Brighton branch as we have little confidence in either their ability or fairness of the local team to settle this dispute. We have made it clear that those talks cannot take place whilst the union members face the threat union rights being removed. If and when that letter is rescinded we will happily sit down with a senior management team to discuss Mears adherence to the current agreement and the benefits that doing so can bring to both the company, unions and staff.

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser, said “Mears clients, local councillors and politicians have been informed of our concerns. GMB has received a tremendous amount of cross party and public support in condemnation of Mears actions.

Hopefully we will now get a letter from Mr Long rescinding the notice of 30th July in line with his recent conciliatory statement in the local media. Of course if that's not the company's intention then this dispute will escalate over the coming months.”


Contact:  Mark Turner GMB Branch Secretary 07860787973 or Gary Palmer GMB Organiser 07552 165950 or 01273 570126 or GMB press office 07921 289880


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