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Email reveals how Barry town council forcing cemetery staff to change contract

 

A leaked email has revealed how Barry town council is forcing cemetery workers to accept contract changes that could spark a strike.

Staff working at Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery were told they must work later in the evening over the summer.

Trade union GMB, representing the workers, said this was unnecessary and would make their working conditions worse.

GMB claimed the town council was using the controversial ‘fire and rehire’ practice, which the town council’s clerk “categorically denied” last week.

However, an email which appears to be from the town clerk sent to the cemetery workers shows how the council is now issuing 12 weeks notice. The clerk was asked to comment.

The email said: “The only possible way forward now to reach a conclusion on the matter is for me to serve the 12 weeks notice of contractual change to staff without any incentive attached.

“It is planned that this will be served by May 14, meaning the contractual change will come into effect from August 6.”

Flower

The fire and rehire practice — where employers force staff to accept contracts on worse conditions — caused controversy earlier this year as British Gas sacked hundreds of workers.

Mark Drakeford, the first minister, slammed the practice as “unacceptable” last week, calling for changes to law to ban the controversial practice.

GMB is now asking for a meeting with the leader of the town council, Bronwen Brooks. The union will ask her to overrule the decision to force cemetery workers to change their contracts. GMB is also balloting its members at the cemetery on taking industrial action.

The town council’s clerk was asked if she is continuing to “categorically deny” the allegations, in light of the newly revealed email. But no response was received by the time of publishing.

She previously said the changes were needed to respond to demand from visitors to access the cemetery in the evening during the summer, calling the changes to the contracts “minor”.

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