Brighton racecourse protest by GMB union in dispute with Mears
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
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A leading union will protest outside Brighton racecourse on 19 August in an ongoing dispute with housing contractor Mears.
GMB members with flags and banners plan to hand out leaflets to racegoers on a day which the union says is sponsored by Mears.
GMB says the protest comes after alleged threats by Mears to impose unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment for GMB members in Brighton and to withdraw from an agreement for the union to represent members.
But Mears disputes that anything has changed and says the union has got the wrong end of the stick.
Mears managing director Lucas Critchley told 24housing: "We are saddened that the GMB would threaten to protest at a staff charity fun day when the sole purpose of the day is to support primary school children in Brighton. We have absolutely no plans to change staff terms and conditions and are keen to continue our relationship with the unions in Brighton."
For its part, GMB quoted Mears executive director Alan Long as telling local media: "We do have a recognition agreement with unions in Brighton and I would emphasise that we do want to continue our relationship." The union added, however, that a company letter instigating a 12-month termination clause in the agreement had not been rescinded.
GMB regional organiser Gary Palmer said: "Hopefully we will now get a letter from Mr Long rescinding the notice of 30 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."