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Council contractors go on strike

PUBLISHED: 10:46 03 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 03 July 2010

Placard protest: Council contractors demonstrate outside the town hall.

Placard protest: Council contractors demonstrate outside the town hall.

Placard waving council contractors demonstrated outside Great Yarmouth Town hall yesterday as they protested over a cut in their wages and hours.

The building maintenance workers say they have been forced to take industrial action after a change in their contracts has led to them losing about £2,000 a year in wages.

Placard waving council contractors demonstrated outside Great Yarmouth Town hall yesterday as they protested over a cut in their wages and hours.

The building maintenance workers say they have been forced to take industrial action after a change in their contracts has led to them losing about £2,000 a year in wages.

Yesterday's strike and demonstration was organised by the UCATT union, which represents workers who are responsible for maintaining borough council properties.

Because of the strike and reduction in working hours there is now thought to be a backlog of 300 council homes in the borough that need work done.

The workers, who are based in Gorleston, say that when their employers - Norse Commerical Services - took on the new building maintenance contract in October it failed to tell the workforce that the conditions would change leading to fewer hours at work.

Brian Rye, UCATT regional secretary, said: “The effect of these changes may also mean longer waiting times for tenants to get their properties done. It may also take longer to bring empty properties back into usable service.”

Norse Commercial Services was awarded the eight year maintenance contract at the end of last year.

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