Protest by council workers tomorrow to have a Dickens theme

Protest by council workers tomorrow to have a Dickens theme

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Francis Batt

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Protest by council workers tomorrow to have a Dickens theme
An angry demonstrator at the Maidenhead demo

Angry trade unionists will picket tomorrow's Royal Borough council meeting at Windsor's Guildhall - some of them dressed as characters from Dickens.

It will be the second big demo against the council's controversial decision to pull out of nationally-agreed terms and conditions. Staff have been threatened with 'dismissal and re-engagement' if they do not sign the new deals by Friday, February 1.

Angry staff protested outside Maidenhead Town Hall in October before a council meeting. One was dressed as the grim reaper.

But GMB union representative for the Royal Borough Matthew Barry said that tomorrow's Windsor protest - outside the 17th century Guildhall a week before Christmas  - would have a gentler, Dickensian theme.

He admitted the Royal Borough was showing no sign of backing down, saying: "We just have to carry on protesting and see what happens."

Asked if industrial action could be taken as a last resort he said: "That's down to members."

He anticipated a turn out of 50 or 60 tomorrow.

But protesters from UNISON, the other union with a large membership among council staff will be absent this time. Spokesman Alan Barwise emphasised this did not mean they had given in and accepted the planned changes.

He said: "We think more appropriate dates and locations could be found to stage our future protests."

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