Brent Council workers to strike over plans to privatise their jobs

Workers claim their jobs are being privatised by Brent Council

Workers claim their jobs are being privatised by Brent Council - Credit: Archant

Highway Operations employees claim they will be transferred to ‘non-existent’ roles

Workers in Brent have unanimously voted to take indefinite strike action after claiming the council plans to “outsource their roles to a private firm.”

The GMB trade union members, who are currently employed by Brent’s Highway Operations, have accused the council of transferring them to “non-existent jobs” at a private contractor, Conway/Aecom.

Under the proposals 10 workers would be affected with four being offered positions within in Brent and six to be transferred.

But the GMB claim that the workers, whose main duties are traffic sign making and erecting and gully cleansing are being outsourced in order to save the council money and that there will be no guaranteed security in their new role.

Alan Costello, GMB regional officer, said: “GMB challenged this proposed outsourcing from the outset.

“It was clear from the published figures that there could not possibly be jobs with Conway/Aecom for all affected employees and the service they provide to the citizens of Brent would be severely curtailed.”

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The strike action will begin on Monday, March 11 but members, who are currently based at Pyramid House, in Fourth Way, Wembley, have indicated they still wish to negotiate with the council.

Mr Costello added: “That clearly demonstrates the utter contempt Brent has for its staff. It is quite prepared to sell them to the highest bidder.

“GMB has indicated that we continue to negotiate with the council, but no invitation has so far been received.”

A concerned resident, who did not wish to be named, told the Times: “The group make all sorts of road signs anything put up on the roads is down to them but its quite clear Brent just want to save money.”

However, a spokesman for Brent Council, denied claims the jobs would be insecure and little connection to Brent.

Claiming that the GMB had made “a series of wildly misleading and inaccurate claims about the council’s proposal” he added: “The council’s aim is to get the best value for money while maintaining high standards.

“Outsourcing will not lead to a reduction in standards as the GMB claims and will save almost half a million pounds a year of public money.

“The council cares deeply about the staff affected and has ensured that their terms and conditions of employment are fully protected.

“We are still working very hard to reach an agreement and will continue to do so.”