Council leader criticised for supporting union's campaign to mourn job losses his party signed off (From The Northern Echo)
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Council leader criticised for supporting union's campaign to mourn job losses his party signed off
A COUNCIL leader has thrown his support behind a union’s call to mourn the loss of jobs by wearing black clothes.
Redcar and Cleveland Council leader George Dunning is backing a call by Unison to support scores of council workers being made redundant.
Unison is inviting all its colleagues to take part in the Wear It Black day on Monday, January 6, when the council will be issuing final notices of redundancy to many of its employees.
A union spokesman said: “The cuts imposed by the Tory/Lib Dem Government represent yet another nail in the coffin of public services.
“The 150 announced job losses will have a devastating impact on the lives of hardworking council staff, their families and the communities in which they live.
“As a display of solidarity and to mark this grim occasion, we’re inviting everyone who cares about local services to wear black on January 6. We hope that councillors and managers will also show their solidarity on the day by supporting this dignified protest.”
Despite approving the spending cuts that will see workers losing their jobs Councillor Dunning has shown his support to the union’s cause.
He said: "I have no problem supporting the wear it black day, however the blame for the public service job losses, not only here at Redcar and Cleveland but throughout the country lies with the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government, who continue to 'cut too deep and too fast’."
However, Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Glyn Nightingale thinks Coun Dunning needs to look closer to home for the reasons behind the financial problems faced by the local authority.
Coun Nightingale says the financial problems all councils are facing are as a consequence of the Labour parties spending policies while they were in government.
He said: “His stewardship has resulted in waste and unnecessary spending and we need to get that put right. I’m fully supportive of the government plans to rebalance spending and start to create jobs.
“People don’t need to be employed in the public, what we need is more and more people in the private sector and that is something that the government’s spending plans are starting to deliver, particularly in the Redcar constituency.”
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