21 November 2008
By Tash Shifrin
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has backed down over its threat to sack more than 4,000 staff in a dispute over new contracts.
Unions claimed that the new contracts proposed by the council would cut leave entitlements and could force staff to work weekends.
They were further incensed when the council issued a formal HR1 notice of redundancy covering its entire staff.
Earlier this month, the council said the notice had been issued because 'should any staff member not voluntarily agree to the changed terms, one of the options we will consider is terminating their contract and offering them re-engagement on new terms and conditions'.
But this week Hammersmith Unison branch secretary Noreen Morris said the council had now written to the union confirming that it has formally withdrawn the redundancy threat.
Morris said her Unison branch had voted to ballot for strike action if the council tried to impose the new contract terms unilaterally.
The council this week confirmed its U-turn. A spokeswoman said that the notice had been withdrawn as 'a gesture of good faith'.