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UNION PLAN TO SAVE JOBS AT RHONDDA CYNON TAFF CBC

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Union representatives of Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC workers who are facing the sack have unveiled a job-saving action p...
Union representatives of Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC workers who are facing the sack have unveiled a job-saving action plan, reports The Western Mail (p8).

Leaders yesterday met the National Assembly local government secretary, Peter Law, who said there was no new cash to offer. But the new trade union action plan could save more than half the 205 jobs under threat at RCT.

The council employs more than 2,000 people in its direct service organisation, and all these jobs are potentially at risk because the department will be shut down if its£12,000-a-day losses continue.

The GMB called for a National Assembly loan and/or financial approval for the struggling local authority to invest in cost-saving depots and equipment.

Mike Payne, a GMB officer, said the union did not expect an immediate offer. He said that the action plan instead called for a loan up to£5m. The sale of redundant depot sites would bring in money to repay the loan. Union representatives were confident that at least 85 jobs would be protected.

More of the 205 jobs in danger would also be saved if the unions' action plan is endorsed.

'The first secretary, Alun Michael, has already agreed that RCT could turn some of its revenue spending into capital to repay redundancy costs,' said Mr Payne.

'My view is the local authority should be allowed to invest in saving jobs - not getting rid of jobs. In our meeting with Peter Law we got a fairly reasonable response. He listened. It would be naive in the extreme to expect a blank cheque.

'The first secretary took the right route when he said that he would not allow public funds to drain away in RCT without a commitment from unions and local authority to solve the problems.

'It is certainly not in the interests of the people of RCT to close down these [loss-making] departments now.'

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