UPDATE: Union vows to fight for former Fountains workers

Union officials demanded assurances at a meeting tonight that 153 workers made redundant by the collapse of a council contractor will retain their jobs under a new contractor.

Fountains Group, in Whiffler Road, Mile Cross, went into administration last week. The Oxfordshire-based environmental management company had a �4.6m a year contract with Norwich City Council to clean streets and maintain parks. It also had a �3.3m annual deal to collect rubbish and recycling from thousands of homes. The city council has found short-term help from Biffa and its own staff to maintain services.

The Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (Ucatt) held a meeting in Norwich tonight to inform workers about the latest position on their contracts.

Ucatt says it has also written to Laura McGillivray, the city council's chief executive, seeking guarantees that staff will be transferred on the same terms and conditions when a new contractor is appointed to take over Fountains' responsibilities.

Brian Rye, Ucatt's eastern regional secretary, said: 'The council has a moral responsibility for these workers. They were employed on council contracts. The council needs to give firm assurances that all new contractors will rehire the workforce on their existing terms and conditions.'

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• See Wednesday's papers for the full story.

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