Trade unionists on both sides of the incinerator divide

Trade unionists are divided over the incinerator, with some travelling to County GHall for a protest today, while a...

Trade unionists are divided over the incinerator, with some travelling to County GHall for a protest today, while a senior official says the scheme should go ahead. - Credit: Matthew Usher

While trade unionists from West Norfolk prepare to board a bus taking them to a protest outside County Hall today, a senior union official urged councillors to press on with the burner.

King's Lynn Trades Council was expecting to fill the 52-seater coach, to remind councillors of the strength of opposition to the incinerator in and around the town.

But as the bus, funded by local trade union branches, prepared to set off for Norwich, the county secretary of UNISON said it feared cuts to jobs and services if the plant was scrapped.

Dave Dennis, King's Lynn branch secretary of the GMB union, said: 'Sometimes we do clash on beliefs, I just hope the clash isn't too big.

'I can understand their concern about it but the truth is there's going to be a huge number of cuts made by the government.

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'I think there's a certain amount of alarmism going on with all the prices being quoted. My sympathy goes to the union UNISON. I was made redundant due to cuts and I lived through it. Let's keep calm and see what the outcome is.'

Jonathan Dunning, county branch secretary of UNISON, said until now, it had not traken sides on the issue.

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But he added: 'With the withdrawal of the PFI credits it now becomes an issue for all our members.

'UNISON understand that if we pull out of the contract the £25m would have to be found within the current financial year with no scope for negotiations and with no hope of a bail out from central Government.

'With the £189m worth of cuts looming over us this would cause devastation to jobs and services, having an immediate detrimental effect on some of the most vulnerable people in Norfolk as inevitably it would be Children's Services and Adult Social Services that would bear the burden of the cuts.'

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