MPs intervene in Haringey press office sackings

Members of the NUJ in Haringey held a demonstration on Monday to demand that Haringey Council reinstate the press officers who were sacked in February.

Five of the seven press officers working at the Labour controlled council turned up to their offices to find they had been locked out and redundancy notices were delivered to them by motorcycle courier.

A council spokesman said the redundancies had been carried out in line with council procedures.

Two of the press officers applied for new senior communications officer posts, but only one was successful.

Last week, the NUJ parliamentary group of MPs wrote to council leader George Meehan voicing its concern.

The letter said: “The tactic of summary lock-outs and sackings is simply not an acceptable approach to industrial relations for any elected body to engage in, and does the Labour movement no credit.

“We would therefore urge you to do everything within your power to resolve this dispute in a satisfactory and reasonable manner, and enter into serious and meaningful discussions and negotiations with the NUJ ” Meehan replied: “I will be responding to this letter and outlining the council position on the restructure of the press office.”

John Fray, NUJ deputy general secretary, added: “We want to resolve this through negotiations but if they do not come forward we will have to take the council to a tribunal.”

The corporate communications manager for Haringey Council, Nicki Hulford, resigned last week, although her resignation is not related to the dispute.

By Sarah Lagan

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