Union members forced to hold meeting outside

St Helens Helena Housing Unite and Ucatt members meeting outside the premises in Sutton
St Helens Helena Housing Unite and Ucatt members meeting outside the premises in Sutton
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FUMING union members were told to hold a meeting outside on one of the coldest days of the year.

Workers at Helena Partnerships maintenance depot in Sutton Fold had wanted to discuss a dispute about pay and conditions.

But they were stunned when managers at the social housing firm knocked back their request to stage the discusion on company premises.

Instead they were forced meet outside the Sutton site on public land.

Staff represented by Unison and the Unite unions were involved in the dispute.

The incident took place on January 21 as temperatures in the town hovered around zero for much of the day.

One worker, who did not want to be named, said: “It was unbelievable, really, that they wouldn’t just let us use one of the rooms.

“It is pretty standard practice but for some reason the management didn’t want to play along.”

However, a spokeswoman for Helena Partnerships said unions hadn’t given bosses enough notice of their intention to hold the meeting

“We received a late request to hold a meeting at an unsuitable time and advised the organisers to rearrange to avoid disruption to services for our customers”, the spokeswoman added.

“We will continue to work with trade unions in the future and offer them the use of our facilities where appropriate.”

No one from either union was available for comment.