In the week Labour at UK level were pledging to abolish “Zero Hours Contracts” the SNP Group within Falkirk Council has exposed what they describe as “double standards “and “inaccurate and misleading statements from the council leadership”.
The SNP had secured previously assurances from the council’s Labour / Tory coalition Administration that jobs were found for all of the council’s Employment Training scheme graduates and Modern Apprentices may not have been accurate.
The SNP has learned that 15 employees from the Refuse Collection have no stipulated hours on their contracts and are effectively being used as a casual labour pool.
SNP Group Leader, Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn, hit out at what she described as “an attempt by Labour to out Tory the Tories”.
She went on to say,
“If Ed Milliband is serious about abolishing Zero Hours Contracts in the event of his party overtaking the Tory lead in the current Westminster opinion polls and becoming Prime Minister then he should start with where his own party hold or share power.
Zero Hours contracts prevent families from planning their household budgets, make dealings with the Department of Work and Pensions almost impossible to deal with and are morally unacceptable.
Despite this 15 employees of the Refuse Collection Service face a weekly struggle to survive, waiting to see what, if any, hours they will receive. The fun and games then commence in seeking top up benefits from the DWP and from Falkirk Council’s Finance Department for such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Relief meaning families are never up to date with what they are entitled to.
The fact that no commitment to contractual hours still means that technically this is classified as employment and therefore if terminated the employee would not receive any benefit. It is no wonder more and more victims of the Westminster Government view a YES vote in September’s referendum as the only means of securing sensible and humane Welfare policies.”
Councillor Meiklejohn has written to council leader, Craig Martin, to demand not only fairness and equality for all staff but also an explanation as to why opposition Councillors were advised that not only were all trainees found employment at the end of their training but also Falkirk Council had no Zero Hours Contracts.
Mrs Meiklejohn said,
“If Labour are known for anything it is for political spin but in this case they have been caught in the own web of deceit.
It’s high time we had some honesty and openness within Falkirk Counci”