Talks stall after striker ‘attack’

BREAKDOWN: Dewsbury and District Hospital workers are in a dispute with hospital bosses over planned redundancies and pay cuts.

BREAKDOWN: Dewsbury and District Hospital workers are in a dispute with hospital bosses over planned redundancies and pay cuts.

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TALKS to resolve a dispute which led to strike action at Dewsbury and District Hospital have broken down.

The union Unison has accused the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust of trying to intimidate people taking strike action by threatening one unnamed individual with disciplinary action.

But Trust bosses say the disciplinary matter was not related to the industrial action.

Unison pulled out of planned negotiations on Friday when it learned of the allegation.

Unison regional organiser Jim Bell said: “For reasons of confidentiality we cannot reveal the name of our colleague but this bears all the signs of a vindictive attack on one of our members and a deliberate act to scupper negotiations.”

Admin and clerical staff at the Trust’s hospitals in Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefact took part in four days of strike action last month in a dispute over cuts to jobs and pay.

On Friday Mid Yorkshire HR director Graham Briggs said: “We were available for the meeting that was due to take place this morning and were disappointed that Unison representatives chose not to attend.

“While we cannot comment on individual disciplinary cases due to staff confidentiality, we can confirm that the matter we want to investigate does not relate to official strike action.

“We look forward to the talks resuming. In the meantime we will not compromise the normal management of the Trust’s day-to-day business.”