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Tuesday 18th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

CLEANERS at the Welsh government’s headquarters are employed on zero-hours contracts, GMB reported yesterday, just a month after ministers pledged to take action against the practice.

The general union said contractor Vinci was also planning to change the staff’s working conditions for the worse, putting some workers on “poverty pay.”

Vinci provides cleaning and security services at the Welsh government’s administrative headquarters in Cathays Park, Cardiff.

GMB said yesterday that Vinci had hired new recruits on zero-hours contracts while it consults staff on its proposals, which include reductions in hours.

Union organiser Nicola Savage said: “I don’t think that ministers are aware of the current situation.

“There is a group of staff who have been there for some time and these changes are going to significantly affect their working conditions, their earning capacity and their home lives.

“The potential reduction in their hours to such a level will push them into poverty.

“It’s very upsetting and the Welsh government should step in and do something about it now. “If they are concerned about zero-hours contracts they should stand true to their beliefs in bringing people out of poverty.”

A Welsh government spokesman said it was committed to limiting the use of zero-hours contracts across Wales.

He pledged: “We will be working with Vinci Facilities and the GMB to ensure staff employed by the company do not have to rely on zero-hours contracts and have appropriate terms and conditions.”

Vinci claimed it had been using short-term arrangements which are being phased out.