Ten thousand Liverpudlians called on housing association Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) today to stop a subsidiary's "appalling behaviour" toward its workers.
Unite north-west regional secretary Paul Finegan presented the petition to Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson at a council cabinet meeting this morning.
It calls on LMH and its wholly owned subsidiary Housing Maintenance Solutions (HMS) to get back round the negotiating table and sort out the long-running dispute.
The core issue is the firm making workers redundant, only to rehire them later. Unite says that "over 150 workers were made redundant unnecessarily."
Many community groups have added their voices to the calls for action.
The Community Advice Services Association, which supports unemployed workers in Liverpool, said: "Letting workers be made redundant when you know you will be taking them on in a matter of weeks is at best irresponsible.
"Many people in this position and their families are often forced to take desperate measures to survive."
And Mr Finegan added: "Liverpool Mutual Homes needs to take its responsibilities seriously. It needs to put right the wrong and resolve the dispute."
Unite said that there has also been a complaint lodged with the Homes and Communities Agency against LMH, backed by many tenants in relation to alleged governance issues.
The union said it had offered to meet the full LMH board for talks, but this has not been taken up.
"Instead LMH have instructed solicitors and seem to prefer litigation rather than Unite's preference which would have been to have this matter resolved formally and quickly," it said in a statement.
Earlier this year Unite members gathered outside the house of LMH chief executive Steve Coffey waving placards and banners.
In the two-hour demo they posted leaflets around the surrounding housing estate informing residents of their actions and why they were targeting Mr Coffey.
LMH did not reply to a request for comment.
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