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GMB Congress To Stage Unprecedented Protest At AA Offices In Newcastle upon Tyne

The GMB Congress meeting in Newcastle upon Tyne this week will stage an unprecedented demonstration outside the AA offices in the city tomorrow (Thursday 9th June) at 8.30 am. at Carr Ellison House, Newcastle Business Park, William Armstrong Drive, NEWCASTLE, NE4 7YA.*

The AA targeted its disabled staff for dismissal as part of 431 job cuts in the patrol section last month. The Disabilities Rights Commission is currently investigating these sackings. The demonstrators will be wearing t-shirts and giving out leaflets with an adapted version of the AA’s logo reading AA = Anti-disAbility.

For the very first time since the GMB was founded in 1889 the entire Congress of 500 delegates will stand adjourned while the entire Union protests at this treatment of disabled workers. The GMB Acting General Secretary Paul Kenny and Richard Ascough GMB Senior Official for the AA members will speak.

Paul Maloney, GMB Senior Organiser said, “If GMB members vote to strike over the disabled members of staff then the roadside waiting time of AA customers will be vastly longer if not infinite as the service is withdrawn. The AA can stop the declining service easily by stopping the sackings and talking to the GMB about the future of our members in the AA.”

-Ends-

Contact: Paul Maloney, GMB Senior Organiser on 07801 343839. Rose Conroy, GMB Press Officer on 07974 251823.

Notes to Editors:

1 Photographs available from Andrew Wiard 07973 219201.

2 The GMB has warned motorists that they could face longer waits at the roadside as the AA moves to cuts 431 jobs across the country. The cuts will mainly affect breakdown patrols of which 150 patrols drivers will go from London. There are also proposals to reduce the number of call centre staff in Cheadle and Newcastle. A letter dated 8th April outlines proposals to assess staff performance which the GMB predicts will led to 600 out of the current 4,000 jobs going. The GMB warned that road safety will be put at risk as the reduced number of AA patrol drivers work longer hours to cover the workload. Some AA patrol drivers are already working up to 90 hours a week and up to 12 days in a row. The stress on call centre staff will inevitability lead to errors and longer waiting times for AA customers.

Visit the AA website at www.theaa.com/aboutaa/complaints.html

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