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Council workers warned to stub it out

Adapted from Liverpool Echo Feb 2003 by Paul Conneally

 

Twenty thousand Liverpool council workers have been warned they could lose their jobs for taking unofficial cigarette breaks.

 

An email from chief executive David Henshaw warns all staff that sneaking away for a cigarette could constitute gross misconduct.

 

He also warns that anybody leaving the office faces disciplinary action for taking 'absence from work without permission'.

 

According to the correspondence, some workers have been sneaking to the toilets for a smoke, while others have been leaving the office altogether.

 

All employees - including the city's 99 councillors - have been sent the email which reveals that staff are continuing to ignore the ban on smoking inside council buildings.

 

There has been union and pro-smoking opposition to the action, branding the policy "heavy-handed".

 

Sheila Kearney, branch secretary of Unison, said: "We do not believe that this is something which can be classed as gross misconduct and I have written to Mr Henshaw expressing our concerns."

 

 

Story filed: 16:12 Monday 10th February 2003

 

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