More than 100 workers from Lancashire County Council’s fleet services department wore their hearts on their short sleeves.
The Unite union members used their ‘dress down Friday’ event to express fears that the council plan to out source their services to BT.
Despite the snowy conditions, they wore baby pink t-shirts emblazoned with the motif ‘SOS LCC not BT’.
Staff, who maintain the council’s 1,000 vehicles, said they were angry that the One Connect deal, - a joint venture between BT and the council to run services- could mean jobs are lost and Lancashire taxpayers will lose out.
However, council leaders have denied they are planning to change the department.
A union spokesman said: “Lancashire County Council are prepared to give this department away to BT fleet services because they say they can save 20 per cent.
“They are railroading us into a deal we were never meant to be included in, and they haven’t had tenders from anyone else.
“We are a profitable, self-funding department which gave £500,000 back to the council last year.”
The union said if the deal were to go ahead, up to 30 people could lose their jobs.
The union man added: “If we become part one One Connect, and BT fleet services sell our hours, we’ll be diverted away from attending to council vehicles onto BT vans and the third parties they work with.
“At the moment we’ve got 49 gritters out because of the snow and our managers will do anything to keep them rolling.
“We’re worried that all that will all change if BT come in.
He added: “This is outsourcing by the back door, and we want to shine daylight on it.
“We don’t mind who we work for, but we want the correct process following, and we want a good deal for the ordinary people of Lancashire.”
A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said: “We’re not currently considering any proposals for changes to this service.
“If and when a proposal is brought forward our main considerations will be to ensure it provides better value for money and secures people’s jobs.”
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Weather for Preston
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North west