25 years ago this week – Friday, February 21, 1986

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WHEN men involved in a Community Programme scheme at Amble protested about their working conditions, they got more than they bargained for.

First they were all sent home and had three and a half hours’ pay docked from their wages, when they refused to work because of inadequate heating in their site caravan.

This angered the men because the heating they requested was provided the following day – in their minds an admission by the Programme Agency that the complaint had been justified.

But there was more to come from the Agency which is run in conjunction with Alnwick District Council.

The men, who are employed at Amble Links, have now been sent warning letters pointing out that their action was tantamount to ‘gross misconduct.’

Most of the men, who are involved in tidying up Amble East Cemetery as well as fencing work nearby, are employed on a 20-hour week basis, taking home about £40.

As a result of the suspension they were each docked about £8 for the week – reducing them to almost unemployment rates.

The men feel that they have been given a “raw deal” – because they stood up for their rights in difficult conditions.