A DAY of mourning was held after nearly 300 council staff received their redundancy notices on their return to work this morning (Monday, January 6).

Union members from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council took part in the ‘Wear It Black’ campaign to mark the loss of 150 jobs at the local authority.

About 30 people gathered outside the Redcar Beacon to express their anger and dismay as the council attempts to balance its books in the face of governmental funding cuts.

Unison branch secretary Andrew Tickle said: “It’s a really difficult time for people to come back to work and face the prospect of being made redundant and that is why we decided to take this stance today.”

Among the flag waving union members was Steve Cooke who was one of the people to be given the news when he turned up for work.

The Unison communications officer, who works as a committee clerk, said: “I got my redundancy notice which told me that my job will be gone by the end of March. Almost 300 notices have been issued with 150 full time roles to go so not everyone will lose their job but they could find themselves working in a completely different department for less pay.”

Independent councillor Barry Hunt said: “It’s a really sad day for the council, all these people facing redundancy do a great job and help out us as councilors. These cuts will certainly have an effect on frontline services.”

The campaign received the backing of the council’s leader, George Dunning, who had the job of rubber stamping the decision to make the job cuts.

He said: “I have got me black tie on myself and I support the workers 100 per cent. We are all working together to try and get the number of compulsory redundancies down as low as possible.”