UNION

Hungry staff using food banks as art centre collapses

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07 Jan 2019
Press Office

Press Office

Staff haven’t been paid or able to access redundancy benefits after the collapse of Muni arts centre before Christmas, leaving some families to rely on foodbanks over the festive period

Wokers at the Muni Arts centre have been left without work or pay since the iconic Pontypridd arts centre went bust in the run up to Christmas.

Despite a firm being appointed to handle the insolvency, the company has yet to be formally liquidated leaving staff in limbo both unable to claim either pay owed or redundancy benefits over the festive period.

This has seen at least one former member of staff forced to rely on donations from food banks over the festive period.

Although there have been pledges to see the Arts Centre reopening and currently the venue is still taking bookings on their website for events over the next few weeks, there is currently no organisation in place to manage the facility, leaving in question as to how the venue will be staffed, and what will happen to current staff after liquidation of the Trust.

This is completely unacceptable. It’s bad enough for staff that everything collapsed in the run up to Christmas, but then to leave them in limbo for over two weeks is simply a disgrace.

It just highlights the biggest issues with outsourcing public assets to voluntary trusts, there is no real accountability or scope for resources when things go wrong. Who is responsible for these staff being paid or indeed the venue going under?

Everyone’s keen to see the centre reopen, and we want to praise the campaign and fine work being led by local MP and GMB member Owen Smith to reopen it, but in the meantime what happens to the staff that haven’t been paid?

Surely the council has to step in to support these staff providing local services until the situation moves forward. It can’t be right that young families are being put under this pressure over the festive period.

Gareth Morgans, GMB Wales and South West regional organiser

 
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