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Union protests court closures plan

Unions will stage protests against the planned closure of courts and the threat of cuts in transport spending which they warn could hit bus services.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union will stage a demonstration outside the Ministry of Justice in London on the last day of the Government's consultation over the planned closure of more than 150 courts in England and Wales.

Officials warned that the closures would "devastate" access to local justice.

Kevin Greenway of the PCS said: "Many committed and experienced staff who understand the justice system could lose their jobs if these courts close.

"Local communities will lose a vital public service and access to justice for thousands of people will be denied. We want to highlight the consequences courts closures and other cuts will have."

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "At the TUC conference this week we have shown that there is an alternative to the Government's cuts in public spending that are being driven by ideology, not necessity."

The protest will include a grim reaper figure who will sound the "death knell" for the justice system.

Meanwhile, hundreds of bus workers from Unite will lobby City Hall in London warning of threats to the capital's transport system because of the Government's spending cuts.

Unite said the current tendering system for contracts was putting a "huge squeeze" on bus workers' terms and conditions, warning of looming disputes over pay.


From Belfast Telegraph