Threat staff to go back to work

14-03-2005

Staff at a jobs and benefits office in County Antrim who walked out of work last week following a loyalist threat, have voted to return to work.

Members of trade union Nipsa left the Newtownabbey centre on Thursday after a worker in their office was threatened.

Tony McMullan from Nipsa said staff voted to return on Monday after being reassured by statements from loyalist paramilitaries.

He said management have also pledged to increase security at the office.

"We certainly feel happier that the statement has been issued by the paramilitary organisations," he said.

"Because when they met on Thursday all we had was an indication from the police that a threat had been issued by a loyalist paramilitary organisation, so staff certainly feel much more happy today.

"But having said all of that the staff will still closely monitor the situation and keep it under review."

The centre stayed closed on Thursday and Friday because of the walkout.

Minister for Employment and Learning Barry Gardiner said he "unreservedly condemned" the threat.

The action did not affect the benefits of anyone supposed to sign-on on the days it was shut.

BBC News

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