A STRIKE over working hours by 80 sewerage maintenance staff at Anglian Water will go ahead on Friday (June 12) but will have no effect on the public, the company promised. The strikers, members of the GMB union are upset about the company s demand that t

A STRIKE over working hours by 80 sewerage maintenance staff at Anglian Water will go ahead on Friday (June 12) but will have no effect on the public, the company promised.

The strikers, members of the GMB union are upset about the company's demand that they start work at 10am, rather than 8am. The union says the change could cost workers up to £2,500 a year.

The GMB said industrial action could impact on the supply of 'clean water' to households and on the clearing of sewage and on the safe discharge of sewage into rivers.

Anglian Water denied it would have any effect. A spokesman said strike action would not affect the clean water supply, and that there would be no disruption to services at all.

AW's Chief Operating Officer, Peter Simpson, added: "We can reassure customers that we have contingency arrangements in place to ensure there will be no disruption.

"The dispute is about a minor change to start times.

"Since the new arrangements began on April 1, we've improved service to customers and reduced the use of outside contractors by 40 per cent. This kind of efficiency improvement can only be good for our customers' bills and the long-term job security of our employees."

As often happens in such disputes, both sides say they are ready for further talks, but no talks take place.

The AW spokesman told The Hunts Post: "Our door remains open if they want to come back to talk to us again."

And GMB Organiser Michael Ainsley said: "GMB negotiators are available for talks to avert the industrial action at any time. So far Anglian Water has shown no willingness to negotiate and determined to force a strike.