Compact ends battle aboard trawler in Hull

Indira Das-Gupta

Hull City Council has backed down after a bitter ten-month dispute about the status of volunteers at a museum, thanks to the intervention of the local Compact Advocacy Programme.

The 20 volunteers at the Arctic Corsair, a trawler that is now a museum, say they were locked out after refusing to sign a contract drawn up by the council.

The contract defined the volunteers as unpaid full-time employees and would have obliged them to fill in at other museums in the city if they were short-staffed.

When the men, many of whom went to sea on the trawler at the age of 16, refused to sign it, they were barred from entering the museum.

Hugh Joseph, Compact advocacy officer at the NCVO, said: "There was a lot of antagonism from both sides. Both parties used the local media to take pot shots at each other.

"The council had misunderstood what it means to be a volunteer. But we managed to get both parties to sit down together and find out what they wanted."

Councillor Ken Branson, leader of Hull City Council, said: "The council appreciates that the past few months have been difficult, but we are now delighted to be moving forward."

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