Representatives of employees at Coventry City Council have admitted that discussions between the workforce, management and unions are “tense” amid fears that hundreds of jobs are likely to go.

BBC News reports that with the local authority looking to shed around 300 staff, only 170 of the 600 applications for voluntary redundancy have been accepted, raising the prospect of scores of sackings over the coming months.

“We’re saying to the council ‘why won’t you let people go?’ We’re worried we’re in the realms of compulsory redundancies, and we’re not having that,” said Unison Coventry branch secretary Sarah Ferguson.

Coventry City Council has been set a target of finding £146 million in efficiency savings by 2014 and a spokesman insisted that the voluntary scheme was a “complicated process” and that the organisation could not accept all applications.

Last week, Scottish first minister Alex Salmond reiterated his commitment to guarding public sector jobs after it emerged that hundreds of staff at Aberdeen City Council could also be facing redundancy.

Posted by Ross George