Lifeboat shop staff on strike over sacking

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Volunteers at the best performing RNLI charity shop in the country have gone on strike in protest at the sacking of its hard-working manager.

The doors are now closed at the Whitby branch of the shop during the week because Shirley Jenkinson’s contract has not been renewed.

It also means the RNLI museum is closed to the public during weekdays – which is thought to be losing the lifeboat charity thousands of pounds.

For the last 20 years there has been a paid manager working at the Pier Road shop from Monday to Friday.

She was helped out by a 12 strong team of volunteers who also manned the shop at weekends, keeping it open seven days a week and earning the RNLI over £245,000 last year.

Mrs Jenkinson has been the manager for the last six years and her contract ran from March to December. In those winter months she continued to work at the shop on a voluntary basis, but now the RNLI has decided not to renew her contract.

This is despite the shop making the lifeboat charity over £70,000 more than the second performing shop in Lyme Regis, plus over £15,700 in donations.

A spokesman for the RNLI said the closure of the shop would have no effect on the resources being put into the operation of the lifeboat.

They added that a paid manager was employed at Whitby when it was proving difficult to recruit volunteers and it was now the right time to bring the shop in line with others in the country.