The indefinite strike by Glasgow council’s 270 day-centre workers, members of the Unison union, is now entering its fourth week. The council is still refusing to even negotiate with its workers.
The council is using “equal pay” and the recent single status review as an excuse to push through wage cuts of up to £6,000. They want to downgrade the important work that the strikers do, and to cut back services for people with disabilities.
One striker said, “This Labour controlled council is getting away with things the Tories couldn’t dream of. Our union should not give the Labour Party one more penny.”
Workers have been sticking together in an inspiring show of solidarity. Donna, one of the strikers, explained, “I’m a support worker and I have been out on strike for three weeks now.
“My wages are not in detriment – in fact the council has increased them slightly – but we have to support our co-workers.”
The strike remains solid. A broad strike committee meets every day. Picket lines are large and regular demonstrations have been held outside Glasgow city chambers.
More than £15,000 has been collected for the strike fund. Donations have come from several Unison branches, the T&G Scottish housing branch, and the Glasgow EIS teaching union. Newham Unison has donated £3,000.
Strikers have been invited to speak at meetings of the UCU, Unison and the NUJ unions.
The strikers’ picket rota now includes a picket line all day, every day, in front of the city chambers. A demonstration is planned at an event for council big wigs promoting Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games bid. But more action is needed.
“We need a national demonstration,” says striker Ross. “Our branch passed a resolution in favour of one weeks ago.”
Strikers are set to lobby the Scottish parliament this week and are planning a rally in Glasgow city centre on Saturday 17 November.
A delegation of strikers attended the march against the replacement of Trident nuclear missiles in Edinburgh last weekend.
They raised over £200 and got support from many other trade unionists from across Scotland.
One striker said, “Anyone who is feeling down just needs to get involved and they will see how much support we have.”
Demonstration 12 noon, Friday 9 November, at the Old Fruitmarket in Merchant City, Glasgow. Send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org and donations to Unison, 4th Floor, 18 Albion Street, Glasgow, G2 4PF.