Socialist Worker

Single status: striking to fight low pay

Issue No. 2087

Rolling strike action at Argyll and Bute council in Scotland is showing the determination of workers to fight their single status wage deal.

Over 1,500 workers started a work to rule last month and took strike action last week. Workers were set to strike on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Workers in the Unite and Unison unions are striking in protest at the way the council wants to implement the single status agreement on workers’ pay and conditions.

Some workers stand to lose up to £6,000 a year under the council’s single status deal.

As a result of the strike, no gritting has taken place on council maintained roads. Home care, schools and council run ferries have been affected, as well as road sweeping, cleansing, gardening and maintaining cemeteries.

Unite organiser Tony Devlin said that members had voted overwhelmingly for further industrial action after the council refused to negotiate. He told Socialist Worker, “The council’s actions – or lack of them – are a disgrace.”

Donald Brown, Unison branch chair, said, “Members are angry both at the failure of the council to honour agreements, and at the misrepresentation by their spokespeople in the media.

“Members are acting responsibly, both in defending their own conditions, and in defending the communities they serve.

“We will continue this strike action until the council does the right thing by engaging in a meaningful dialogue to negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement.”

There will be a major joint union rally on Thursday of this week in the Queen’s Hall, Dunoon, at 12 noon.

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