Socialist Worker

Pulling the plug on Scottish Water’s below-inflation pay

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2130

Up to 2,000 Scottish Water workers struck on Thursday of last week in protest at a below-inflation pay rise.

Strikers included engineers who repair water leaks and workers responsible for water quality at 44 treatment plants in and around Glasgow.

Call centre workers at Scottish Water’s headquarters in Balmore Road, Glasgow, were also on strike.

More industrial action is expected to be taken by members of the Unison, GMB and Unite unions if the utility bosses fail to make a new offer.

Scottish Water has imposed a wage rise worth 3 percent over 15 months.

Workers point out that it’s the equivalent of an annual rise of just 2.4 percent.They are demanding a bigger increase and point to the hefty pay hikes of up to 40 percent that executive board members have awarded themselves in the past two years.

Scott Foley, Unite’s regional organiser, said, “Our members are serious about getting a fair pay deal and are prepared to take further industrial action if necessary in pursuit of that aim.

“Unless there is a marked improvement to the original offer then it is likely that the action will escalate.”

Dave Watson from Unison said, “In recent years our members have helped to save Scottish Water over £1 billion through reduced operating costs and improved efficiencies.

“Customers and directors have benefited, while workers have faced real terms pay cuts due to inflation.

“Scottish Water has the money to make a reasonable pay deal.”

Richard Leonard from the GMB likened Scottish Water to a “Victorian mill owner, not a 21st century public service provider.

“It is high-handed and provocative.

“This dispute is about looking after people who look after our environment, our public health and our natural resources.”

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 2 Dec 2008, 18:43 GMT
Issue No. 2130
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.