Socialist Worker

Chaos of privatisation in Glasgow housing

Issue No. 2146

The madness of the privatisation of council housing services was brought into stark focus last week as 235 maintenance workers in Glasgow were temporarily left without an employer.

The workers had been transferred from Glasgow council’s arms length company City Building to private firm Connaught.

City Building workers maintained some of the housing stock of Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).

The workers showed up for an induction day with Connaught on Monday of last week only to be told the transfer would not happen.

Connaught said it could not afford to provide a bond to Strathclyde Pension Fund which safeguarded the workers’ pension scheme.

The workers were left in limbo and held angry lobbies outside the offices of Connaught and GHA.

Unite union officer John Allot said, “This is a prime example of the market madness which has been allowed to take hold of the public sector.”

A Glasgow Unison steward said, “Last week, until a solution was found, the city council, GHA, City Building and Connaught all said the maintenance workers were no longer their responsibility. You couldn’t make this up.”

After days of wrangling, GHA said the workers would be employed by City Building “for the forseeable future”.


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