Socialist Worker

Glasgow leisure staff escalate strike action

by Viv Smith
Issue No. 2203

Strikes were set to shut Glasgow’s libraries, sport centres and the city’s biggest tourist attractions this weekend.

Workers from Culture and Sport Glasgow (CSG) are striking on Friday 28 May and Monday 31 May.

These will be the third and fourth strike days in their dispute over attacks on pay and conditions.

The action has been called jointly by the four unions representing 1,600 workers at CSG—BECTU, GMB, Unison and Unite.

Workers have also implemented an overtime ban.

CSG is an “arms length” company set up by Glasgow City Council.

Management has introduced a wage freeze, cuts to wages for some staff and cut holiday and overtime rates.

Some workers are facing pay cuts of between £500 and £2,000 a year if council bosses get their way.

Mood

A Unison union rep told Socialist Worker that the mood among workers was confident and defiant.

“We got a fantastic response when we leafleted the city centre last Saturday,” he said.

“Workers from CSG along with shop stewards and officials from Glasgow City Unison branch petitioned and leafleted shoppers to build support for the dispute.”

Workers at CSG provide culture and sport services across Glasgow and run facilities for the use of private functions in council parks and leisure spaces.

At a mass meeting last week, workers agreed the additional strike action and overtime ban as well as selective action to target specific cultural and sporting events.

Unison Glasgow City branch secretary Brian Smith said, “We have tried to negotiate but have been left with no option other than to use strike action in an effort to defend ourselves.

“CSG was established to obtain a tax advantage, to draw in private money and grants from charitable trusts. It has failed to live up to the promise.

“Staff at CSG, many of them low paid, should not have to pay for the failures of CSG and Glasgow City Council.

“And working people in general should not be asked to pay for the bailout of the banks and the mistakes of bankers.

“It is important that all trade unionists and working people stand together at this time.

“Ultimately the standard of service which the public will receive in their libraries, sports centres and community centres will be affected if workers’ wages and conditions are cut.”


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News
Tue 25 May 2010, 18:07 BST
Issue No. 2203
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