Socialist Worker

Culture and Sport Glasgow: ‘We need to strike - it’s the only way to stop the cuts’

Issue No. 2204

Workers united on the picket line  (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Workers united on the picket line  (Pic: Duncan Brown)

The 1,600 members of the Unite, Unison, Bectu and GMB trade unions working for Culture and Sport Glasgow (CSG) struck successfully for the third time last weekend.

The strikes, on Friday of last week and Monday of this week, shut leisure, sport and community centres, libraries and tourist attractions.

The strikes came after CSG announced £3.4 million in cuts – reducing the wages of 150 workers by 10 percent, imposing a pay freeze and slashing overtime rates.

The strike hit popular attractions on bank holiday weekend. But strikers are receiving growing support from the public. Many agree that if workers lose then valuable facilities will be cut.

Socialist Worker spoke to strikers on the picket lines outside the art galleries.

“We have lots of people who have worked here for years,” said Tracy. “It is a disgrace that public services are coming under attack. The rich are looking out for themselves. We need to strike. It’s the only way to stop the cuts.”

Matt highlighted strikers’ determination – “We are going to keep going for as long as it takes. We stand to lose £50 a week if those cuts go through.

“We want to raise the profile of the campaign by leafleting events across the city.”

Strikers on the Museum of Transport picket line blamed the banks and the government for the cuts. A striker said, “We’re told we need to tighten our belts, but they spent £2 million on consultants who came up with a report that only saved museums in Glasgow £1.7 million!

“Councillors are saying it’s a disgrace that museums are shut on the May holiday Monday, but most museums are shut every Monday anyway after the last series of cuts.”

Another striker said, “Six public holidays have been consolidated as annual leave, so we won’t get extra payments for working what was a public holiday – the first to go is May Day, how ironic is that?

“CSG claims if we don’t accept new hours and conditions it will be forced to cut jobs – what kind of employer makes threats like that to its lowest-paid workers on fragile contracts?”

CSG workers were meeting this week to discuss the next stage of the action.

Picket line reports from Maggie Farrell and Jonathan Shafi

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Article information

Tue 1 Jun 2010, 18:54 BST
Issue No. 2204
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