Socialist Worker

Revolt against council cuts looms in Glasgow

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2498

CCTV workers on strike

CCTV workers on strike (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Glasgow City Unison union is consulting 4,000 members for industrial action over the Labour-run council’s £130 million two-year cuts plan. The ballot ends on 26 April.

The council wants reduced public holidays, new restrictions on flexi-leave and cuts to annual leave for new starters.

Coordinated strikes could be on the cards with the GMB and Unite unions. Unison is also balloting more than 1,000 residential care workers for strikes.

The ballots come as outsourced council workers are striking to win the same conditions as council-employed colleagues.

CCTV workers ended an 84-hour strike from last Friday to Monday of this week. They were set to walk out this Friday to Monday and repeat this pattern for the rest of this month.

Workers at the council-owned firm Community Safety Glasgow are demanding shift allowances of up to £7,500 a year.

Unison Glasgow branch officer Jim Main said, “Our members have patiently waited for years. All the trade unions were given an implementation date for a new and fair payment system of April 2015.

Unreasonable

“It is simply unreasonable to expect them to accept this any longer.”

Glasgow school janitors also have a live dispute with bosses at another council-owned firm, Cordia. They want extra payments like those other council workers receive for doing dirty or physically demanding jobs.

The janitors are currently losing out by up £1,000 a year.

They could resume their action after the school Easter holidays.

Tying the disputes together by coordinating strike dates can strengthen each and inspire other council workers to vote yes in the ongoing ballots.

This can bring out the kind of numbers that can force council bosses and politicians to retreat from their cuts.


Bin workers trash ‘bullying’ Veolia bosses

Refuse workers in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, walked out against alleged management bullying last Friday.

This was the GMB union members’ first strike for 17 years after they voted by 92.5 percent for action. Their strike was solid with over 100 workers on the picket lines from 6am.

Workers are employed by outsourcing giant Veolia on a contract to the Labour-run Sheffield City Council.

Workers have reported that the CCTV on trucks has resulted in more disciplinary actions despite the surveillance never having been agreed to.

Peter Davies, the GMB official, said, “This shows the level of our members’ anger at the treatment of their colleagues on the receiving end of this aggression.”

The sacking of one worker at the Green Company subcontractor remains a sticking point.

Bosses blame him for a health and safety breach but GMB says he had “little to no responsibility or influence” there.


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