Socialist Worker

Striking Glasgow janitors raise safety fears

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2501

Janitors march in Glasgow

Janitors march in Glasgow last week (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Striking janitors in Glasgow, who held a solid three-day walkout last week, have raised major questions over safety as bosses try to undermine their strike.

Management at Cordia, the Glasgow City Council-owned firm that employs the janitors, is spending £3,000 a day to break the strike.

The Unison union members are demanding the same payment as workers who do similar physically demanding or dirty work. They get between £500 to over £1,000 a year less.

Janitors told Socialist Worker that staff drafted in to open up schools in their absence are ill trained for the job.

Unison said, “Cordia appear to be spending their time bullying untrained staff to open up breakfast clubs with the potential hazards that brings.”

Striker Alec Mcnee said, “Breakfast clubs are being run but who is responsible for fire safety when senior teaching staff are not there?”

But the Labour council’s firm has refused to budge.

Striking janitors protested outside Cordia and council headquarters. They have issued “wanted” posters for councillors that sit on Cordia’s board who could intervene but won’t.

Janitor Steven Spurs said, “We clean up sick, animal excrement, empty bins and more. Other workers rightly get what we don’t and it’s discrimination.”

A consultative ballot on strikes by 4,000 Unison union members affected by Glasgow City Council cuts was ending as Socialist Worker went to press.

The cuts affect public holidays, flexi leave and annual leave for new workers.

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