Glasgow janitors working for council-owned firm Cordia escalated their dispute this week with a five-day walkout from Monday.
Striking janitor Steven explained why they escalated. “Doing the same thing can look like weakness—we had to ramp it up. They’re not talking to us so we’ll keep escalating until they do.”
The Unison union members demand the same payments as other workers who also do physically demanding or dirty work but get £1,000 more.
Strikers were set to protest at the Scottish parliament on Wednesday to demand support from the city’s newly elected MSPs. On Thursday an early evening city centre rally will give supporters an opportunity to show solidarity.
“We’re being ignored so we’re going to make a lot of noise this week,” Steven said.
Cordia and council bosses have spent an extra £200,000 paying non-union, non-janitorial staff extra payments to undermine the action, according to Unison.
That’s more than the £120,000 per year it would cost to meet workers’ demands. Steven added, “It’s disgusting they’re prepared to spend taxpayers’ money like this but not pay the janitors what they are due.”
The Labour-run council is proposing to ram through attacks across the council workforce and fears the janitors showing that strikes can get results.
“If bosses admit defeat with us they worry they will not have a leg to stand on with others preparing to strike,” said Steven.
One strike ballot of 2,500 council workers is underway and another of 4,000 over strikes against the attack on terms and conditions is about to start. Workers should vote yes to strike.