Socialist Worker

Janitors escalate with mass school pickets

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2530

Striking janitors in Glasgow protest outside St Monica’s primary school

Striking janitors in Glasgow protest outside St Monica’s primary school


Striking janitors in Glasgow have mounted mass pickets at workplaces that bosses propose to be part of a scheme that could see a quarter of janitors sacked.

Around 100 joined the pickets this week. School bus drivers and staff at one nursery refused to cross the picket in solidarity.

Janitors want payments for dirty and physically demanding work that are available to other employees and walked out for two weeks on Monday.

Cordia employs the janitors, mainly at primary schools. It is a council-run firm created by the Labour administration, and is one of three separate disputes at Glasgow council (see page 17).

Striker Steven told Socialist Worker, “We’re getting a lot of support from the parents. They’re telling us we are quite right to do this.”

Instead of negotiating bosses have spent tens of thousands of pounds trying to get other Cordia staff to cover the janitors’ duties.

“These are people that don’t know the job,” Steven said.

“There was one young guy who’s on a 15-hour-a-week contract doing 50 hours a week. But he’s not got a clue.”

Janitors and their union, Unison, have raised concerns that basic health and safety is being breached during their strike. Parents should be demanding answers from councillors about this.


Library workers in Barnet, north London, struck last Saturday against library cuts.

The Unison union members are fighting 47 percent cuts to library posts at the Tory-run council.

Staffed library hours are proposed to be cut by 70 percent.

The Tories’ proposals are set to come before the councillors to be approved at a meeting on 6 December.


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