Socialist Worker

Council workers' action has an impact

Issue No. 1998

Aberdeen Council workers voted last week to suspend further strike action in their dispute over equal pay.

Around 200 catering and cleaning workers packed into the Adelphi Trades Union Social Club where they unanimously voted to halt the industrial action planned for this week.

They voted not to accept Aberdeen council’s slightly improved offer, which would have seen them receive one-off payments of up to £15,000 to cover five years’ back pay.

The Aberdeen strikers are claiming 100 percent back pay, with some women believing they are entitled to £25,000.

Many will now take their case to an employment tribunal in a bid to get what they see as the full amount due them.

Tommy Campbell, the T&G union regional convenor, said, “There has been a unanimous decision by our members to call a halt to the industrial action.

“They are satisfied that the action they took a few weeks ago has had its effect on the council.

“Although the offer as it stands is not acceptable to them, they do understand that some people may well decide for personal reasons to accept.”

A 48-hour walkout by over 600 workers in March led to more than half of the city’s schools closing their doors. More than 2,000 Aberdeen city council employees are still owed back-dated equal pay.

“There is absolutely no question of them giving in at all,” said Tommy.

“The campaign for equality and justice continues as this isn’t just about the cleaning and catering staff. This is about all public servants getting properly job-evaluated and getting a very good salary for the good work they do for the people in Aberdeen.”

Around 600 workers had been due to strike on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

One of the workers said, “I am angry with the council and I don’t see why we should let them get away with not paying us what we are due.”

A woman who has worked as a school cleaner for more than ten years said, “They wouldn’t let us get away with paying any less than we were due if it was the other way round and I don’t see why we should treat them any different.”


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News
Sat 29 Apr 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1998
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