By Raymie Kiernan
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2535

Glasgow council strikers carry the fight into the new year

This article is over 7 years, 4 months old
Issue 2535
IT workers picketing in December
IT workers picketing in December (Pic: Clare Kerr)

Glasgow council workers were set to continue strikes against privatisation on Thursday.

IT workers in the Unison union were preparing to walk out for three weeks over the Labour-run council’s plan to hive off all council IT services to a private company.

The 39 workers at Access—a council joint venture with outsourcing giant Serco that runs the authority’s IT service—also struck for three weeks in December.

The dispute centres on the £400 million proposed privatisation of Glasgow IT services by Labour Party councillors.

They are pushing a deal with the Canadian multinational CGI Group.

Labour councillors argue this will “save” money but workers want the IT service to remain in-house and not be privatised.

They fear terms and conditions could be attacked.

Janitors, also in the Unison union, working for council-run firm Cordia were also set to walk out for two weeks from Monday.

They are fighting a long-running battle for payments available to council workers.

Those who do physically demanding or dirty work receive an additional payment, but janitors have been denied it. Rather than settle the

dispute Cordia bosses have focused their attentions on how to undermine the workers’ action.

The janitors have been told that a long promised “Janitorial Review” could lead to changes in their wages and conditions.

But they are keeping up the pressure with strikes rather than waiting on promises.

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Anger over Scotland pay snub

Local government bosses in Scotland have snubbed workers’ union representatives over pay.

Unions submitted a pay claim in August last year for a £1,000 flat rate pay rise. But council bosses have yet to respond to it.

The Unison union called it a “disgraceful” way to treat workers providing vital council services.

Activists in the unions need to push again for officials to start balloting council workers for industrial action. That is the lesson from big disputes in Scotland’s colleges last year.

Lecturers and support staff both won over pay by striking.

And with council elections set for May across Scotland there would be no better way to wring a better deal on pay out of councils than to use strikes to build up the pressure.

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