Workers at Glasgow’s day centres for people with learning and physical disabilities have entered their seventh week of indefinite strike action.
It is an impressive display of solidarity that they have stuck together this far – and they remain determined to strike until they win.
Solidarity for the action is building. A delegation of striking workers and other members of the Glasgow City Unison branch attended the demonstration in support of Karen Reismann in Manchester on Saturday.
Two of the strikers who travelled to Manchester had decided earlier this week to harden their picket line at the Southbrae daycare centre – which led to the police being called and their details taken.
The Manchester protest was an excellent opportunity for the Glasgow strikers to meet unions from other parts of the country.
Trade union branches in Sheffield, Liverpool, London and Dundee are organising meetings for delegations of Glasgow strikers.
Unison’s North Lanarkshire branch initiated the idea of a Christmas appeal for strikers, which has been taken up by other sections of Unison’s Glasgow City branch.
The social work section of Glasgow City Unison will be holding its annual general meeting this week, where ways of supporting and spreading the action will be debated.
One emergency motion calls for a national day of action in support of the strike, and for the whole social work department to be balloted for strike action.
The union has begun weekly meetings for the families whose children use the day centres. These have been well attended and are a crucial means for explaining the issues around the strike and building community support for it.
The families are very supportive, attending demonstrations, lobbies, and rallies in support of workers.
Both the families and the strikers recognise that the dispute is not just about pay – it is about the future of the service.
From the beginning of their action, strikers have participated and taken inspiration from Stop the War Coalition events.
‘I’m going to the World Against War conference because I feel that it is my duty as a human being to protest against the war,’ said Sobia, one of the strikers.
‘It is the same Labour Party that is that is financially exploiting us at Glasgow council and funding a war that that is killing people.’
The daycare workers’ strike fund stands at £26,000, plus about £6,000 pledged at the Manchester demonstration.
Other donations include £1,000 from the T&G section of Unite’s Scottish Housing branch and £500 from Dundee Unison.
This week the union is concentrating on a mass lobby every day at council chambers. Negotiations with the council are scheduled for Thursday.
Mass picket at Glasgow Council Chambers, George Square, 8:30am to 5pm, Thursday 29 November, during the negotiations. Lobby council chambers every day, 9am to 11am.
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