GMB union urges council to work with them over ‘cleansing crisis’

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Members of a Glasgow trade union are urging the city council to work with them rather than against them in the fight against the cleansing crisis.

What’s happening? Last week the GMB slammed local authority plans to install QR scan codes on more than 5000 bins to register units which are needing to be emptied and asked again for more staff to help dispose of the waste.

The city council hit back saying that “resisting the use of data and technology in support of a substantial logistical operation such as Glasgow’s cleansing service is the way of the dinosaur”.

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The local authority is now recruiting staff for the street cleansing service and is implementing a post-pandemic recovery plan to catch-up on work missed during the last eighteen months.

In response to being compared to a prehistoric creature, a member of the GMB dressed up as a dinosaur and was filmed emptying his rubbish before running off.

Chris Mitchell GMB convenor said: “Even the dinosaur knows to put his litter in the bin and that the cleansing workers will empty it.

“Technology should never replace workers and the cleansing workers are the ones that empty the bins, clean the streets and drive the vehicle.

“Stand with us not against us.”

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Conservative leader councillor Thomas Kerr has added: “It is absolutely shocking that council thinks the hard working cleansing staff who are suffering under her administration’s failed policies are acting like ‘dinosaurs’.

“The only thing prehistoric about this mess is the amount of time it takes for Glasgow residents to get their bins emptied and fly tipping in their communities sorted.

“It’s time to stop attacking the representatives of our cleansing workforce and actually formulate a plan to clean up Glasgow.”

Why it matters: Glasgow City Council says the street cleansing budget for this year is £8 million and that there are 598 refuse collectors for the year 2021/22. Per head of population, the street cleansing budget for Glasgow is twice the national average and much bigger than any other comparable local authority.

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A spokesman said: “We are clear the GMB is resisting the use of new technology in support of Glasgow’s cleansing service, which is completely out-of-step with how to manage a major logistical operation in the 21st century.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, it is not the council that has spent the last eighteen months vilifying Glasgow and, by direct implication, the efforts of our staff to maintain the city’s environment during a deadly pandemic.”

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