Glasgow cleansing workers’ cost of living struggle ‘needs to be heard’

A Glasgow cleansing worker has described the difficulties facing his family during the cost of living crisis as they struggle to find affordable school uniforms.

Andy Reid, who has worked for the city council for more than 20 years, says family life has been affected as a result of inflation meaning he and his wife are also having to cut back on the number of summer activities they can plan with their three young children aged ten, seven and five.

Mr Reid, who was part of the GMB protest on Friday afternoon at the Western Depot, says they are spending more than they are earning and have even had to cut back on pocket money.

He explained: “Everything we do as a family is getting affected just now because the cost of living is going up.

Andy Reid works for the council.Andy Reid works for the council.
Andy Reid works for the council.

“If you think about the diesel, petrol or even if you phone a takeaway everything has gone up by a pound or two, including the activities you do in the summer holidays with the kids.

“We are spending far more than we are earning and it is getting more and more noticeable, meaning we are having to cut back. To tell your kids you can’t do the things they are used to is difficult.

“We have had to cut back on pocket money and the cost of school uniforms is through the roof with the three of them.

“My youngest is starting school this year, so with the three of them at school, uniforms are a pretty big expense. With your wages just staying the same, it is pretty difficult.”

Earlier on Friday it was confirmed that COSLA had failed to make a new pay offer meaning strike action was deemed “necessary” by the GMB convenor to resolve the pay dispute.

Workers say they want to feel valued and listened to by the people making the decision.

Mr Reid added: “It is really important that COSLA and the Scottish Government hear us because when you are used to a lifestyle with your family and you are having to cut back, kids don’t understand these things.

“They are asking to do certain things like go to the football or iPlay Centre and having to say no is pretty difficult. Even though these activities might only be £10 or £20 – at the end of the month when you haven’t got that it makes a big difference.

“The price of gas, electricity, petrol, diesel, clothing and food is all going up and kids don’t understand. My wife and I both work, it’s hard enough running your life but when it comes to the extra financial difficulty, that’s what makes it so much worse.

“Everything is just getting dearer. It feels like we are getting less wages.”