Glasgow cleansing workers to protest over dispute

Glasgow’s cleansing workers are set to stage more protests today (Friday) as part of their campaign for a bigger pay increase.

Members of the GMB trade union say they will not be put in the middle of a “political football field” by the Scottish and UK Governments as they stand in solidarity with cleansing staff across Scotland as well as other sectors threatening strike action in the wake of the cost of living crisis.

Last week the results of a ballot confirmed that Glasgow is set to be hit by strike action which could impact cleansing, catering, janitorial, support staff and cleaners after workers rejected a 2 percent pay increase by COSLA.

GMB convenor Chris Mitchell says the workforce is staging the protests, which will be held during the day by workers not on shift at the Western Depot, to prove they are willing to take industrial action.

Mr Mitchell said: “We as working class citizens will not be placed in the crossfire in a political football match.

“The UK and the Scottish government should really be ashamed of the treatment of public sector workers when it comes to releasing funds to increase the 2 per cent pay cut, not pay rise. There should be no questions asked during a cost of living crisis and coming out of a global pandemic and still we are being treated unfairly with no respect being shown.

“We will take industrial action right across Scotland because we have simply had enough.

“Over the next few weeks GMB branch 40 will continue to campaign and call on all parties to support this as I have said this 2 percent is insulting and a national scandal.”

The convenor is also calling out the UK and Scottish Governments for not being able to resolve the matter and putting members of the trade union in the middle of a political debate.

He added: “We are in the middle of this for some strange reason which is totally unfair. The videos that we are doing is to show that we are willing to take industrial action if there isn’t an increased offer by COSLA. We are low paid workers and we are struggling.

“I have an electricity metre and when it beeps that means it is running out of money. I don’t think the politicians who are debating over who is going to give COSLA more money hear their metre bleep.”

COSLA was approached for comment but said it didn’t have a statement to make at this time. The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council have also been approached.