New Glasgow council administration must fix ‘shocking and shameful’ conditions at cleansing depot

Glasgow’s next administration is being urged to address the “shocking and shameful” working conditions facing its cleansing department at Polmadie Depot.

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The GMB trade union claims workers are being forced to eat their dinner surrounded by rats while the hundreds of tyres “dumped” there pose a health and environmental hazard to the city.

And as talks continue over which party will be running the council, GMB convenor Chris Mitchell says whoever “gets the keys to the city” needs to make sure things change.

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He said: “The conditions that workers are provided with are shocking and shameful with holes in the floor of the canteen and rats in the portacabin where workers eat their dinner.

“There are hundreds of dumped tyres which if they caught fire would be an environmental catastrophe for the workforce and the public. To whoever gets the keys to this city, will this change?”

Just one of the issues at the Glasgow cleansing depot.

On Friday the Labour group narrowly missed out on becoming the largest party, with the result going down to the final ward to be announced.

It is anticipated that the Green group, who secured their highest number of seats in Glasgow (10), will play a key role in deciding who runs the council and have indicated the SNP, which won 37 seats to Labour’s 36, deserves a chance to form an administration.

The SNP says they will use the £20 million programme to invest in cleansing depots and improve the working conditions of staff at each workplace while Labour branded the working conditions of staff as “utterly despicable”.

A SNP spokesperson said: “We have committed to a £20 million programme of investment in our depots after decades of underinvestment, this will include improvements to the working environment for staff and the welfare facilities on site.

“As for the important health and safety issues that have been raised they will be addressed with officers and staff locally who have operational responsibility for such matters.”

Glasgow’s Labour Leader says the conditions that workers are being forced to deal with are “horrendous” as a result of cuts to the cleansing budget made by the SNP.

Group Leader councillor Malcolm Cunning said: “These appalling scenes lay bare the damage done by the last SNP administration’s brutal cuts to cleansing in Glasgow.

“It is utterly despicable that the people working day in day out to keep Glasgow clean are expected to work in these horrendous conditions, amid countless health and safety hazards.

“In just five years the SNP cut cleansing budgets by 35 per cent, robbing £17.5 million from services and leaving our beautiful city in a mess.

“Labour will fight for an end to these cuts and a fair deal for Glasgow’s hardworking cleansing teams, so that they can get this fantastic city back to its best.”

Glasgow City Council has also been approached for comment.