GMB union gives out water to sweltering Glasgow City Council workers

The GMB's tweet about distributing water to council workers.
The GMB's tweet about distributing water to council workers.

A Glasgow trade union has taken to the streets for a second year in a row to distribute water to members who work for the council.

GMB posted an update to their Twitter account to inform land and environmental service workers, at Glasgow City Council, water would be delivered to them during one of the hottest days in the year.

The organisation hit out at the local authority last year failing to provide staff with enough water despite one worker bring hospitalised for heat stroke.

The council has confirmed that water fountains are available near depots and water can be accessed at any of the council buildings across the city.

Yesterday (Thursday, July 25) Glasgow GMB began handing out bottles of water to staff on shift at 6am and continued to do so throughout the rest of the day.

GMB Scotland Organiser Rhea Wolfson said: “For the second year running, management in the council’s cleansing department have left their staff without readily available access to water throughout the working day. That’s why our members have been providing bottled water to staff working across the city.

“We tried to engage management over this issue when forecasts began predicting the soaring temperatures earlier this week but their response was there is access to water fountains in the cleansing depots, ignoring the fact staff routinely work up to four to six hours at a time away from there.

“We also asked management to implement a flexible working pattern for the completion of shifts today, to minimise the possibility of working at times of peak temperatures, and in an effort to maximise the safety of our members and their operations.

“This was also ignored so we have taken measures to mitigate the impact of the weather ourselves and to keep our members safe at work. It’s a great shame the service management couldn’t do likewise.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Staff have been encouraged to bring in their own reusable water bottles, which they can refill at any depot or public building around the city.

“Glasgow’s tap water is second-to-none and encouraging the use of this fantastic resource is an appropriate response to keeping hydrated.

“We also have an objective of reducing the amount of plastic we consume and so refilling reusable bottles is a sensible measure to help us achieve that aim.

“If staff needed to take a short time out to get a refill then we’d support that.”