Two-day strike in Glasgow begins

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Glasgow’s women will march from Glasgow Green to George Square today (Tuesday) as they start a two-day strike in their fight to achieve pay justice.

Around 8,000 school staff, nursery workers, care workers, caterers and cleaners – the majority of them UNISON members – will walk out in the largest equal pay strike since the Equal Pay Act was passed.

The strike will affect schools, nurseries, home care, cleaning and catering across the city

Mandy McDowall, UNISON’s regional organiser, said: “It is a modern-day scandal that forty years on from the equal pay act being introduced we find ourselves standing alongside thousands of women who are being discriminated against by one of the UK’s largest councils.

“These women are the lifeblood of Glasgow, they carry out vital roles across the city – cleaning, caring, educating and looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They are the cogs that keep our city turning yet their roles remain chronically undervalued. Strike action isn’t a decision these women have taken lightly but after months of empty promises they have been left with no choice.

“Glasgow City Council has to get back around the negotiating table and finally put an end to this long-standing injustice.”

UNISON Glasgow chair Mary Dawson added: “We have given the council 10 months to make progress on addressing the historical discrimination suffered by these workers.

“However, the council has agreed nothing, offered nothing and all we have had are meetings about meetings and talks about talks. It’s time for some action.”

Suzanne Martin, leader of the Glasgow Branch of the Women’s Equality Party said: “This workforce, which is largely made up of women, has been let down by two administrations now. Labour and the SNP have shown their complete disregard for equality and for the women who keep our city moving day in and day out.”

“In a year when the scale of women’s inequality has been laid bare – from #MeToo and sexism in Police Scotland, to gender pay gap reporting that found eight in ten UK firms pay men more than women – it is extraordinary that Glasgow City Council has failed to redress this wrong.”

After decades of pay discrimination, 8000 Glasgow City Council employees, most of whom are women, are set to take part in a two day strike. A largely unseen workforce, which includes cleaners, caterers and care assistants, has been forced into strike action as Glasgow City Council has not yet agreed a fair settlement.”

More information here: equal pay battle