Mark Whitehead 24 October 2018

Equal pay strike closes council facilities and hundreds of schools

Equal pay strike closes council facilities and hundreds of schools image

Unions were today claiming the strike by 8,000 women staff in Glasgow over equal pay was solid and council facilities had shut down as other workers refused to cross picket lines.

All 60 of the city's parking attendants stopped work this morning according to the GMB union and the council confirmed that the iconic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was shut.

All the city's primary schools were shut and home care services continued to be badly disrupted this morning as the 48-hour action entered its second day.

The council said supportive action meant there would be no refuse collections today.

The GMB and Unison, the two unions representing the care workers, cleaners and support staff, said the strike over the 12-year-old dispute was 100% solid and there were no signs of a drift back to work.

They said they had been 'inundated' with calls of support and claimed the city as a whole was backing the women strikers who are claiming equal pay with male colleagues doing similar work.

The SNP-run council today repeated the comment made by its leader Susan Aitken yesterday that the strike was 'unnecessary and dangerous' and that it was 'absolutely committed to delivering equal pay and reaching a negotiated settlement'.

A council spokesperson confirmed that secondary action had disrupted a number of other services as staff chose not to cross picket lines and some cleansing staff had taken 'more extensive, unscheduled action'.

The unions said they hoped the support shown for the strike would lead them to continue talks tomorrow aimed at a settlement.

GMB spokesperson Peter Welsh told LocalGov: 'The strike has been absolutely solid. The city is on the side of the women and we are hoping the council will realise this and come back to the negotiating table to resolve the dispute at long last.'

Unison area organiser Jennifer McCarey said: 'We are pleased that our members have overwhelmingly supported the action.

'There are a number of places where the workforce decided not to cross picket lines because they wanted to show their support.'

The story so far:

Council affected by secondary strike action

Council strike over equal pay goes ahead

One year on, councils will be central to recovery image

One year on, councils will be central to recovery

After an extraordinary year, council staff are exhausted, worn down and facing further cuts, says Heather Jameson. But she has no doubt they will continue to rise to the challenge 'whether it is in an office, at home or on a laptop anywhere'.
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