Glasgow bin workers to hold strike during Cop26 summit

Glasgow bin workers to hold strike during Cop26 summit
Walk-out scheduled for first day of summit

Cleaning and refuse staff in Glasgow have confirmed that they will strike for a week during the Cop26 summit next month.

Members of the GMB Union announced that strike action would begin from 1 November – the first full day of the summit – after the union gave the local authority Cosla until Monday to table a better pay offer.

Glasgow City Council has urged the workers to reconsider the move which will cause disruption during a “busy and difficult time”. Cosla said it would continue negotiations with the union.

Around 1,500 Glasgow City Council staff in refuse, cleaning, school janitorial and catering roles are set to walk out as a result of the ongoing pay dispute.

The GMB, along with Unison and Unite unions, are calling for a £2,000 annual pay rise for staff. GMB members rejected Cosla’s £850 per year increase for staff earning up to £25,000 a year.

Cop26 could launch with strikes from bin workers

GMB Scotland senior organiser Drew Duffy said: “Following Cosla’s failure to table an improved pay offer for our local government workers, GMB has served Glasgow City Council with statutory notice for industrial action in the cleansing service.

“This will be a seven-day strike action, starting at 00.01 hours on Monday 1 November and ending at 23.59 hours on Monday 8 November, coinciding with the Cop26 International Climate Conference.

“Further notices will be served on more councils later this week. If strike action is to be avoided, then a significantly improved offer must be brought forward to give our key workers proper value.”

Train staff in Scotland also plan to strike during the upcoming Cop26 climate conference, transport union RMT has confirmed, worsening fears Glasgow’s transport system will become crippled during the two-week summit.

ScotRail workers will strike from 00.01am on 1 November until 11.59pm on 12 November amid an ongoing dispute over rates of pay and conditions.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “These are national, rather than local, pay negotiations and it is difficult to understand why this step has been taken while those negotiations remain ongoing.

“Cop will undoubtedly be a busy and difficult time for the city and its residents. Holding this action only in Glasgow at this time will have disproportionate and unfair local impact in pursuit of a national campaign. We urge them to think again about the timing of this.”