UNISON condemns Glasgow City Council attack on strikers

UNISON has condemned Glasgow City Council for taking action against more than 60 carers for participating in an official strike earlier this year.

The council claims that UNISON members failed to follow an instruction to attend training, but they did not attend because they were taking lawful industrial action and are, therefore, protected.

In addition, an employer cannot legally compel an employee to do work that is the subject of a trade union dispute. This means that the employer wasn’t entitled to instruct staff to attend training o0n those days.

In the last year, the council has:

  • closed three of its seven day centres;
  • reduced the number of service users from more than 500 to around 150;
  • cut the workforce by more than 40% (from 248 to 147); and
  • sought to impose new duties on the lowest-graded staff.

UNISON City of Glasgow branch secretary Brian Smith said: “Our members took the difficult decision to strike as a last resort to defend the services that the most vulnerable people in Glasgow rely on.

“This action by Glasgow City Council breaches the limited protections afforded to workers taking part in industrial action in the UK, and is a real kick in the teeth to hard-working carers.

“We’re calling on Glasgow’s councillors to step in and put an end this attack on workers’ rights.”

UNISON regional organiser Mandy McDowall noted: “The investigations have involved several senior managers, HR officers, our members and their trade union representatives, and have been conducted at the four centres over four days.

“UNISON estimates that this must have cost at least £10,000 in staff wages and associated costs, and more investigations are planned this week.

“The council needs to put an end to this costly process and put the focus back on delivering services.”

Key issue: fighting cuts to local services

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