Bin collectors and street cleaners have walked out on strike as Glasgow hosts world leaders for the COP26 summit, amid a row between a union and the city council.
GMB members walked out at one minute past midnight on Monday following the collapse of last-ditch talks between the union and Glasgow City Council on Sunday evening.
More than 100 world leaders are expected to arrive in Glasgow on Monday as the first day of the two-day world leaders’ summit takes place at the COP26 UN climate conference.
The planned strike action was previously called off on Friday after a new pay offer from council umbrella body Cosla, and the GMB said it would suspend the strike for two weeks to consult with members.
However, following talks on Sunday, the GMB said strike action would go ahead.
GMB Scotland secretary Louise Gilmour said:
We met the council in good faith, offering a clear set of proposals to reset industrial relations and avoid strikes. The council rejected these proposals.
Regrettably, the council refused this massive opportunity to move forward, and strike action across the cleansing service will now begin, during which time our members will be balloted on the Cosla pay offer.
Striking through COP26
The union said workers will take strike action throughout the first full week of the Cop26 summit.
The GMB was calling for a £2,000 pay rise and previously turned down an offer of an £850-a-year increase for staff earning up to £25,000.
The Cosla proposal tabled on Friday is for a one-year, 5.89% increase for the lowest-paid council staff, as part of a £1,062 rise for all staff earning below £25,000.
The Scottish Government gave £30 million to support the offer.
A Glasgow City Council spokesman for said on Sunday evening: “The agreement struck at national level gave two weeks to consider the pay offer and so there is no reason for this strike to go ahead at this time.
“It is very disappointing the GMB has opted for this course of action, which now seems to be about allocating time for meetings rather than a pay agreement.
“We will meet with the GMB at any time to try and resolve what now appears to be a local dispute.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?