The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) will take place from Sunday 31 October to Friday 12 November. The summit will be attended by the world’s elite including heads of state and royalty. However, members of the GMB union are unswayed by the dignitary gearing up to attend the important climate summit and have voted to strike.
The union, representing Glasgow City council employees, gave the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), the Scotland-wide authority body, until Monday to table an improved pay offer for workers.
The GMB union rejected an offer of a £850-a-year pay increase for staff earning up to £25,000 a year.
After negotiations failed the union confirmed a week-long strike beginning on 1 November.
The GMB union are instead calling for a £2,000 pay rise for staff.
Speaking to the BBC, GMB’s 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.
“It will coincide 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.”
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“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.”
Cosla said it was attempting to continue constructive negotiations with the union.
Approximately 1,500 Glasgow City Council staff work in refuse, cleansing, school janitorial and catering roles.
All staff could walk out if the ongoing pay dispute is not resolved.