UK: Solidarity strikers threatened with legal action by Glasgow council

by Conrad Landin

Morning Star | October 24, 2018

SNP council chiefs came under fire today for threatening workers refusing to cross picket lines with Tory anti-union laws.

Brave male dustbin workers, street cleaners and parking wardens in Glasgow refused to clock on while women working as care workers, cleaners, and school-dinner ladies picketed outside their depots over equal pay.

On the second day of a 48-hour strike the solidarity action expanded to more waste depots in Scotland’s largest city.

In a legal letter sent to trade union GMB, council lawyers accused the union of unlawful industrial action, serving notice that court proceedings would follow if union officials did not repudiate the action and call on members to return to work.

The letter stated: “That this pattern was repeated across each of these depots shows that this was orchestrated and planned industrial action.

“It is not industrial action that is protected by the ballot under which others of the GMB’s members are striking today and tomorrow.”

The council claimed there had been unlawful picketing of waste depots.

But union sources said pickets had taken place only at workplaces where there were small numbers of women cleaners employed.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay said that the council “should not be using anti-trade union laws to attack those showing solidarity with their fellow workers.”

He added: “The SNP council must immediately withdraw any threats of legal action.”

On Tuesday, bosses reportedly threatened the male solidarity strikers that the police would be called on them and they would have their pay docked.

Conrad Landin is Morning Star Scotland editor.

 

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