BREAKING: Glasgow women workers vote overwhelmingly in favour of strike action

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Credit: Isabel Thomas

Isabel Thomas
News Editor
The ballot is said to be one of the largest ballots of women workers in the UK
Female workers in Glasgow have voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action over equal pay claims. The ballot run by GMB Scotland which opened on 30 August and closed 13 September, is said to be one of largest ballots of women workers in the UK.

The call for strike action comes after a decade of campaigning by female workers to rectify an equal pay dispute. The women workers were found to have been earning less than men in similar jobs. They worked mainly in education and for Cordia Services, which provide care, cleaning, and catering.

Negotiations had been taking place with Glasgow City Council over summer however, GMB Scotland said they moved to strike action after the negotiations “broke down”. The GMB union who had its ballot returned today includes 2,500 members. The Unison union ballot is due to be returned on the 18 September.

With the vote returned it is likely that strike action will go ahead. This industrial action will affect schools, museums and leisure facilities across Glasgow. Glasgow City Council have said that by calling for strike action the unions are “putting vulnerable people at risk”.

On the 13 September, the two unions staged a picket outside Glasgow City Council Chambers while waiting for the decision to be returned. The demo temporarily brought traffic to a standstill around George Square.

Speaking to The Glasgow Guardian, Rhea Wolfson, Regional Organiser at GMB Scotland said: “I mean this is the fight back against institutionalised discrimination and sexism. These women have been denied equal pay for a decade. Protest is the tip of the iceberg really.

“We have been balloting for strike action and today we receive the outcome. If we get over 50% turnout we will be out on industrial action. We will close schools and every public building in the city because now is the time. If not now, then when do women fight back?

“It is not just sexism; it is institutionalised, well thought through discrimination that this Council has fought for over the course of a decade.”