First Glasgow workers vote to strike

Huge vote for strike at First Glasgow as workers reject insulting pay offer

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Unite the union has today (April 21) confirmed that dozens of workers employed by First Glasgow have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over pay.

The 60 First Glasgow workers, including bus cleaners and shunters, voted by 96 per cent in support of strike action in a ballot turnout of 87 per cent.

Two periods of 48-hour strike action will now take place on 4 and 5 May, and 18 and 19 May.

The dispute centres on a two year pay deal which would take some workers to £9.48 per hour backdated to August 2021 to April 2022 – two pence below the adult minimum wage from April 2022 of £9.50 per hour.

The ‘insulting’ pay offer comes as the broader measure of inflation which reflects the true cost of living stands at a 30 year high of 9 per cent.

According to the latest annual reports, the First Glasgow companies involved in the dispute returned a combined profit totalling £12.6 million.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “That First Bus had the cheek to ‘offer’ two pence less than the current adult minimum wage is beyond insulting. This is a business with millions in the bank and comes at time of rapidly rising living costs. I am proud that Unite members have rejected the proposal overwhelmingly. First Glasgow would be wise to heed this overwhelming mandate for strike action and get round the table with a serious offer.

“Our members have the full support of Unite in their fight for better pay.”

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer, added, “Unite’s members at First Glasgow are determined to take a stand against poverty wages. The cleaners and shunters have been forgotten by their employer but they will not tolerate being treated as second class workers any longer. It’s ridiculous that an employer makes a pay offer, even one that’s backdated, which doesn’t even meet the current national minimum wage.”

In December 2021, more than 1300 First Glasgow bus drivers received inflation-busting pay rises of up to 21.5 per cent over two years depending on length of service.

By Andrew Brady

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