North Lanarkshire cleaners support industrial action

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There has been overwhelming support for industrial action following a consultative ballot among North Lanarkshire Council’s cleaning staff.

According to a spokesperson for their union, GMB Scotland, a clear message has been sent out to the council that its members will strongly resist the imposition of further cuts to their livelihoods.

GMB Scotland members in North Lanarkshire Council’s (NLC) Regeneration and Environmental Services will now undertake a formal ballot for industrial action after overwhelming support to resist cuts to terms and conditions prompted by a job re-evaluation process.

A total of 96 per cent of its members on an 87 per cent turnout supported proposals for an overtime ban and a ‘work to rule’ in response to imposed changes to pay grades, job descriptions and working time arrangements.

The proposed changes to terms and conditions affect around 120 workers who are among the lowest paid in the council and industrial action will impact key services including refuse, recycling, street cleaning and waste control.

GMB Scotland organiser Ude Adigwe said: “This consultative ballot result sends out a clear message to the council that our members will strongly resist the imposition of further cuts to their livelihoods.

Our members have been clinging-on at the coal face of austerity while their wages, jobs and services have been stripped back to the bare bones, leaving them undervalued and overworked.

“This cannot continue unchallenged and unless the council is prepared to sit down and negotiate in the proper manner, then it looks certain that we will be in a dispute affecting cleansing services across the council within weeks.”