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Striking Glasgow IT workers win concessions

After 23 days of a bitter dispute, Glasgow Unison members in the IT department have agreed a proposal that will end the industrial action. It represents another example of steps forward gained for workers by taking strike action.

Glasgow City Unison explained what has been achieved: “Glasgow council IT workers have voted to accept a deal that protects their jobs, terms and conditions and current employment status in any new set-up with CGI, the global corporation seeking to take over the running of the city’s IT service. Workers who are currently council employees will be seconded and thus remain council employees. Workers who are currently council- linked employees in the present joint partnership venture will remain council-linked employees in any new arrangement with CGI.

The previous guarantees of no compulsory redundancies and no relocation from Glasgow remain for all workers, including the small number of our members directly employed by the current joint partnership venture with no linkage to the council.

The deal will also see a work- force board created with senior council officers and council politicians which will govern over matters related to the workers’ jobs. UNISON will collectively bargain directly with Glasgow City Council via this unique arrangement. The council also state that they accept the principle that any new workers recruited to the posts should be council-linked employees, although the practical arrangements for this are still to be agreed.

All UNISON members took one day of strike action in November followed-up by selective strike action from 1 December by 39 members. A further 15 members joined the selective action on 17 January.

The deal is a positive outcome for the 230 members. UNISON membership has increased by 40% in the past six months. Against a background of key senior council officers pushing for CGI to take over the running of the city’s IT service and a political leadership unwilling to rule it out, the UNISON members should be congratulated on what they have achieved.”

Labour

Disgracefully, the Glasgow Labour group twice without dissent voted through the CGI deal at the council executive.

The council attempted to recruit a scab workforce to undermine the ICT workers selective action, which was defeated as thousands from across the trade union, labour and socialist movement protested while the strikers stood firm.

The McAveety administration has attacked the socialist- led Glasgow City Union branch constantly in the press for fighting for its members. Unfortunately, despite appeals from the union, Jeremy Corbyn did not condemn the behaviour of the council. One of the Momentum supporting councillors voted for the privatisation at the council executive.

This raises clearly the need for a political alternative. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition will be standing candidates who have supported council workers fighting cuts, attacks and privatisation.