Thousands of Glasgow’s women march for equal pay

Thousands of Glasgow’s women took to the streets today (Tuesday) to demand Glasgow City Council resolve the long-standing pay injustice.

Around 10,000 home carers, cleaners, caterers, school workers and other council staff marched together to George Square to demand equal pay. This is the first day of a 48-hour strike and is the largest of its kind since the Equal Pay Act was introduced.

UNISON regional organiser Mandy McDowall said: “These women have faced more than ten years of discrimination and delay and to see thousands taking to the streets today to fight for equal pay shows the strength of feeling among Glasgow’s women.

“The reason behind today’s strike is not to convince Glasgow City Council of the need for equality – we’ve already won the legal case. But in the last ten months, since the council made the commitment to settle the equal pay dispute and deliver on pay equality, the council has offered only meetings about meetings, talks about talks, missed deadlines and no counter proposals.

“Today the women of Glasgow sent a loud and powerful message to Glasgow City Council – the time for talking is over and now we demand action.”

UNISON branch chair Mary Dawson said: “These women are the cogs that keep our city turning – cleaning, caring, educating and looking after some of the city’s most vulnerable people – and they have not taken the decision to strike lightly. Yet despite the vital services they provide, their roles are still chronically undervalued. It’s time Glasgow City Council took action to resolve this long-standing injustice so these women can continue to provide the services we all rely upon.”

Speaking at the rally, UNISON’s assistant general secretary Christina McAnea, said: “Today our whole union stands with Glasgow. Together we have taken the fight to the courts and to the streets. Councillors have come and gone but our demands for equal pay have remained the same. The dedication to the cause of UNISON members has been incredible, and it’s been matched by the incredible strength shown by those taking action today.”

The two-day strike will continue tomorrow with pickets throughout Glasgow.

For further information please contact:

Brian Smith, UNISON Glasgow City branch secretary, on 07870 914 361

Mandy McDowall, UNISON regional organiser, on 07903 846 427
Jennifer McCarey, UNISON area organiser, on 07958 121 118
Mary Dawson, UNISON Glasgow City branch chair, on 0141 552 7069