Thousands of women to bring city to standstill in UK's biggest ever equal pay strike

The demonstration will see more than 8,000 women walk out of schools, hospitals and cleaning jobs.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Thousands of women to bring city to standstill in UK's biggest ever equal pay strike - NewsMavens
Union meeting for #EqualPayNow, Twitter

Why this story matters:

Thousands of female council workers are set to go on strike across Scotland's largest city this month, according to a Guardian report. The women are expected to bring Glasgow to a standstill.

They will take part in two-day action against a complicated pay system that has seen female-dominated jobs such as catering and homecare earn less wages than male-dominated council jobs like bin collection for more than a decade.

Most of the women have never been on a picket line before and believe this is their time to finally have their voices heard.

Details from the story:

  • A job evaluation scheme was introduced by the Labour Party-run council in 2006 that aimed to tackle gender pay equality in the city.
  • However, the scheme allegedly favored men, the women say, given that it penalized people working split-shifts, job shares and irregular hours.
  • The programme also included a payment protection scheme for men who had not received financial bonuses at work.
  • The unions that have organised the strike, GMB and Unison, say that a failure of negotiations has left the women with no choice but to go on strike.
  • The 12-year battle has endured even after the council was taken over by the Scottish National Party in 2017, which promised to settle the claims.
  • Stefan Cross, the lawyer representing the 8,000 claimants, says the council has refused to engage with the issue, throughout nearly 12 months and 21 meetings.
  • Meanwhile, the leader of Glasgow's council, Susan Aitken, argues it is the trade unions that have let women down.
  • The strike will begin on October 23 and end on October 24, Glasgow's City Council has been informed.
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