500 Care Workers Stage Strike Rally

Hundreds of striking social care workers in Glasgow today staged a massive unofficial rally. Around 500 defiant staff gathered at lunchtime in George Square after council chiefs refused their request to hold a demonstration.

The move came as the strike, over controversial gradings and pay structures, entered its second week. Public sector union Unison said the high turnout reflected the solid support for the dispute among the social care staff in Glasgow City Council.

Unison social work secretary Brian Smith said: “The City Chambers is the place to come to show your displeasure towards Glasgow City Council. However, the council said we had not given them enough notice and our request to stage a demonstration was turned down. We decided to try and get all our members to meet in George Square for lunch. Hopefully the level of support that we have seen today will send another clear message to the council.”

Social care worker Jackie Ritchie said: “We felt it was important to come today. We all do valuable jobs and it’s time that was recognised.”

And Tricia Billsland from Baillieston added: “I have worked in social work for 30 years and I’m absolutely disgusted by what’s happening. I’m losing about £1000 a year. It’s breach of promise.”

Union leaders and council chiefs were meeting again this afternoon in the latest bid to resolve the dispute, which has disrupted lifeline services for pensioners, youngsters and drug addicts.