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Glasgow women: strike! Follow the action, live and unfiltered, from the picket lines of the Glasgow Equal Pay strike with public services international, GMB Union and Unison

STRIKE: Live Blog

Wednesday 24.10.2018

17:30pm

We're wrapping up the live blog but before we go check out this Op-Ed from PSI General Secretary linking the local Glasgow Struggle, to the global union movement.

15:00Pm

A few updates from the final day of picketing:

Here's a message of support from a Queenslie Recycling Depot worker - check out our coverage of the picket there further down the live blog:

13:00PM

Flashback to yesterday - here's a moving video of the minute of silence which was held ahead of the rally in remembrance for all those women who passed away without ever seeing equal pay:

10:00am

7:00AM

And they're back. Pickets are up across the city and ain't no one crossing them!

Up at the crack of dawn.
Bus Drivers know how to roll. Bacon Roll.

Check out PSI's full album of Creative Common photos from the picket lines and rally

3:00am

Solidarity messages have come in overnight from across the world for the Women in Glasgow continuing their strike for equal pay today.

National Nurses United from the USA send their regards
KESK, a Union Federation from Turkey in solidarity.
A twitter-user named Jeremy sends his love <3

Tuesday 23.10.2018

1:58:pm

And with one last rousing chorus of "We are Family" by Sister Sledge, the Rally is drawn to a close

The strike action (and blog) will continue from tomorrow morning, with Pickets planned once again across the city.

1:55pm

1:49pm

Today, we found out how truly united we are. We had many men walk off work in solidarity with our strike, refusing to cross our picket lines. The Council threatened to sack them - they stood with us anyway!

Hazel Nolan, GMB Regional Organiser

"Today is the day when we make ourselves seen. When we make ourselves heard. We know why we are here! We are the women who are here because we are the women who are going to win!"
"We want no-more or no-less than what we are owed. We want to be able to look our daughters in the eye."
"I am a home carer because I care. I'm a union rep because I care. I don't need a council manager or chief executive to tell me my work is vital. If they won't value the women who do the work - then don't lecture me about my job.
We're not 'man' enough to be paid properly but we're women enough to be told that we're cruel if we pursue our legitimate right to strike.

Shona Thomson, GMB Branch Secretary and Home Care worker

1:17pm

"Yes, the cost for equal pay is a lot - because it's a whole lot of money that they have been docking from you for years!"

Christina McAnea, UNISON Assistant General Secretary

1:01pm

"We women; we work part time, full time, all the time, any time."

Lynn Henderson, President of the Scottish Trades Union Congress

Lynn Henderson

12:30am

The rally has arrived in front of the City Council Chambers

11:41am

Check out the feeling of the Rally via the video below:

11:20am

Thousands of workers have assembled on Glasgow Green. This March is ready to go!

Jennifer McCarey, Branch Development Officer UNISON Scotland outlines the plans for the Rally

10:27am

Solidarity messages coming in from UGT, Spain:

10:17am

After pickets across the City, the striking workers are set to stage a Mass Rally from Glasgow Green to Council Chambers.

The rally will begin with a minutes silence in memory of all the Women who have died without ever receiving Equal Pay or fair compensation for their work.

Balloons are prepared, representing fallen comrades: many of whom have died from Cancer.

"They will never get justice. It's more than a tragedy frankly. That's why we're doing this. For the future women workers who won't face the same fate."

Angela McKee, Home Care Worker

Angela Mckee

9:00am

A successful picket at the Queenslie Recycling depot has led the predominantly male refuse workers to walk out in support of the striking Women.

9:30am

Maureen Harmer, a Home Care worker explains the choice to picket the Depot:

"As Home Care workers, we obviously wouldn't picket outside the houses where we take care of our clients - so we chose the Recycling Depot as a Council facility we all use to stage a picket and encourage a walk out."

07:39am

A Highway Maintenance truck driver just crossed the picket line at incredibly high-speed, nearly running over a number of women.

Isabell Addison believes this is just another example of the bullying behaviour these workers are often up against:

"That driver who just sped through our picket line: he's just trying to scare us, to push us aside. But he's not the one who has to stand here from 6am protesting for something as basic as equal pay. Draining isn't it?"

06:30am

Across Glasgow picket-lines have been put in place in front of Council worksites. Here at Queenslie Industrial Park's Recycling Depot two dozen women are "manning" the fort.

3:00am

The Strike has been receiving messages of support from across the world! PSI has collated them all on one page - check it out:

Monday 22.10.2018 -

The Day Before

"Do you want a cup of tea or coffee, love?"

Despite having barely slept for days, Shona Thomson is quick as a flash to greet the steady stream of workers, journalists, students and members of the curious public who wander into the GMB Strike Office in Glasgow, Scotland. As a Home Care worker and GMB Branch Secretary she has been on the front-lines of preparations for the Glasgow Women's Strike - the culmination of over a decade of legal wrangling, mounting pressure and continued inaction by the City Council to implement pay equality.

"It's been literally months of organising work- it's hard to think the day is almost here!"

Shona certainly won't be alone. Organisers are expecting over 8000 workers to take part in the Strike across the city.

So far, Unison and GMB union have distributed over:

3000 placards
5000 whistles
20,000 leaflets

For UNISON Branch Area Organiser Jennifer McCarey, the key to getting so many workers on board has been giving them the power over the process.

"Every demo, every action, every aspect of the campaign has been dedicated to creating a united campaign where everyone works together. The members were clear: we needed to build alliances"
"When the Council failed to make any meaningful commitments and postponed the negotiations the workers knew exactly what they wanted to do."

The voter-turnout among workers for the Strike Ballot was higher than for any City Council seat, with over 90% deciding in favour of the Strike.

The Background of the Strike

On the 23rd and 24th of October, over 8000 women will put down tools and take to the streets of Glasgow, Scotland. Their strike is among the biggest equal pay actions in the Country's history and comes on the back of a wave of Women's Strikes around the world.

The striking women include nursery workers, school administration and learning support aides, home carers, cleaners, caterers and other council staff.

The strike action comes as a last resort: the council has fought equal pay litigation brought by unions all the way to the Scottish Supreme Court.

But now, despite a raft of rulings in favour of equal pay - and after 10 months and more than 20 meetings - the Council still hasn't taken any meaningful action.

While the strike will take place across a range of public services, the Unions have been meeting with the Council to ensure that all life-essential services are maintained.

"This is a fantastic show of strength by an overwhelmingly female workforce who have been treated disgracefully for years. They are now standing up and fighting back.”

Carol Ball | UNISON Scotland Local Government Vice-chair

UNISON and GMB Union, who represent the striking Women, are calling for messages of solidarity from workers and unions across the world. Submit your word of support via the link below and we will post it to the blog.

Don't forget to tag us:

#GlasgowWomensStrike @PSIGlobalUnion @GMBScotOrg @UNISONScot

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