First phase of renewed strike action starts in Glasgow

15 May 2017

A rolling programme of five-day strikes started at the EHRC in Glasgow today (15 May) in the dispute over jobs, budgets and the reinstatement of sacked staff.

On 9 February, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) sacked eight staff by email whilst they were on strike in a dispute over budgets and job cuts.

PCS and Unite immediately launched a campaign to lobby for the reinstatement of the sacked staff and for their redeployment into one of over 40 vacancies in the Commission.

The campaign included further strike action, but PCS suspended its strike planned for 18 April, to enable talks to take place with the ACAS.  However the EHRC refuses to fully reinstate the staff and is resisting their genuine redeployment, insisting on an effective ban from returning to their offices.

A motion has been submitted to the Scottish parliament on the dispute and the First Minister is due to meet with EHRC management later this month

Successful start

The rain didn't dampen the enthusiasm of EHRC PCS members in Glasgow today.

Rep Bill McDonald said: “This is our 8th day of action and we are proud to say that we again sustained 100% support from Glasgow members in the current dispute. Again, not one member in a high union density office crossed our picket line.

“Glasgow members are clear on why we support the strike action unreservedly and why we are proud to show solidarity with our friends and colleagues who were sacked by email and consequently not supported to find alternative employment. Next time, it could be any one of us. Our employer must be held accountable for their actions.”

The picket line was very well supported. The Unite Not For Profit branch, at every single picket line so far, today presented the strikers with a second £1000 cheque for the fighting fund.

Chris Stephens, chair of the PCS parliamentary group, Richard Leonard, Scottish Labour’s economy spokesperson, and many members and reps from other unions all visited the picket line.  There were also many messages of support, including a personal message from PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.

The Glasgow action will be followed over the next three weeks by similar strikes in London, Cardiff and Manchester.

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