Unite members working for the Link Group held a protest yesterday (25 November) outside the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow in advance of the Scottish Housing Awards in a dispute over pay.

The protest was part of Unite’s #FairPay4Link campaign which highlights the real terms pay cut - 1% pay award – given to Link Group workers this year, despite the housing group increasing its rent fee by 2.5%. Some Link Group workers also rent their accommodation from their employer. The trade union is highlighting the irony of the Link Group being nominated for ‘Housing Provider of the Year’, yet it refuses to provide its own workforce with a fair pay rise.

The Link Group covers around 15,000 social residents and the group provides a number of housing services including asset management, community regeneration and technical support. Unite is warning that the pay dispute could escalate during the winter period and potentially effect repairs, unless the Link Group comes back to the negotiating table.

Unite represents plumbers, joiners, electricians, labourers, cleaners, welfare rights officers, benefit advisors and assistants, and housing officers and advisors. The workforce is predominantly based across the Central belt including Edinburgh, Falkirk, and Paisley.

Carrie Binnie, Unite industrial officer, speaking after the protest, said: “Unite’s members are determined to show the Link Group that the real terms pay cut is not acceptable. The workforce has continued to work throughout the pandemic providing essential services for tenants. The Link Group should be embarrassed not only about tonight’s protest but how they are treating their workforce. The irony should be lost on no one that while they may have been nominated for ‘Housing Provider of the Year’ they will certainly be winning no awards from their workers. Unless the Link Group come back to the negotiating table then this dispute could escalate over the coming weeks with ramifications for winter repairs.”