Unite has today (29 April) confirmed days of industrial action which is set to hit the Renfrewshire Council elections on 5 May.

Around 200 craft workers employed by the local authority will take part in strike action commencing at 08:00 hours on 3 May and up to 6 May when the action will conclude at 13:00 hours. An overtime ban will also be in place during this time.

Unite’s members are responsible for setting up and dismantling the polling stations and were also due to deliver the ballot boxes to the count in the forthcoming council elections.

Tradespersons and apprentices working within Building Services covered by the local authority craft agreement at Renfrewshire Council have previously voted unanimously to back strike action.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s craft workers are rightly angry not only at the below inflation pay offer at a time of punishing living costs but at the potentially illegal and costly actions by Renfrewshire council. The council has to make a more acceptable offer to our members.

“Our members have their union’s full support in fighting for better jobs, terms and conditions.”

James O’Connell, Unite industrial officer, added: “Unite’s members in the trades and our apprentices have reached the end of their patience with Renfrewshire council’s mind games. Strike action will now hit the forthcoming elections and we do not rule out taking further action beyond 6 May. The council should get back round the negotiating table rather than deliberately taking steps to escalate this dispute.”

When notified of the intention to strike by Unite's members, Renfrewshire council management served notice that all craft workers, who were set to work during the forthcoming local government elections, would be removed. 

According to Unite, the council’s move could well be illegal and in breach of the Employment Relations Act (1999). Were a court to rule in favour of Unite, Renfrewshire council could be forced to pay a considerable amount in compensation to the craft workers.

Renfrewshire council also stands accused by the trade union of reneging on an agreed backdated pay award to July 2019.


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Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.