GLASGOW’S equal pay women have voted an overwhelming 98 per cent in favour of a strike.

A ballot said by the unions to be one of the largest of women workers in the UK returned yesterday afternoon with a majority voting to walk out.

If the strike now goes ahead it will affect schools, museums and leisure facilities across the city with thousands of women involved.

Yesterday, Glasgow City Council said unions are “putting vulnerable people at risk” by calling for strike action.

Insiders say strike action cannot make the claims negotiation process move any faster. 

But the unions say their members are clear on what they are doing and have waited long enough for compensation for years of unequal pay.

GMB Scotland said thousands of women employed by Cordia Services will take industrial action.

Its ballot of members delivering home care, school cleaning and catering services across Glasgow closed yesterday afternoon.

GMB has more than 2800 members in Cordia providing around the clock home care for 87,000 service users, as well as cleaning and catering services for schools and amenities across the city. 

The trade union represents more than 2000 of an estimated 10,000 women with live second wave equal pay claims against Glasgow City Council, with the overwhelming majority employed by the arms-length organisation. 

GMB Scotland Organiser Rhea Wolfson said: “This is a significant moment, not just in the long history of Glasgow’s equal pay scandal but in the fight back against institutionalised discrimination and sexism at work. 

"Thousands of women who have been robbed by their employer for years have sent a loud and clear message to this council and to the country:

“Enough is enough. It's time to deliver what we are owed.”
Women workers are also represented by Unison and Action4Equality Scotland.

Some 5000 Unison members were also balloted for strike action.
GMB Scotland Organiser Hazel Nolan added that workers now have no confidence in Glasgow City Council.

She said: “Over the last ten months the joint claimant organisations have sat with council officials to try and start a process of negotiation that would deliver settlements for our members, but we have been stonewalled since day one. 

"There is no confidence in this process among our women and without cast-iron guarantees from the council that meaningful negotiations can be revived then Glasgow is facing waves of industrial action across key services in the coming weeks and months.” 

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council made a similar comment to one given to the Evening Times on Wednesday.

He said: “The union has asked its members to back strike action on the basis of a schedule of negotiations it not only agreed but signed up to on their behalf.

 “The Council has committed to make an offer in December, which it will do, and we are committed to discuss the component parts of that offer prior to that. 

 “The union also knows full well that strike action cannot possibly make this process move any faster. Putting vulnerable people at risk by calling a strike which cannot change the timescale claimants agreed to cannot be justified.”