A leading trade union has blasted the Queen Margaret Union for firing part-time staff before summer rather than furloughing them.

Many staff are students, so are unable to claim Universal Credit and do not receive loan payments.

Bryan Simpson, Industrial Organiser for Unite Hospitality, said the QMU had "every opportunity to avoid termination" of staff and their attempts at "justification" were "morally repugnant".

He said:"They could absolutely have continued to furlough them under the Job Retention Scheme.

"Instead they choose to sack 31 loyal workers.

"They have tarnished their reputation as a progressive institution and our members and their students will not forget it."

Alice Walker, 21 from Thornliebank, has worked in the QMU for three years.

She found out she lost her job in the QMU café by email on Monday.

The microbiology student said: "I loved my job. It didn't seem like a job to me.

"For two years I loved working at the QMU until new management came in this last year.

"I struggled to get my usual fifteen hours.

"I feel like the university has turned its back on me. I haven't spoken to my line manager since sometime in March. I have graduated this year and it's left a sour taste in my mouth.

"I was thinking about applying for a Masters at the University, but I'll never go in the QMU again."

Current QMU President Courtney Hughes said: "To continue to furlough staff would have serious financial implications for us in the future.

"It was no longer a viable option for the union to continue furloughing staff. With the Union looking at seriously reduced income levels for some time we are already considering a number of ways we can save money - to ensure the long term sustainability of the Union.

"With student contracts at an end, no guarantee of us being able to offer future employment, and the consideration of serious financial implications, the board made the difficult decision to not extend the contracts of our part-time staff.

"We would like to highlight that it was a difficult decision to make, and we would like to thank our staff for their contribution to the union and wish them well."

Aamer Anwar, former rector of Glasgow University, said: "I am so angry at the treatment of staff at the union.

"It is shoddy, outrageous and a total abuse of all the principles our University claims to stand up for.

"It is the staff and students who give our University its heart and soul, not billion pound building projects- I am fearful that if student unions can treat workers in such a manner, then who is next in the firing line?"