Workers from Glasgow City Council's refuse and cleansing services held a socially distanced demonstration today outside the City chambers asking for a Covid-19 bonus payment.

The workers were calling on the Scottish Government and COSLA to recognise the sacrifices of low-paid frontline workers by bringing forward a coronavirus bonus payment.

Organiser of the demonstration and GMB Scotland Convenor Chris Mitchell told The Glasgow Times: "Over the last two months we've started a campaign regarding adding £2 to our hourly rate every day that we've worked throughout lockdown as a hazardous payment, because we are out there risking our lives throughout the pandemic.

Glasgow Times:

"Only yesterday the Welsh government cited £500 bonuses for carers, solely deserved.

"People like Tesco, Morrisons, Asda have also given their staff bonuses.

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"I've been given a letter that says I'm a key worker. I've worked through this, should there be some kind of payment through this? Because we have risked our lives."

Chris added: "I think it would be a boost to everybody's morale at this point.

"If you look at the care sector, people and workers lost their lives to COVID-19.

"You don't go to your work to not come back. It's heartbreaking. That goes for everybody.

"If there is a spike in the winter, then we'll be given the same letter and asked to do the same duties again. There should be some recognition.

Glasgow Times:

"Cleansing workers, care workers and social services workers are some of the lowest paid workers within this industry. It would be a boost for morale, coming up for winter and Christmas.

"We read a statement out to the Scottish Government pleading to look at us as recognised workers and look at us as essential services.

"We are saying to the Government you have asked us to do our civic duty, that's what we have done.

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"Cleansing services are a statutory requirement to stop other diseases from spreading so I think they need to recognise that as well.

"If we are not here then there is a problem coming.

Glasgow Times:

"It would be great if the Scottish government, the UK government, Glasgow City council and other councils right across Scotland recognise the work that cleansing workers do within every city within Scotland."

Councillor Paul Carey told The Glasgow Times: "It is quite clear that frontline workers that put their life on the line to keep services going and protect lives desire this recognition in their pay packet.

"If other countries can do then the Scottish Government must step up and award these heroes, particularly the low paid workers.

"This government needs to put its money where the mouth is.

"Words are cheap, so stand by our heroes."

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “We were of aware of the protest planned today by the GMB calling on the Scottish Government and COSLA for additional payment.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We value the sacrifices and efforts of frontline council workers, including refuse and cleansing services which is why we have taken exceptional measures in every area of government to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 - and that is particularly clear in our support for local services. 

"To date, the Scottish Government has committed almost £330 million of additional funding to local government for COVID-19 measures of which Glasgow City Council will receive their fair share. 

“Scotland’s councils have received £405 million in advanced payments so far this financial year to assist them with their cash flow, and by the end of July this will have risen to £455 million. 

"We will continue to work with COSLA and local authorities, as well as pressing the UK Government for urgent additional funding and flexibility for our partners in local government.”