MORE than 1000 Glasgow cleansing workers will vote on potential action to impose the council’s bid to “remove” Covid-19 working practices.

Around 1500 workers will be balloted by the GMB union over Glasgow City Council management plans to alter its coronavirus working measures, including the “job and finish” practice which, the union claims, will force workers back into depots.

It’s understood working practices were changed earlier this week prompting claims from the union the council is refusing to listen to its workers.

READ MORE: Cop26: Police 'preparing' for Pope Francis to visit Glasgow

The job and finish policy – which allows staff to work a reduced day to avoid gathering at the city’s depots – has been described as “pivotal” in mitigating the spread of the virus.

GMB wants management to “respect the council’s own disputes process and procedures, withdraw this imposition, and work with the union to maximise our members’ safety at work”.

GMB Scotland organiser David Hume said: “We’re still in the grip of Covid-19 and the service management want to go back to ‘business as usual’ working practices.

“The lessons of the last year must be learned. Working our way out of Covid-19 is a process, not an event, and health and safety at work rights must be respected.

“That means consulting properly with workers and not imposing changes; changes that are at best reckless and at worst could have serious consequences for workers’ health and wellbeing.”

He added: “The failure of the service management to do this means we have to ballot our members over the prospect of industrial action to protect their safety at work.”

Chris Mitchell, branch organiser, said: “The measures in place are to keep the workforce safe and still provide a service for the citizens of Glasgow. By increasing the hours, you’re increasing the risk of spreading Covid among the workers – putting them and their families at risk.

Glasgow Times: Chris Mitchell Chris Mitchell

“We have done so much in health and safety in the workplace and a massive part of this is depot closures by taking shorter breaks.

“This way of working has been a life-saver for the best part of 1500 employees.”

A council spokesman said: “It’s bitterly disappointing that once again the GMB has put its own narrow agenda ahead of the interests of the people of Glasgow.

READ MORE: Richard Doolan: Croy mum tells of agony at son's 20 year disappearance

“Threatening industrial action for being asked to commit to getting back to working a full day will be perplexing to the countless Glaswegians currently facing an uncertain future due to the Covid pandemic.

“Despite what the GMB says, we have worked tirelessly to create a safe working environment for staff and there is very little evidence of transmission of Covid-19 within the workplace.

“Even the GMB’s own safety rep has been satisfied with the Covid-control measures we have in place for staff at work.

“With signs the Covid emergency is easing, it is reasonable to expect the GMB to support the effort to deal with the various cleansing issues within Glasgow they claim to care about.”