UNION bosses have written to council chiefs accusing them of 'breaching workers’ rights' after drivers were sent home for refusing to use new technology in bin lorries.

Collections in the north west of the city have been disrupted after cleansing staff were told to leave the Dawsholm depot on Monday after bosses said they were ‘unwilling to undertake contracted duties’.

Two drivers – who are GMB members – refused to use the new Alloy tablet system that allows information gathered on bin lorry rounds to be recorded electronically. Its introduction is currently subject of a dispute between the union and the local authority.

A group of 30 GMB members staged a sit-in at the base in support of their colleagues, which led to them also being told to go home.

Council chiefs have said the action was unofficial and declared that all staff involved will not be paid - sparking fury among union bosses.

Glasgow Times:

They have now begun industrial action short of strike over the dispute and have penned an angry letter to Glasgow City Council’s chief executive Annemarie O’Donnell claiming the local authority’s conduct breaches the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992.

The correspondence, which has been seen by the Glasgow Times, says: “GMB and the council have thus far failed to agree on the use of Alloy in refuse collection vehicles. Its use has been subject to a legal ballot for action short of strike.

“It is therefore a surprise to hear that a number of people have faced disciplinary action for refusing to use the system while we are still in dispute. No union member should be in this position, as clearly set out in the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992.”

Negotiations between GMB union officials and council bosses continued on Tuesday evening to try and reach a resolution, but talks ended in stalemate.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Due to unofficial industrial action within our waste management team there has been disruption to bin collections in the north west of the city.

“A number of staff refused undertake their duties and as a consequence were told to leave their depot. Anyone who refused to go about their duties will not be paid.

“The use of in-cab devices is now standard practice following a comprehensive review through our grievance process. Full training on how to use the devices is always provided for staff.”

“We’re very sorry for any inconvenience that’s been caused by the disruption to services, and we are working hard to resolve this matter. Affected residents should look out for updates on our website.”

Alloy tablets allow staff to record quickly any service issues, such as missed bin collections or the presence of rats. Refuse bosses say its introduction has been comprehensively reviewed and is in keeping with the roles staff currently and are paid for.

Glasgow Times: Chris MitchellChris Mitchell (Image: Supplied)

But GMB convenor for Glasgow’s cleaning workers, Chris Mitchell, says that new posts need to be created that recognise the additional responsibility operating Alloy brings.

He added: “We are already asking these guys to drive 20 tonne vehicles on some of Scotland's narrowest streets. There is a lot of stress in that, and the introduction of this new system is only increasing that pressure.

“We aren’t denying there are benefits to bringing it in, but it needs to be done properly with union consultation. What happened with these guys on Monday was not right and their colleagues weren’t going to stand for it.

"The council have their view on it and we have ours, but our priority now is making sure these people who took a stand aren’t penalised financially for acting within the law.”