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Fife 24 Hour Strike

Monday, March 18, 2013

24 Hour Sodexo strike at Scottish Police college over living wage well supported says GMB.

These predominantly low paid women workers have decided that it is no longer enough to argue for a living wage and fair pay, it is time to act to bring it about says GMB.

GMB members employed by Sodexo at the Scottish Police College and Police Scotland’s temporary HQ in Fife have been on strike today (March 18th).

The strike is the latest move in a dispute over the catering workers’ pay and conditions. The vast majority of the staff are paid an hourly rate of just £6.37 an hour. The GMB believes that they should be paid the Scottish Living Wage of £7.20 an hour.

GMB representatives held further talks with Sodexo last week in a bid to resolve the dispute. They point out that a revised offer by the French owned multinational of a one per cent pay rise from 1st April 2013 will simply widen even further the gap between the majority of the Tulliallan workers pay and the Scottish Living Wage. The Scottish Government announced last November that the Scottish Living Wage will rise in April to £7.45 an hour, representing an increase of 3.5 per cent.

The workers voted unanimously for strike action in an official ballot held by the union. They have imposed a ban on overtime since 6th February. Today’s action represents an escalation of the dispute.

GMB Organiser Richard Leonard said “Today’s action so far has been a success. We have 100 per cent of the workforce out on strike. Sodexo has bussed in a few managers and brought two people in by taxi all the way from South Lanarkshire, which begs the question “who is footing the bill?”

The workforce’s demands for a living wage and a decent across the board pay rise are both reasoned and moderate.

We know it is the clear policy of the Scottish Government, every Scottish local authority and every Health Board in Scotland to be a living wage employer. Indeed only last month, in the local area Central Scotland Police adopted this policy. So there is no reason on earth why such a policy could not be introduced at the Scottish Police College. It is simply a matter of priorities.

These predominantly low paid women workers have decided that it is no longer enough to argue for a living wage and fair pay, it is time to act to bring it about.

They have conviction and the courage of their conviction and the GMB is giving them maximum support in their campaign for equality and justice.”

Ends

Contact: Richard Leonard, GMB Organiser 07703 465447.  GMB Press Office 07291 289 880 or 07974 251 823

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