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Staff strike in Scotland

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Up to 5,000 craft workers across 13 Scottish local authorities walked out yesterday (2 June 2008).

Workers such as electricians and plumbers mounted the one-day walkout in a long-running dispute over low pay and long hours led by the construction union UCATT.

Joe Di Paola, head of the employers organisation at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said an earlier agreement was made with most workers to reduce the standard working week to 37 hours.

'It's unfortunate'

"The craft colleagues had an opportunity to join in at that time and chose not to do so. I think it's very unfortunate. I think it will hit people who need local authority services.

The dispute centres on the 2007 pay round where craft workers were offered a pay rise of 2.45%. The pay offer was lower than that offered to other local government workers in Scotland.

Craft workers went on strike in Dundee City Council, East Dunbartonshire Council, Edinburgh City Council, Falkirk Council, Fife Council, Glasgow City Council, Inverclyde Council, Midlothian Council, North Ayrshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council and Stirling Council.

UCATT: 'Strike will continue'

According to UCATT around six local authorities targeted have indicated that they are now willing to reduce the working hours.

UCATT regional secretary Harry Frew said: “Strike action will continue until the concerns of our members have been addressed.”

Further strike action is planned for every second Monday and the union claim that the industrial action may escalate to all 32 Scottish councils.

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