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Thousands of workers march during strike over equal pay

Strikers manned picket lines and joined a march from Glasgow Green to George Square.

Thousands of council workers have marched through Glasgow in a strike over equal pay which has shut hundreds of schools and affected home care services.

More than 8000 Unison and GMB members walked out on Tuesday in a 48-hour strike, which is believed to be the biggest of its kind.

Many strikers manned picket lines around the city on Tuesday and later joined a march from Glasgow Green to George Square for a rally, chanting "equal pay or we walk away".

All early years establishments, additional support for learning (ASL) schools and mainstream primaries were closed on Tuesday.

Home care services for around 6000 people were also affected by the industrial action.

A second day of action will take place on Wednesday.

Around 12,500 workers, mostly women, are proceeding with claims against the council following a Court of Session ruling last year.

The council said the strike was unnecessary and it hopes to reach a settlement in the coming months and start paying out in the next financial year.

Demonstration: The marchers made their way to George Square.
Demonstration: The marchers made their way to George Square. PA

Unison regional organiser Mandy McDowall said: "This strike comes at the end of ten years of litigation through the courts.

"Last year the courts agreed with us that the council's pay scheme was unequal and invalid and we were sent back to negotiate a new pay scheme and settlement of equal pay claims for thousands of women across Glasgow.

"In ten months and 21 meetings of negotiations we have got nowhere.

"There is no detail on the table that allows us to have confidence that the council will meet the deadline of December that was equally set."

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: "The strike will have a devastating impact and there's no need for it.

"They won their case the day that the SNP was elected to lead Glasgow City Council and we have been working ever since then to deliver them justice.

"We are extremely close to it and I am confident that they will get the settlement that they are entitled to and we will start paying out in the next financial year."

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