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Industrial Emirates Arena staff strike against ‘intransigent’ firm

WORKERS at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena accused bosses of “total intransigence” yesterday, as they resumed strike action.

Staff have been in dispute with Glasgow Life management since November over their demand for extra payments for heavy lifting duties.

The Unite union, which represents the workers, says bosses could settle the dispute at a cost of £520 a year per worker — a total annual bill of £15,000.

After walking out yesterday, workers will picket until Wednesday, when the strike threatens to disrupt a major school athletics event.

Unite Scotland officer James O’Connell argued that Glasgow Life, the charity which runs the city’s sports provision, could well afford the sum given its £127 million turnover last year.

He said: “£15,000 against that is an infinitesimal sum to settle the dispute.

“Unite thinks it’s time for charity to begin at home. Instead, we are faced with total intransigence from the management.”

Mr O’Connell accused Glasgow Life of “using contract labour in breach of trade union laws” during strikes in December.

In a ballot held last month, 100 per cent of workers voted for further strikes on a 85 per cent turnout.

The union has demanded a meeting with SNP councillor David McDonald, who chairs the Glasgow Life board. 

A Glasgow Life spokesman said: “The action being taken by Unite is wholly unnecessary. We have offered to go to arbitration and the union has declined.

“Rather than targeting an event which brings together more than 200 schoolchildren from across the city, Unite could work with us to find a resolution.”

Unite denied refusing to enter arbitration talks but said it was asking to meet trustees first under provisions in charity law.


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