Socialist Party Scotland

From day one, the strike action across many of Scotland’s councils in waste services has had a huge impact. Strikes for eight days began on 24 August by Unite members in 13 local authorities. Edinburgh had already been on strike for a week.

They were joined on 26 August by Unison and GMB members in a number of other council areas. In all, 21 councils will see strikes across waste services. The action is headline news in the press, TV and radio while politicians are busy blaming each other.

There has been a large mobilisation at picket lines across the country, overwhelmingly supported by the public.

The anger over the insulting 5% pay offer from local government organisation CoSLA, supported by the Scottish government, is intense. With inflation rampant at over 12%, and expected to rise to 18% early next year, these below-inflation pay offers are an insult. Another offer was rejected on 29 August.

One of the most important features of the strikes thus far has been the refusal of Unison and GMB members to cross the Unite picket lines – before taking action themselves, adding to the number of areas where strike action will be taking place in the bin depots and recycling centres across Scotland.

Socialist Party Scotland and the National Shop Stewards Network are supporting national coordinated action across the public and private sector. We say strike together – coordinate the action – build towards a 24-hour general strike.

With the local government waste strikes spreading, CWU members in Royal Mail, BT and Openreach taking action, and schools and nurseries due to strike in early September, it’s clear that the working class is back and fighting for their rights as the recent railworkers’ strikes among others have proven.

Now the TUC and STUC need to step up and build coordinated action as a step towards a 24-hour general strike over the cost-of-living crisis.

  • See for picket line reports