Local MSP Jackie Baillie has hit out at SNP-run West Dunbartonshire Council’s decision to shed jobs and undermine workers’ rights on the same day that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met the Scottish Trades Union Congress to develop a charter on Fair Work.
The First Minister expressed her support for the “recognition that workers need an effective voice through a union” in a joint statement with the STUC.
Meanwhile, her SNP councillors in West Dunbartonshire passed a Budget with the support of the Tories which cut around 50 full-time council jobs and introduced anti-trade union measures. Trade union facility time will be reduced by the equivalent of 1.4 full-time posts, leaving trade union conveners with less time to represent their members’ interests.
The Joint Trade Unions have now formally notified West Dunbartonshire Council of their decision to withdraw from the Council / Trade union partnership, a move which Labour said would damage industrial relations.
The 50 full-time job losses will come mainly from Greenspace but dozens of low-paid, part-time council cleaners will also be affected by the cuts to cleaning agreed between senior SNP councillors and officersbehind closed doors.
The cuts to voluntary organisations, many of them key partners in the delivery of services, will also lead to further job losses in the third sector in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Clydebank.
Labour councillors presented an alternative budget which rejected the anti-trade union measures and protected jobs in West Dunbartonshire.
“The SNP and the Tories have joined forces to pass a budget which undermines the rights of trade unions to represent workers and sheds dozens of jobs in West Dunbartonshire.
“It is ironic that on the very same day that Nicola Sturgeon is meeting the STUC to develop a Fair Work charter, Cllr Jonathan McColl and the local SNP councillors are voting to make it harder for trade unions to represent their members’ interests.
“Labour’s alternative budget would have stopped the cuts, protected jobs and invested £2.5 million in anti-poverty projects to build a West Dunbartonshire that works for the many, not the few