Refuse workers take strike action during COP26 climate talks

Running Time: 6:26

Refuse workers in Glasgow have had enough. After keeping the city clean throughout the pandemic in very difficult conditions (where sadly some workers have died from COVID), they are still on shockingly low pay, with terrible conditions and facilities.

No industrial relations have completely broken down with the council refusing to negotiate properly – and disgracefully, even trying to use the anti-trade union laws to stop legitimate strike action. That attempt was unsuccessful – so now the workers are out for the duration of the COP26 climate talks, and they were joined on a huge picket line by hospitality workers, other council workers and tenants from Scotland’s renters union, Living Rent.

This dispute is a climate dispute too. A proper recycling and waste management system will be essential in a just transition to a low carbon economy – yet the council seems hell bent on continuing to cut the service, a process that has been going on for years.

Meanwhile the COP26 is bringing a lot of money into Glasgow, but none of it is making its way into the hands of workers. Climate justice is social justice – and all these workers will be joining the demonstrations at the weekend to build a movement for real change, unlike the expensive greenwashing waste of time the COP represents.