Glasgow women’s strike

Today I marched with 8,000 striking women workers through thexstreets of Glasgow.

I offered solidarity onbehalf of the Scottish Trade Union Congress, and the hundreds of thousands of workers in this movement that are trade union members in Scotland.

I am so very, very proud of the women workers of Glasgow City, standing up for what is rightfully theirs.… and for what rightfully belongs to all women workers – equal pay.

The workers on strike cook, clean and care for our children and our elderly. They look after those most important to us. So it is high time their important work was recognised by awarding them the equal pay they have long been denied.

I was honoured to join the women singing and dancing in George Square

I stand with them as the daughter of a strong working class woman.

My Mum, like many woman did loads of different jobs that had to fit around her family commitments – part time, full time, all the time, whenever she could.

  • My mammy was a hospital cleaner
  • My mammy was a dinner lady
  • My mammy was a home help
  • And before she retired, my mammy was a bus escort taking the elderly to the day centres that she now attends herself.

My Mum was a NUPE shop steward and my Dad a GMB rep.

The strike for Equal Pay is an inspiration to millions of women who are fighting for better pay.

But no worker, not one, takes the decision lightly to withdraw their labour to go on strike.

No public sector worker wishes to leave parents in the lurch, or carers with added difficulties to their already stretched commitments.

But-

  • we too are parents
  • we too are carers
  • we too are the public.
  • It is patronising and frankly an insult to say that any woman in this dispute doesn’t understand the processes of negotiation – because from what I saw and what I heard today– they understand alright. They are in it to win it!

Don’t let anyone try to say that the trade unions duped them into a pointless strike.

For it is they, the women, the workers that are the unions, and the point is that by coming together; striking together and sticking together, they can force the Council leaders and officials into meaningful talks.

Glasgow women have been patient for 12 years – but their time is coming.

To each and every one on strike today and tomorrow – fighting for their rights, but also those of their sisters, brothers, daughters and sons.

That equal pay is theirs in the law. But until it’s theirs in the bank and in your purse the fight is on.

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