Glasgow councillors in row over proposed 'new deal for workers'

-Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto
-Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Labour is trying to “pull the wool over Glaswegians’s eyes”, a senior SNP councillor has claimed amid a row over workers’ rights.

Cllr Allan Casey, SNP, the city’s workforce convener, criticised a planned motion which called on councillors to welcome Labour’s proposal for a “new deal for workers” if the party is elected following a general election.

He said the plan had been “trashed by trade unions” and called for devolution of workforce legislation to Holyrood.

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Cllr John Carson, Labour, who had intended to present the motion at last week’s full council meeting but did not have time, said the SNP was “playing political games” rather than working to advance a new deal for workers.

The motion asked councillors to recognise that wages have “stagnated for over a decade and work is becoming increasingly insecure”, adding, since the Conservatives came to power, in-work poverty, low pay and financial insecurity have “become rampant”.

It went on to state restrictive anti-trade union laws have “made it harder for unions to organise and stand up for their members”, and said Labour’s plan would “improve the lives of working people”.

The motion claimed the plan would strengthen rights at work, end fire and rehire, make work more family-friendly, ban zero-hours contracts and raise pay and conditions.

Cllr Casey said Glasgow Labour’s “championing of their bosses’ plans for workers which have been trashed by trade unions as a “betrayal” and a “charter for bad bosses” is yet another attempt to pull the wool over Glaswegians’ eyes”.

“Either they want to disguise what Sir Keir and Rachel Reeves’ are really all about or they’ve decided to conveniently ignore their bosses’ ‘Tory continuity’ agenda,” he added.

“While workforce representatives are appealing to Labour to urgently change course, it’s incredible to see Glasgow Labour hailing Reeves’ sham plans as the salvation of the working people.

“If this is what the local branch office is trying to sell Glaswegians as ‘workers rights’ they’re taking us for mugs.”

He said Glasgow SNP’s position is “to call for devolution of workforce legislation to Holyrood, something Labour’s branch office continues to oppose”, adding Labour was “glossing over Sir Keir’s retreat on workers’ rights” while the SNP wants “all parties to implement Tory anti-strike legislation”.

In response, Cllr Carson said: “Glasgow Labour is incredibly proud that workers’ rights will be at the forefront of the next Labour government. Labour’s new deal for working people has been developed in conjunction with the trade union movement and will be transformational for working people in Glasgow and across Scotland.

“Our priority right now is to continue to do what we can to remove this toxic, anti-worker Conservative government at Westminster that has done so much damage to working people and their families in Glasgow over the last 14 years.

“It is deeply regrettable that the SNP on Glasgow City Council appear unwilling to work constructively with us on advancing the new deal for workers agenda and are instead focusing on playing political games.

“Clearly the calls by the new SNP First Minister John Swinney to work across political divisions have been ignored by Susan Aitken’s SNP in Glasgow.”

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