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Unions target major events in Glasgow dispute

23 June 2010

After four solidly supported strikes the four joint unions are aiming to disrupt a series of major artistic and sporting events run by Culture and Sport Glasgow. The planned stoppages will hit exhibitions at the Kelvingrove, the Gallery of Modern Art, the People's Palace Museum and the Super8 UK Athletics event.

After four 24 hour stoppages in recent weeks the dispute at Culture and Sport Glasgow entered a new phase as the joint Unions began to target specific high profile events across Glasgow. The first of these actions, a three day stoppage over Friday, Saturday and Sunday went ahead at the Tollcross Swimming Pool where the UK Masters veteran Swimming competition was scheduled to take place.

Union officials and pickets from all four of the joint unions were present throughout the weekend which created maximum disruption to CSG. While a handful of managers struggled to put the event on the joint unions made an official complaint to the Health and Safety Executive as they believed the company was openly flouting the strict safety rules around the supervision of swimming pools and events.

No delivery vans crossed the picket lines so members of the public and swimmers were left with no catering or refreshments with strike breaking managers reportedly angry that there wasn’t a drop of milk anywhere!

Members of the public had travelled from all over the UK to watch  the event and many turned away at the picket line in support of the strikers but were openly furious that CSG had not warned anyone about the strike.

Next Saturday and Sunday the action moves to the Kelvingrove Art Galleries, Glasgow’s most popular tourist attraction, where the hugely successful Glasgow Boys exhibition is running. After that the strikes move on to  the Gallery of Modern Art , the UK’s second most visited contemporary art gallery outside of London, as well as the hugely popular Peoples Palace Museum. A 24 hour stoppage is then scheduled for 7 July at Scotsoun sports centre where the Super8 UK athletics championship takes place, attracting big name athletes from across the UK.

Extensive National Press and TV coverage have kept the dispute in the public eye and the beleaguered company faced wide spread criticism in Sundays papers over its decision to go ahead with an expensive rebranding of the company. The press also revealed that a company owned by one of CSG’s board members, multi millionaire Angus Grossart, is a major shareholder in the Edinburgh  company which has won the rebranding contract. CSG publicly denied there was any impropriety despite admitting that “Sir Angus” was present at the board meeting which approved the contract.

As of today Culture and Sport Glasgow will be known as “Glasgow Life”

All four joint unions have set up campaign funds to ensure that striking workers at the selected venues receive full pay for these strike dates. A further meeting of the joint unions is scheduled for Wednesday amid calls from many members that some key venues should now move to all out strike action.

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