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Scottish LA craft workers stage walkout

Thousands of local authority (LA) craft workers in Scotland, including plumbers and electricians, embarked on industrial action this week in a dispute over low pay and long hours.

The workers, organised by the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicans (UCATT), walked out in 13 of Scotland’s 32 LAs, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling.

The dispute concerns the 2007 pay round in which the workers were offered a 2.45 per cent pay rise. Their requests to reduce the working week from 39 to 37 hours were refused. The pay offer was lower than that offered to all other local government workers in Scotland, UCATT said.

Harry Frew, UCATT regional secretary, added: “LA craft workers in Scotland are the lowest-paid construction workers in the country. Craft workers work longer hours than other LA staff who they work alongside.”

UCATT believes the action could be resolved if a willingness to treat the workers equally and fairly is shown. Six LAs targeted by the industrial action have indicated that they are willing to reduce their employees’ contracted hours.