Disruption looms at Cycling World Championship as staff vote to strike

The UCI Cycling World Championships face disruption in Glasgow this August after parking staff voted to strike.

Disruption looms at Cycling World Championship as Glasgow City Council staff vote to strike SNS Group

The “biggest cycling event in the world” faces disruption after council parking staff in Glasgow voted to strike.

The Cycling World Championship will welcome 2,600 elite cyclists competing across road, indoor and track cycling, mountain biking and BMX races at several venues across Scotland.

However, GMB Scotland has warned of disruption during events held in Glasgow after 95% of members in parking services at Glasgow City Council voted to take industrial action in a dispute over pay.

Parking attendants, workers at car parks and car pounds and around 50 public sector workers at the Velodrome have all voted for strike action.

The union has warned the championships will face city-wide disruption if the strike goes ahead, with cars blocking streets for road races and velodrome events unable to go ahead.

It comes after unions rejected a pay offer that local government leaders at Cosla say amounts to a 5.5% pay increase.

The tournament begins on August 3.

GMB Scotland senior organiser for public services, Keir Greenaway said: “The overwhelming support for industrial action among our members in parking services should come as no surprise after they were offered a pay rise so far below the rate of inflation during an unprecedented cost of living crisis.

“The World Cycling Championships should be an opportunity to showcase our country around the globe and to risk it being disrupted by failing to properly recognise the work of our members is an appalling act of self-harm by our council leaders.

“When it was clear Cosla were unable or unwilling to negotiate a fair pay rise, we urged the Scottish Government to get involved to fund an improved offer. That intervention is even more urgently needed now.

“The work of our members in local government delivers the crucial services that allows Scotland to function and must be properly recognised. If it is not, their work will stop, those crucial services will not be delivered and Scotland will stop functioning.”

The tournament, which will be the largest event in cycling history, kicks off on August 3 and will run for ten days .

The championships could bring in an estimated £67m to the Scottish economy.

A Glasgow Life spokesperson said: “Following confirmation of strike action by GMB we are looking at how this may impact our delivery of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships and where we can put contingency plans in place to mitigate against such action.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is working closely with 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Limited, which is the lead delivery body for the event, and with COSLA, local authorities and event delivery partners to monitor and mitigate the risk of industrial action.

“Local government pay negotiations are a matter for local authorities as employers and unions. The Scottish Government and COSLA have committed to respect this negotiating arrangement as part of the Verity House Agreement.

“Despite UK Government cuts, the Scottish Government has provided a further £155 million to support a meaningful pay rise for local government workers, which has been taken into account in the pay offer already made by COSLA.

“The Scottish Government urges all the parties involved to work together constructively and reach an agreement which is fair for the workforce and affordable for employers.”

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