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Hundreds of frontline staff back industrial action

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Hundreds of frontline staff back industrial action against council privatisation and job cuts plan

GMB Scotland has today (Thursday 6 April) warned the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) if it imposes plans to privatise services and make workers redundant then the city will face a new wave of industrial action.  

In a direct response to the political chaos of the recent budget set by CEC, 94 per cent of GMB members employed by the council said they would back action against the proposals.

A consultative ballot was conducted of GMB members working in every service across the council including waste, care, schools, parks and roads, and administrative roles.

And with other unions in CEC also balloting members, it means thousands of staff could be primed for industrial action less than a year after refuse strikes impacted the city. 

GMB Scotland Organiser Kirsten Muat said:

“Our members have sent a loud and clear message to City of Edinburgh Council they won’t stand for compulsory redundancies or privatisation of their vital jobs and services.

“The chaos surrounding this year’s budget confirms what we have been saying for a long time, that constant cuts to local government are simply not sustainable, and it is unacceptable and unfair to ask workers to bear the brunt of a total lack of political leadership on this issue.

“We welcome the council leader’s assertion that he does not intend to implement the most contentious parts of this budget, however his words are not enough. The administration now needs to take action to overturn these decisions and give hard pressed workers some reassurance.

“But if compulsory redundancies or privatisation become a reality, this ballot shows GMB members will be ready to take action to stand up for their jobs and to protect the city’s vital local services.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Kirsten Muat on 07785 575475 or email GMB Scotland Communications at