Thousands of women striking in Glasgow in dispute over equal pay

Hundreds of schools and nurseries are shut and home care services affected as Glasgow City Council workers stage a 48-hour strike - believed to be the biggest of its kind.

The industrial action on Tuesday and Wednesday, involving more than 8,000 members of the GMB and Unison unions, comes in a dispute over equal pay.

As many as 12,000 female workers are proceeding with claims against the council following a Court of Session ruling last year.

It is thought it could cost hundreds of millions of pounds to settle.

Glasgow City Council said the strike was unnecessary and it hopes to reach a settlement in the coming months and start paying out in the next financial year.

GMB Scotland organiser Rhea Wolfson said members will bring the city to a “standstill” to progress negotiations.

Unions also said they feared action could be taken against refuse and street cleaning workers if they refuse to cross picket lines.

Glasgow City Council said all early years establishments, additional support for learning (ASL) schools and mainstream primary schools will close on both days, though all mainstream secondary schools will remain open.

Home care services for around 6,000 people are affected by the industrial action.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has tweeted in support of the strikes, saying it is "our duty to support them".

The local authority said it had explored all options to avert the strike.

Glasgow City Council have said the way union leaders have approached the strike has been “hugely disappointing”.

A spokesman said: “We believed we had an agreement on providing life and limb cover for our most vulnerable citizens - indeed, the unions told the public that cover would be in place.

”It won't. There has been absolutely no meaningful effort from the unions to work with us and their membership to ensure that life and limb cover will be in place.“