THE trust which runs the Glasgow 2014 venues and leading tourist attractions has been forced to make an urgent appeal for staff after being left short of Games volunteers.

Glasgow Life put out an urgent message to all staff just hours before the opening ceremony appealing for volunteers to come forward, with several cultural venues failing to recruit enough workers across Saturday and Sunday.

'Host City Volunteers', who are tasked with providing information on the sports programme and the many cultural activities the city is offering, had been expected to man venues including the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), the Mitchell Library, events at Glasgow Green and the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA).

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Applications for Host City Volunteers closed in early May.

The appeal for around 20 volunteers came just hours after Glasgow City Council, which ultimately controls Glasgow Life, lost a court bid to prevent staff of the trust mounting a protest outside the Kelvingrove Museum and City Chambers over pay rates during the Games.

In a circular to staff, Glasgow Life director Mark O'Neill said: "Dear Colleagues. We desperately need your help!!!

"The Host City Volunteer programme is short of staff for the shifts below for this weekend.

"Payment is at Grade 4, plus any additional payments for non-standard working hours - and it's your chance to be part of the Games. Sunshine and fun guaranteed!

"If you are available, please speak to your line manager."

A spokesman for Glasgow Life confirmed the body was searching for staff to volunteer but did not explain how it arrived short at one of its

A spokesman for Glasgow Life said: "The atmosphere in the city is electric and a wonderful army of host city volunteers will be the face and smile of the games.

"We're looking for people to join us on the team and help deliver the best games ever."

Meanwhile, Unison, in the wake of the Court of Session decision to allow it to go ahead, has appealed to members to attend today's planned protest at the City Chambers. Council sources claim only nine attended the yesterday's at Kelvingrove.

A message to members states: "The protest at the City Chambers at 12.30 will go ahead, not only in support of Glasgow Life members but also in defence of the right to protest.

"We urge as many as possible to attend in their own lunch breaks."