THOUSANDS of football fans will be affected due to a Glasgow subway strike which coincides with Rangers first home game of the new season.

Union Unite has confirmed that its Glasgow subway members have voted for strike action with the first Rangers home game of the season on Saturday, August 6 against Kilmarnock set to be affected.

The summer of discontent continues with the latest transport strikes due to hit thousands of fans who would travel by underground to and from nearby stations, including Ibrox, on match days.

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Unite members voted by 99 per cent for strike action on a 83 per cent turnout.

HeraldScotland: Travellers including football fans will be impacted by subway staff strike actionTravellers including football fans will be impacted by subway staff strike action

Strike dates have now been revealed. The 24-hour strike action is scheduled to take place on the following days when Rangers are in action again including European ties:

  •  Saturday 6 August - Rangers v Kilmarnock
  •  Tuesday 9 August -  Rangers v Union Saint-Gilloise
  •  Saturday 13 August - Rangers v St Johnstone
  •  Saturday 27 August - Rangers v Ross County

The dispute centres on the subway system operators Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) enforcing changes to duty schedules. Unite members are increasingly being called in to work shifts at short notice leading to significant work-life pressures. 

HeraldScotland: Buchanan Street - one of the flagship subway stationsBuchanan Street - one of the flagship subway stations

Discussions with SPT have failed to give members assurances over family responsibilities, and that personal time away from work will be respected. Unite represents over 200 members at SPT including train drivers and station staff. 

Willie Thomson, Unite Industrial Officer, added: “The strike ballot is a last resort for a hardworking and loyal workforce. Time and again the workers have gone above and beyond by keeping the subway running during Covid, and through a time of significant staff pressures. Our members are angry about the unfair duty rosters which have resulted in imposed shift changes at short notice. This is detrimental to our members’ work life balance. SPT should be in no doubt as to our members’ determination to have these rosters changed.”

Director of Subway Antony Smith said it was disappointing that this is the course of action Unite members have decided on.

He added: "Over the last few months, we have had a number of constructive meetings and open sessions with all Subway operations staff to hear their concerns and grievances.  We only ever re-roster staff at short notice for emergencies in order to keep the system running. We have not needed to re-roster staff since the last football match of last season, nor did we during the last three big events in the city.  We have no plans to do so for the August matches and this has been made clear to staff.

“We remain committed to continuing that dialogue and to finding better ways to work together to deal with issues as they arise.”