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Hospitality workers win campaign to get home safely in Glasgow

One of the biggest councils in the country, Glasgow City Council, has backed Unite the union’s Get Me Home Safely campaign.

The Council will call on employers to provide safe and free transport home for all workers past 11pm. 

Unite says that because there are often no safe public transport options late at night, its members are spending the equivalent of two hours’ wages on getting home safely from work.

A Unite poll earlier this year revealed that nearly six in ten workers report their employers have never provided them with safe transport home after work.

Hailing the move, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: 

“Unite’s campaign is clocking up support in council after council as we press for the safe-keeping of shift workers, many of whom are women workers, who do not have a safe route home. The support of Glasgow City Council is an important milestone and we call on other local authorities to follow suit.”

The Get Me Home Safely campaign was launched in 2021 by Unite after union member Caitlin Lee was sexually assaulted walking home from work after her employer – a five star hotel chain – refused to provide her a taxi home after a 12am finish.

Caitlin Lee, organiser for Unite Hospitality, added: 

“Workers are being placed in a horrible situation because there are just too few safe and affordable options for getting home at night.I don’t want what happened to me to happen to any other worker, which is why there must be change.”

A short film about the campaign can be seen here: 

Unite’s campaign encourages local authorities to make safe and free transport home for late night workers a requirement for new and extended alcohol licences. 

The campaign has also been backed by councils in Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh, East Dunbartonshire, North Ayrshire, Falkirk and Dundee where workers are already starting to see the benefits of safe and free transport home after the last bus, train or tram.

Photo: Ross Sneddon on Unsplash and video: Unite the Union