A CLEANSING worker was chased by a man wielding an axe after he was woken by the noise of a bin lorry.

The appalling incident has come to light in a catalogue of complaints from union bosses directed at Glasgow City Council.

Cleansing staff will protest outside Glasgow City Chambers today among claims of staff morale being "at rock-bottom".

GMB Scotland has released a list of 10 complaints leading to a vote of no confidence in management at Land and Environmental Services.

But council bosses counter that they are unsure how "seriously" to take the claims.

GMB Scotland Organiser Rhea Wolfson said: “Morale among our members is at rock-bottom.

“They have no confidence in the leadership of the service and no faith in its future; repeated efforts to defend and improve cleansing and refuse have been treated with contempt by the council hierarchy.

“This motion of no confidence is a very public demonstration of our members frustrations and a clear message to the council that if they do not properly engage with us, then we will turn up on their doorstep with our grievances."

GMB Scotland claims there is poor communication between management and staff; staff are not listened to or respected; depots are in a "Dickensian" state; staff are shouted and sworn at by bosses; private contractors are being given council work; there is a lack of protective gear; and staff are not getting appropriate holidays.

In one instance, a refuse worker was chased by a man wielding an axe who was furious at being woken by the sound of a bin lorry having been at a party all night.

GMB Scotland claims this serious incident was not pursued by bosses, although the council refutes this.

A spokesman for the council said: "We have a well-established process for concerns to be raised that has been completely by-passed in this instance.

"A senior member of staff also met with union officials last week and these claims were not once referred to.

"It’s hard to gauge how seriously we should take these claims when union officials do not appear to take them seriously themselves.

"But if they do wish to discuss these claims then our door is open.

"Our staff are skilled and experienced and help to deliver a highly efficient service.

"The health and safety of our staff is an absolute priority.

"Any attack on a member of staff is completely unacceptable and will always be dealt with appropriately."

But Ms Wolfson added: “It’s time they were shown some respect by their employer and their elected representatives.”