Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1928

Relatives speak out in Fife

THE DEATHS of British soldiers in the Black Watch in Iraq are having a deep impact on people in the area they come from in Scotland.

Fife Stop the War Coalition members held a protest in Kirkcaldy last week.

Protesters stretched out on the pavement, symbolising the thousands of people who have died in Iraq.

Maureen Closs said, “People of all ages were queuing up to sign our petitions, including the relatives of servicemen and women who are currently stationed in Iraq.

“The deaths of the Fife soldiers have brought out a lot of emotions in ordinary Fifers. They feel saddened and shocked at the deaths, but also extremely angry with Tony Blair for taking us into this illegal war.”

The police tried to move the protesters on.

But the public formed a cordon around the “dead bodies” to keep the police out. After 20 minutes the police eventually left.

A “Bring the troops home” meeting was to be held on Thursday of this week in Kirkcaldy.

Rose Gentle, the mother of Gordon Gentle who was killed in Iraq, and a relative of the Lochgelly soldier who died last week were to speak.

Propeller strike

on the way up

WORKERS IN the Amicus union at Dowty Propellers in Staverton, Gloucestershire, struck for the second Friday in a row last week.

The workers have voted to take eight one-day strikes as part of their campaign for a pay rise.

They are demanding a 6.5 percent pay increase, while owners Smiths Aerospace is offering just 3.5 percent.

Around 40 workers picketed the factory on Friday of last week.

Their placards read, “Conned on our pension, shafted on our pay rise, threatened jobs with temps.”

One worker said, “We’ll be out on strike again next week unless Smiths resolve this.”

Kier Dhillon of Amicus said, “Management came back with a slightly improved offer.

“But we calculated that would be about £1 a week on the average salary.

“It wasn’t enough for members to call off the action. We have introduced an overtime ban.”

The company makes propellers for the military and commercial aircraft industry.

Its six-bladed propeller system is used on the military’s Hercules transport aircraft.

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Article information

Sat 20 Nov 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1928
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