Some 1,700 people joined a Scottish TUC (STUC)rally against austerity and the Tories’ Trade Union Bill in Glasgow on Thursday of last week.
It brought together trade unionists, campaigners, Labour and Scottish National Party (SNP) members, people from opposite sides of the independence debate and many more.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was the keynote speaker and closed the rally. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon also spoke but seemed like a fish out of water addressing a trade union crowd.
STUC general secretary Grahame Smith pledged that any trade union forced to defy the law would have “the support of the collective, organised Scottish trade union movement”.
Young activists resisting zero hours employers and building trade unions lifted the rally.
They spoke about their protests targeting the zero hours’ employer, G1 Group.
Cafe worker and Bfawu union member Lorna McKinnon connected the struggle against zero hours to the battle against the bill.
“We can’t let them turn back the clock on trade union rights,” she said.
For all the speeches, union officials failed to offer any clear plan.
But PCS Scotland secretary Lynn Henderson argued for a mass trade union mobilisation for the first industrial action after the bill passes.
February week of action
The TUC has announced a week of action against the Tories’ anti-trade union bill.
It is set to take place between 8-14 February next year. General secretary Frances O’Grady said the week will, “showcase the amazing work unions do”.
The week of action can provide a focus for union activists. Those with live disputes at the time should use the week to coordinate industrial action.
The bill will go for its second reading in the House of Lords on 11 January.
It is expected to go back to the House of Commons in late February.