Socialist Worker

Reports round-up

Issue No. 2500

Kezia Dugdale

Kezia Dugdale (Pic: Shelter Scotnland/Flickr)


The Scottish TUC Congress met in Dundee this week, less than three weeks ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections.

Delegates were furious at the Scottish National Party (SNP) slashing council budgets, but there was anger against all parties making cuts.

Despite policy for a “coordinated fightback against cuts”, little concrete action was decided.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale’s promise to “take anti-austerity politics into parliament” was well received. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon spoke the next day.

In terms of pledges there was not much between Dugdale and Sturgeon.

But neither party leader got the standing ovation they received at last year’s conference.

This reflected people’s frustration with the left wing rhetoric of both parties that are doing nothing to seriously resist austerity.

Unfortunately the one thing STUC could play an effective role in coordinating—an industrial fightback—was missing from the discussion.

The Scottish TUC Congress met in Dundee this week, less than three weeks ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections.

Delegates were furious at the Scottish National Party (SNP) slashing council budgets, but there was anger against all parties making cuts.

Despite policy for a “coordinated fightback against cuts”, little concrete action was decided.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale’s promise to “take anti-austerity politics into parliament” was well received. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon spoke the next day.

In terms of pledges there was not much between Dugdale and Sturgeon.

But neither party leader got the standing ovation they received at last year’s conference.

This reflected people’s frustration with the left wing rhetoric of both parties that are doing nothing to seriously resist austerity.

Unfortunately the one thing STUC could play an effective role in coordinating—an industrial fightback—was missing from the discussion.

Raymie Kiernan


Posties deliver an unofficial walkout in Oxford

Postal workers at an Oxford delivery office staged a brief unofficial walkout on Thursday of last week.

The members of the CWU union were reacting to the sending home of a worker by bosses.


Lecturers in fresh ballot over pay

UCU union members in higher education are balloting for action over pay. Union members have received a 1 percent pay offer from bosses.

The UCU said that higher education members have suffered a 14.5 percent cut in real terms pay since 2009.

The ballot ends on 4 May.


BBC workers fight expenses grab

Workers at the BBC could ballot for industrial action over bosses’ plans to slash expenses.

The proposals include cutting evening meal allowances for those working long shifts.

The NUJ and Bectu unions have both said they could ballot their members for action. The Unite union is also involved in the dispute.


Conference calls for abortion rights

Up to 100 people attended an Abortion Rights public meeting in the House of Commons on Tuesday of last week.

It called on health secretary Jeremy Hunt to ensure women could access their right to abortion without harassment.

Speakers included Labour MP Cat Smith and Laura Bates from the Everyday Sexism project. Pam Lowe, who researches the backgrounds of anti-abortion groups, pointed out that some picketers get paid to harass women at clinics.

Many speakers from the floor spoke in solidarity with the woman given a suspended jail sentence in Northern Ireland for taking tablets to bring on an abortion.


Keep up the libraries fight

library campaigners in Lambeth, south London, are determined to resist the Labour council’s plans to shut or run down the borough’s ten libraries.

Around 80 people joined a lively campaign meeting on Thursday of last week. They discussed holding another march at the Minet library.

John from the Save Our Libraries Campaign told Socialist Worker, “We’re never going to quit. We’re going to carry on until we unseat the councillors if necessary.”

The meeting came after a ten day-long occupation of Carnegie library and a 2,000-strong march on 9 April.

This has started to open up fissures within the council.

More strikes by library workers could now press home the advantage.


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