Big political Pride march in Glasgow
Thousands of people marched through Glasgow last Saturday on the city’s Pride march.
Supporters of the Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) campaign kick-started the march.
Mhairi Black, the Scottish National Party MP said, “While we have made great strides for equality, the Tie campaign reminds us that there is still much to do.”
There was also a lively trade union bloc.
Negotiations put brakes on strikes
A series of strikes by 2,000 RMT union members working on Virgin Trains East Coast were suspended after the union said talks made “significant progress”. The strikes were set to begin last Friday.
The dispute was provoked by bosses’ new cuts plan. The union said 200 jobs are under threat.
Bosses want to combine train guards and other onboard staff roles. This would lead to higher workloads and undermine passenger safety.
Cabin crew boycott BA bosses’ scheme
BA cabin crew have voted by 91 percent to boycott a new performance management system. The vote for action short of a strike by the Unite union’s BA section Bassa covered 8,800 workers.
Unite fears bosses could use their new Dashboard Performance Management scheme to justify job losses.
But it had yet to call a date for the action as Socialist Worker went to press.
Slice of action can beat attack on jobs
The Unite union has said it will fight 2 Sisters’ food bosses’ plans to axe 325 jobs at The Pizza Factory in Nottingham.
The company also announced that it wanted to discuss changes to shift patterns and terms and conditions. Unite said that it now has “breathing space” before the next meeting with the company set for 20 September.
It should immediately ballot its members for strikes.
London Met strike ballot expected
UCU union members at London Metropolitan University are expected to begin balloting for strikes against mass redundancies.
The workers are also fighting for the reinstatement of union reps Mark Campbell and David Hardman.
They voted by 76 percent for strikes in an indicative ballot.
Rally against social cleansing plan
Housing Activists rallied outside Haringey Civic Centre on Tuesday in opposition to the north London council’s “community plan”. It will mean the demolition of huge swathes of social housing, Over 4,000 homes are at risk.
Defend Council Housing activist Paul Burnham said, “This is one of the worst social cleansing plans in London.”
Action ballot can teach Scottish colleges a lesson
The Unison union announced last week that its members across 20 Scottish further education (FE) colleges had “voted overwhelmingly to strike” over pay.
It said the result “will cause disruption to 20 colleges when they resume courses at the end of the month” if talks failed to agree on a settlement. The talks were set for Thursday.
The dispute is the result of college bosses awarding lecturers a £450 flat rate rise, while only offering support staff £230.
College support staff include admin, catering, cleaning and security staff and classroom assistants, technicians and other workers. They are calling for parity with lecturers.
Bosses sought to divide workers by offering £400 to those earning under £22,000 a year and £230 to those earning more. But Unison members rejected that and called for industrial action.
The lecturers in the EIS-Fela union won a stunning victory earlier this year in a battle for equal pay.
They won by using an effective programme of strikes. It was backed up with a political campaign that saw hundreds of strikers protest at the Scottish parliament just before the parliamentary elections.
Bosses caved in after just one day of strikes and agreed a three-year deal that saw the lowest paid lecturers get a 33 percent pay rise.
SNP Socialist Group launched
Some 70 Scottish National Party (SNP) members attended the launch of the party’s new Socialist Group last weekend.
All four SNP deputy leadership candidates spoke to the meeting. Tommy Sheppard, one of the left wing candidates, said “I’m proud to call myself a socialist, I have been for a very long time”.
Chris McEleny, lnverclyde council SNP group leader said, “The next Independence referendum will be won with socialist ideas.”
The launch of the group is a significant development.
Several speakers at the meeting said that many of the 100,000 plus members who joined the party since the referendum were open to left wing ideas. Speakers for the group vowed to advocate progressive politics within the party and also to work with the left outside to oppose racism and austerity.