Socialist Worker


Scottish independence

13 October 2004
AROUND 1,000 people attended a rally in support of the declaration for an independent Scottish republic in Edinburgh last Saturday.

Edinburgh Festival: theatre that can move the spirit

21 August 2004
CONSIDERING THAT it is only a few years since some right wing critics were proclaiming the death of political theatre, there is a surprising amount of it at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Taking arts to parts others can’t reach

07 August 2004
THE EDINBURGH People’s Festival was set up two years ago by a diverse group of artists and political activists.

The ghosts of struggle haunt festival city

07 August 2004
AUGUST IN Edinburgh. And as the global middle class descends on the Scottish capital for the International Festival and Fringe, it can seem that the entire city is nothing more than a bourgeois cultural playground.

See the world in new, exciting ways

07 August 2004
THE EDINBURGH Festival is the biggest arts event in the world.


26 June 2004
JUST HUNDREDS of people turned out for the pensions demonstration in Edinburgh organised by the Scottish TUC. My union, the teachers' EIS, sent only one A5 leaflet to each school. The Unison union did not even have its banner at the demonstration. It is clear that the union leaders will not act unless they are pushed from below.

Stop the war

24 April 2004
AROUND THE country activists held emergency protests last Saturday to protest against the massacre of over 600 Iraqis in Fallujah. Around 250 people assembled in Edinburgh's Parliament Square to hear speeches denouncing the brutality of the occupation. Some 200 protesters marched through Brighton and attended a lively rally.

All workers should back this strike

03 April 2004
"WE'RE INTO week five of our all-out strike and are even more determined to win than when we began." That's what Carol Ball, union convenor of 4,600 striking nursery nurses, told Socialist Worker. She was speaking after a magnificent 3,000-strong rally in Edinburgh outside the headquarters of Cosla, the umbrella body of Scottish local authority employers. Strikers left an empty table outside the building.

Strike is shaking bosses

27 March 2004
COUNCIL employers were clearly coming under pressure as the strike by nearly 5,000 nursery nurses in Scotland entered its fourth week on Monday. Seven local authorities, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, issued a joint statement saying they were prepared to come to local pay settlements with the nursery nurses. "Our reply to that is simple," the nursery nurses' Unison union convenor Carol Ball told Socialist Worker.

Political fund

27 March 2004
THE Communication Workers Union (CWU), with 280,000 members in the post office and telecoms, is set to debate its relationship with Labour at its conference in June. Already one of the union's biggest branches, covering Edinburgh and Lothian, has affiliated to the Scottish Socialist Party.


28 February 2004
WORKERS AT Scottish & Newcastle's Fountain Brewery in Edinburgh were outraged enough about the company's decision to close the plant even before the news this week that the company's profits in the eight months to 31 December rose to £471 million. The Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), the largest union in the brewing industry, has stated its opposition to the closure of the profitable brewery and pledged its support for the members' campaign to keep it open.

An overture to ballot for all-out strike

14 February 2004
THOUSANDS OF nursery nurses across Scotland struck on Wednesday of last week and Tuesday of this in their long-running campaign to get recognition for the job they do. "We don't want to have to be on strike," said Margaret Ritchie on the picket line outside Royal Mile primary school in Edinburgh.

Nursery nurses

27 September 2003
OVER 2,000 nursery nurses from the Unison public sector union took part in a noisy and vibrant demonstration in Edinburgh on Wednesday of last week as part of their fight for decent pay. Members of the public tooted their car horns, cheered and applauded to demonstrate their support as the march passed them. Nursery nurses in different areas of Scotland struck on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.

Bin workers

27 September 2003
REFUSE WORKERS in Edinburgh voted last week to reject an offer from the council to end their long-running dispute over pay. They were offered a one-off payment of £1,000 each to end their unofficial work to rule. A refuse worker from one of the depots said, "We are determined to stick this out. We're not greedy-we just want a fair deal."

Nursery nurses

13 September 2003
NURSERY NURSES in Scotland plan two days of strikes in all regions next week. Some areas will strike on Tuesday and Wednesday, others on Wednesday and Thursday. The action will include a major protest in Edinburgh on the Wednesday. But the first event is the major rally planned for this Saturday, 13 September, to give other workers and parents the opportunity to join nursery nurses and show their support.

Bin Workers

06 September 2003
THREE WEEKS into a work to rule, the Edinburgh Cleansing Department dispute remains unresolved.

News in brief

23 August 2003
Refusing to give up their holidays UNION REPS for Edinburgh's 350 refuse collectors were set to meet city council officials this week, in a bid to resolve a long-running dispute. In 1991 refuse collectors entered a five-year agreement to "sell" six of their ten days public holiday entitlement for just over £1,000 each. The agreement ran out in 1997 and the issue has never been resolved.

Bin workers

16 August 2003
REFUSE WORKERS in Edinburgh held mass meetings on Monday of this week. They are planning to take unofficial action after Edinburgh council refused them bank holidays. They are also angry that they are still working on old contracts while their workload increases.

Nursery nurses

09 August 2003
NURSERY NURSES in Central Scotland and in Dundee took three days of strike action last week. This was the latest phase of action in the fight of nursery nurses across Scotland for a decent pay rise and recognition for the valuable job they do. At its height the fight has involved up to 6,000 nursery nurses in strike action, with noisy protests in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Some Fringe benefits for radicalism

26 July 2003
IT'S THAT time of year again when Edinburgh holds its breath and waits for the biggest arts festival in the world to explode across its streets. The Edinburgh Fringe is a highlight of the year for many socialists and radicals across Britain and, indeed, throughout the world. In these days of mindless musicals and trash "reality TV", the Fringe offers an opportunity to escape the mass manufactured garbage which so often dominates our culture.

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