Socialist Worker



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.


26 July 2003
TECHNICIANS AT one of Britain's biggest PFI hospitals, the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, walked out on Friday of last week. The workers, members of the Unison union, were furious after being told by their trust bosses that their jobs could be sold off to a private company.

Thousands fight to end poverty

21 June 2003
"IT'S ABOUT time the low paid stood up and gave the politicians and the fat cats a good shaking," says Annie, a striking nursery nurse from Edinburgh. She is one of thousands of workers across Britain who are fighting to end poverty pay and stop bosses treating them like second class citizens.

Nursery nurses: 'We're worth more'

07 June 2003
"THIS IS a battle for justice. We are demanding that we get proper treatment and are set free from low pay." So said Janet from Greengables nursery, who was one of the 1,000 striking nursery nurses protesting in Edinburgh on Thursday of last week.

Tens of thousands show we have not gone away

05 April 2003
TENS OF thousands of people took to the streets of Britain last Saturday as part of the Stop the War Coalition's day of action. "Over 15,000 marched in Edinburgh," says Mick Napier. "The mood was determined. Speaker after speaker called for the immediate end to the invasion. Susan Karim, an Iraqi, used information from her relatives inside Iraq to describe the horrors being visited on the heads of ordinary Iraqis by the invading American and British forces."

Anti-war protests sweep the world

23 March 2003
San Francisco, Rome, Buenos Aires, Vienna, London, Sydney, Dhaka, Brussels, Madrid, Athens, Seoul, Tokyo, Mexico City, Edinburgh... and hundreds more

Palestine debate

14 December 2002
NEARLY 200 people took part in a debate at Edinburgh University last week on the prospects for peace in the Middle East. It was organised by the student society People & Planet. John Chalcraft, an Edinburgh politics lecturer, and Chris Doyle, from CAABU (Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding), explained why Palestinians had rejected the "peace offers".

Porno: a return ticket from Irvine Welsh

19 October 2002
Ten years on, the characters from Trainspotting have returned, this time to make a porn movie. Irvine Welsh sets up a series of neatly timed coincidences to bring them back to Edinburgh along with a new character, the beautiful but bulimic student Nikki Fuller-Smith.

Lothian buses

05 October 2002
CONFUSION AND bitterness spread through the ranks of 1,300 bus drivers in the Edinburgh region on Friday of last week. The drivers, who work for the Lothian bus company, were set to begin an all-out strike that day against a new pay deal. Their TGWU union leaders called the strike off at the last minute on Thursday evening after they received a new offer from management.

Driven to go all out in Edinburgh

28 September 2002
AN INDEFINITE strike by bus drivers was set to begin in the Edinburgh region this week. Over 1,300 drivers are facing a hostile management that is determined to defeat the workforce.

Bus workers

21 September 2002
OVER 1,300 bus drivers in Edinburgh and the Lothians were poised to start an indefinite strike over pay this week. But a last minute offer halted the action.

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