31 May 2003
SOME OF the lowest paid workers in Britain are rebelling. Nursery nurses in Scotland and health workers in North Lincolnshire and east London were set to strike this week for a living wage. They are sick of doing important, caring jobs for pitiful wages that won't pay the bills. They want to be treated with respect, not taken for granted as low paid skivvies.
31 May 2003
Janice Godrich is the president of the PCS civil servants' union and a member of the Scottish Socialist Party. She spoke to Socialist Worker about the upcoming elections to the union's national executive, which begin on Friday 6 June. The socialist Left Unity group and the PCS Democrats group are standing a united list in an attempt to defeat the right wing Moderates group that has dominated the union.
10 May 2003
THERE WAS no comfort for New Labour from last Thursday's elections, and little for any of the other mainstream parties either. There were, however, dramatic breakthroughs for the left. The Scottish Socialist Party won six seats in the proportional voting element of the Scottish Parliament elections.
03 May 2003
SCOTTISH WATER (SW) has announced 1,400 redundancies over the next two years (900 this year and 500 next year). Around 1,300 jobs have already been lost through voluntary redundancy. A year ago the four unions in SW, Unison, TGWU, GMB and AEEU,went into a partnership agreement with management.
26 April 2003
THE GAP between the New Labour government and trade unions was strongly underlined at the Scottish TUC in Inverness last week. Some of the strongest criticism of Tony Blair came over the war. A series of speakers condemned the government for taking Britain into the war.
12 April 2003
SCOTTISH VOTERS will go to the polls on 1 May against the background of widespread opposition to the war and deep bitterness against New Labour's failure to help working people. Both factors are boosting the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP). The SSP's manifesto, launched last week, contains a clear denunciation of the war. "This is a war for control over the Middle East and its resources by American big business interests," it says.
05 April 2003
ANTI-NAZI campaigners in outer east London are mobilising against a British National Party (BNP) candidate standing in a council by-election in Barkingside on Thursday of next week. The Nazis are trying to gain publicity in the run-up to local council elections in England and national elections in Scotland and Wales on 1 May.
29 March 2003
THE SCOTTISH Labour Party conference revolted against the war last week. The rebellion was remarkable coming just weeks before the Scottish Parliament elections. The Scottish Labour Party's top officials had tried desperately to prevent a debate on Iraq.
01 March 2003
"WE ARE an anti-war and a pro-war party. We are opposed, under any circumstances, to the unleashing of mass murder on the innocent civilians of Iraq. But we are also committed to a war - a war on poverty and inequality." In his keynote speech Tommy Sheridan summed up the two key issues that dominated the Scottish Socialist Party's (SSP) annual conference held in Glasgow last weekend.
01 March 2003
DRIVERS ON English Welsh and Scottish Railways (EWS) have suspended their strikes after winning a new offer from management. It means a one-hour cut from April this year and another one-hour cut from April 2004. This will see drivers working a 35-hour week.
15 February 2003
OVER 2,500 drivers from English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) struck on Saturday across Britain, leading to the cancellation of around 200 trains. Drivers, members of the Aslef union, want better pay and pensions plus cuts in hours.
08 February 2003
DRIVERS ON English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) struck solidly last Saturday and plan another strike this Saturday. They run freight trains and are members of the Aslef union. EWS drivers are demanding what they have been campaigning for over the last three years-a proper pay rise, a 35- hour week, all of pay to count towards pensions, and a maximum ten-hour day.
01 February 2003
TRAIN DRIVERS working for freight company English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) plan to strike this Saturday and three subsequent Saturdays. We have become increasingly angry at management's refusal to hold proper talks about pay, the implementation of a 35-hour week, and pensions. At present EWS drivers are on the lowest rates for any rail company.
25 January 2003
AROUND 2,500 train drivers working for the freight company English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) are to strike over pay and hours. They include workers who have recently blocked ammunition trains in Scotland. The workers are members of Aslef and voted overwhelmingly for action in a ballot. Strikes have been set for four Saturdays-1,8,15,22 February.
18 January 2003
SOME 600 workers at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) held a three-hour strike on Thursday of last week over pay. Alan Denny, national officer in Scotland for the workers' Prospect union, said, "The membership is rock solid. Over 300 people attended meetings across the country."
18 January 2003
Is this the future for thousands more?
"MANAGEMENT'S message was 'Happy New Year and you're sacked', 'Season's greetings, you're stuffed'." Harry McCarthy is a bitter man. He's one of 500 people thrown on the dole by Fullarton Computer Industries in Gourock, 20 miles from Glasgow. Without warning, the company locked the workforce out and told them not to come back after the Christmas holidays.
18 January 2003
"It was a political protest over the threat to attack Iraq. It was a sign that as individuals and workers we were not prepared to be part of a murderous war, a conscientious objection to helping kill Iraqi civilians."
21 December 2002
SOME 600 workers at the Scottish Agricultural College voted by 63 percent to strike over a deal that amounts to a pay freeze for most staff.
14 December 2002
"MOST FBU members are sick to death with New Labour," says Paisley firefighter Billy Coates. "I'd say the majority in Scotland are now withdrawing from funding the Labour Party. On my station it's 100 percent."
16 November 2002
"WILDCAT Chaos." That was the front page headline of the Daily Record, Scotland's biggest selling newspaper, on Friday of last week. It was responding to, and trying to vilify, the unofficial walkouts by hundreds of workers in Glasgow hospitals and the Glasgow underground. Clerical and administration workers in nine hospitals in North Glasgow NHS Trust, mainly women, walked out on Thursday and Friday. Around half the workers at Gartnavel Hospital had joined the strike by Monday of this week.