Socialist Worker

Scotland


Low pay revolt now spreading

31 August 2002
"LISTEN TO the workers!" "Could you live on our pay?" These were some of the shouts which met Scottish health minister Malcolm Chisholm as his car swept into the Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock, near Glasgow, on Friday of last week. Chisholm was officially welcomed by a row of suited hospital managers. But first he was challenged by a lively demonstration of over 100 angry and militant pickets, on their fifth day of an unofficial strike against low pay. The strike was continuing at the beginning of the week.

New opportunities for socialists

31 August 2002
"WE'LL BE fighting the May 2003 Scottish elections in a very different climate from 1999, when Tommy Sheridan won our single seat in the Scottish Parliament. Then capitalism seemed the only show in town. Today the war drums are beating, the stock exchange is still sliding, and there is a shift to the left in the trade union movement. The conditions are much more favourable for us."

Journalists right to start the offensive

24 August 2002
THE SPATE of disputes involving journalists is accelerating, with strikes and ballots for action this week from London to Yorkshire and Scotland.

Palestine

24 August 2002
OVER 200 people gathered outside Scotland's national football stadium, Hampden Park, in Glasgow on Friday of last week to protest at next month's under-21 football match between Scotland and Israel.

Will Bluebird come a cropper?

17 August 2002
BUS DRIVERS employed by Stagecoach's Bluebird company in north east Scotland began balloting last week for a strike over pay. The 340 workers are calling for a pay rise in line with workers on Stagecoach's rival firm First Group.

Letters

17 August 2002
We're more angry than ever before THE ANTI-war mood in Glasgow and across Scotland is growing daily and not just among the usual suspects. For years the Muslim community has been considered quiet and respectable, playing little or no role in active politics.

EIS

03 August 2002
THE NATIONAL president of the EIS-CLA, the Scottish further education lecturers' union, was sacked last week from his job at Glasgow's Central College of Commerce. Jim O'Donovan had been suspended on full pay following a disciplinary hearing at the end of last term.

Textile workers

27 July 2002
TEXTILE WORKERS in the Scottish Borders town of Innerleithen are fighting to beat a pay freeze. The workers have already staged a one-day strike, and plan further action. Workers' anger at being refused a pay rise was boosted when they discovered their boss at the Ballantyne Cashmere plant was grabbing an £87,000 bonus.

Galleries

13 July 2002
THE THREAT of strike action by 120 members of the PCS union at the National Galleries of Scotland has forced management to make an improved pay offer. The workers had introduced an overtime ban that shut all four Edinburgh galleries on Sundays.

Colleges

13 July 2002
THE NATIONAL president of the Scottish lecturers' union, the EIS-CLA, is the latest union activist to be targeted by management at further education colleges in Scotland. Jim O'Donovan has been suspended from his lecturing post at the Glasgow Central College of Commerce.

Hungry for change

06 July 2002
LABOUR AND the Tories united in the Scottish Parliament last week to vote down a proposal to give all children free school meals. The plan was put forward by socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan. He argued that it would abolish the stigma of going through a means test to get free meals.

Pride Scotland

29 June 2002
THREE THOUSAND people marched in Scotland's annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender demonstration-Pride Scotland-last Saturday in Glasgow. The joyous, celebratory march was made up of people of all ages from all over Scotland. Floats, banners and costumes made this one of the most colourful demonstrations Glasgow has seen for a while.

BNP threat

15 June 2002
THE NEED to build a united mass campaign to counter the rise of the far right was the central theme of the Scottish Anti Nazi League (ANL) conference held on Saturday. A total of 130 anti-racists took part.

Thousands show their support for Palestine

04 May 2002
PROTESTS AND meetings in support of Palestine took place around Britain last week. A superb 5,000 people joined the Scottish Coalition for Justice not War demonstration in Glasgow last Saturday. Feeder marches from Southside and the West End of the city arrived in George Square to huge applause from fellow demonstrators.

Gains for the left

04 May 2002
LEFT WING candidates have made gains in elections for the national executive of the civil servants' PCS union. Scottish Socialist Party member Janice Godrich has been elected president and Steve Cawkwell vice-president.

Coming Events

27 April 2002
Saturday 27 April No to war on Iraq, justice for Palestine. Demonstrate, 11am, George Square, Glasgow. Speakers include George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan. Called by Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War.

Cracks can't be papered over

27 April 2002
THE SCOTTISH Trades Union Congress (STUC) met in Perth last week against a background of rising bitterness with New Labour. The conference opened with a stage managed attempt to paper over the cracks between the unions and the government.

Letters

06 April 2002
The SSP has them scared The Daily Record has launched another bitter attack on Scottish socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan. That should come as no surprise after its vicious assaults in the past. What is new this time is that the Scottish National Party has joined in. They dared to suggest that Scotland's most open and accountable MSP is somehow involved in dodgy financial deals.

Socialist Alliance trade union conference caught the mood of revolt

23 March 2002
The biggest conference of rank and file trade unionists for two decades took place in London last Saturday. Over 1,000 trade unionists from across Britain came to the event organised by the Socialist Alliance, which will be standing hundreds of candidates at the May local elections. The Scottish Socialist Party also supported it. The conference signalled a further step in the deepening rift between the government and trade unionists.

Payback time on track

16 March 2002
Train drivers on ScotRail struck on Wednesday of last week and on Monday, bringing services across Scotland to a halt. At the same time non-drivers on Arriva, which runs trains across the north of England, were preparing for action over Easter. This is part of their fight over pay.

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