Socialist Worker

Scotland


Left challenge to New Labour

16 March 2002
The Socialist Alliance's campaign is taking off across England in the run-up to the local elections in seven weeks on 2 May. The alliance is hoping to stand over 100 candidates in London and over 300 across England. The mood for a socialist alternative to New Labour was seen in Scotland last week. The Scottish Socialist Party, the Socialist Alliance's sister organisation, won 16 percent in a local by-election.

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.

Scottish Socialist Party conference

09 March 2002
"Socialism is alive and kicking in every corner of Scotland." That was how Tommy Sheridan, national convenor of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), opened the party's fourth annual conference in Dundee on Saturday of last week. "Labour has been transformed from the party of the millions to the party of the millionaires and the multi-millionaires," Sheridan said. The SSP, by contrast, had "a vision of an independent Scottish socialist republic where pensioners are more important than profits, kids are more important than cash, and people are more important than big business". The SSP, he said, was "internationalist to the core".

'Rail workers are hitting back now'

09 March 2002
Over 2,000 rail workers brought services across the north of England and Scotland to a halt last week as they struck over pay. "This is a demonstration of the power of rail workers to hit back, not least over privatisation," one picket in the RMT union in Newcastle told Socialist Worker.

Banks after homes...

09 March 2002
Birmingham council tenants are being asked to hand control of their homes to the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Labour-run city council was meeting on Tuesday of this week to give the final go-ahead to a ballot starting on 18 March over the plan to privatise over 80,000 council homes.

Defend council housing

02 March 2002
The close vote on privatisation at the Scottish Labour Party conference last weekend underlined the depths of opposition to policies like handing council homes to private companies. The vote came just after a significant minority of the ruling Labour group of councillors in Glasgow voted against the plan to go ahead with a ballot on privatising the city's more than 80,000 council homes.

Anti-privatisation

02 March 2002
Over 150 trade union activists marched through driving snow and winds to lobby the Scottish Labour Party conference in Perth last Saturday. Some coaches were prevented from attending due to the snowfalls. John McAllion, the Labour MSP, spoke at a rally against privatisation after the lobby.

Charlotte Gray: just too many shades of grey

23 February 2002
Set in occupied France during the Second World War, Charlotte Gray tells the story of a young Scottish woman who is recruited to the Special Operations Executive. Charlotte, played by Cate Blanchett, wants to defeat fascism and search for her missing lover. She is sent to work with the French Resistance.

Faslane blockade

16 February 2002
Despite high winds and driving rain, around 500 people joined a lively demonstration outside Faslane nuclear submarine base last Monday. The blockade kicked off the three-day "Block 'n' Roll" of the Faslane base in Scotland, organised by CND and Trident Ploughshares.

Glasgow & Tower Hamlets

09 February 2002
The Scottish Executive announced last week that it is to give £300 million of public money to shore up the plan to privatise Glasgow's council homes. New Labour is prepared to throw still more public money in to push the privatisation through in a tenants' ballot due to get under way in March. Glasgow is just one of the major privatisation plans coming to a head.

Council housing

02 February 2002
The Scottish Executive last week proposed that the ballot for the privatisation of 80,000 council homes in Glasgow will start on 4 March. The date was leaked on the New Labour executive's website, and seems to have caught the New Labour Glasgow council unawares.

A tribute to the dramatist John McGrath

02 February 2002
Everyone who ever saw it remembers The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, the 1973 play by John McGrath, who died last week. The play traced a continuing history of exploitation and class struggle in Scotland, from the savage expulsion of the peasantry to the arrival of the multinationals in the 1970s.

Executive could scrap free care for elderly

19 January 2002
THE SCOTTISH Executive this week looked set to delay its introduction of free personal care for the elderly for three months. The executive was meant to introduce free personal care this April. Now its introduction could be delayed until the autumn.

Bank workers

12 January 2002
BANK WORKERS at the Royal Bank of Scotland went on strike for the day on 2 January after bosses refused to pay them more for working on a traditional Scottish holiday. A lively picket took place of the bank's Glasgow headquarters.

Friends of who?

12 January 2002
LEADERS OF the new AMICUS union have shown their intention just days into the union's launch with their disastrous sell-out of Scottish Power strikers. The joint general secretaries, Ken Jackson from the AEEU and Roger Lyons from the MSF, have long fought to create a right wing bloc of support for New Labour inside the trade union movement.

Cruel blow for a crucial fight

12 January 2002
TOP TRADE union officials have dealt a shattering blow to striking Scottish Power workers. They have conspired to wrap up strikes and allow management the chance to claw back important gains.

Scottish Power

05 January 2002
PRESSURE IS growing among Scottish Power workers to make their strike all out. An important shop stewards' meeting was scheduled for this Saturday in Penrith, where the progress of the dispute will be discussed and tactics debated. A series of three two-day strikes have seen very solid support from around 1,500 workers in North Wales, Merseyside and Scotland. There have been some localised power cuts.

In brief

05 January 2002
THOUSANDS OF bank workers at Scottish- based branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland were due to strike on Wednesday over having to work on a public holiday and not being paid premium rates.

Ferry Workers: Clyde workers strike on pay

22 December 2001
Workers on ferries running from the Clyde in Scotland were due to start all-out strike action from Monday night. Some 40 pierhands working for the Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) company are striking.

Scottish Power: All out action to win victory

22 December 2001
Scottish Power workers struck for two days last week, and planned another two days action this week. The strike, involving 1,500 workers in North Wales, Merseyside and Scotland, has been totally solid. There have been big picket lines of up to 100 at a time in Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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