Socialist Worker

Scotland


Refugees

29 September 2001
Dungavel Over 100 protesters demonstrated last weekend outside the Dungavel detention centre in south Lanarkshire, Scotland, calling for the closure of the camp. Many of the protesters had travelled from Glasgow, where they had taken part in an anti-war rally

Ballot starts

29 September 2001
SCOTTISH POWER workers have started a ballot on strikes against attempts to cut jobs and worsen conditions. The 1,700 workers involved, who work both in Scotland and in Scottish Power's subsidiary in Merseyside and North Wales, are fighting plans to force a section of workers into a new company.

Green Party conference

22 September 2001
THE GREEN Party annual conference took place in Salisbury last weekend in the wake of the party's best ever general election result. The Greens now have 49 local councillors, one member of the Scottish Parliament, two members of the European Parliament and three members of the Greater London Authority.

'Taking them on'

22 September 2001
SCOTTISH Power workers are voting on strikes against attempts to cut jobs and worsen conditions. Scottish Power is a multinational which operates in North Wales and north west England as well as Scotland.

Socialist Alliance & SSP

15 September 2001
DEREK DOBBINS, Socialist Alliance candidate, gained 2.5 percent of the vote in a council by-election in Gloucester last week. The Scottish Socialist Party's Mary Ward won 5.3 percent of the vote in a council by-election in Dundee.

Building an alternative in Scotland

10 March 2001
Carolyn Leckie is branch secretary for North Glasgow Hospitals UNISON union and the Scottish Socialist Party's health spokesperson. She is a single parent with two children and will be an SSP candidate in the general election:

Wrong results

10 March 2001
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), the body responsible for last year's exams crisis in Scotland where 17,000 pupils got the wrong results, has admitted that it could make mistakes on an even greater scale this year.

Photo finish

03 March 2001
Instant camera firm Polaroid plans to sack 235 workers at its Dumbartonshire factory in Scotland despite soaring profits. Polaroid's profits jumped from £5.2 million to £22 million last year. One worker facing the axe said, "They are throwing people on the scrapheap so the bosses can rake in cash." One of those who could be handing out redundancy notices is "human resources" director Alistair Liddell, who is married to New Labour Scottish secretary Helen Liddell.

Campaigns for peace

03 March 2001
Around 70 people attended a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting in Glasgow last week. Scottish National Party MSP Shona Robison and leading pro-Palestinian academic Dr Michael Prior were joined by Palestinian and Jewish speakers in calling for solidarity with the intifada.

Say no to Record

03 March 2001
The Daily Record, a Labour-supporting tabloid in Scotland, has organised a march against drugs on 1 April as part of its "war on drugs" campaign. Brian Souter, the anti-gay millionaire owner of Stagecoach, is supporting the march.

Glasgow airport

24 February 2001
Workers in the GMB union at Glasgow airport are to be balloted over strike action in protest over the sacking of a union representative. GMB Scottish secretary Robert Parker said, "GMB Scotland believes that British Airways (BA) set up our member. "BA needs to be aware that we will take whatever action to reinstate the sacked union rep."

Stop bombing Iraq!

24 February 2001
Protesters disrupted a lecture by George Robertson, the general secretary of NATO, at Dundee University last Saturday. They were protesting against his warmongering in the Balkans two years ago and the bombing of Baghdad the night before. They succeeded in stopping his talk, and the protest was covered in the Scottish Post.

The crazy nuclear agenda

17 February 2001
Nuclear weapons were suddenly back on the political agenda this week. They were in focus because of the determination of protesters at Faslane, and because the government is ready to do the bidding of the US and spend billions more on new missiles that could destroy the earth. The outcry against nuclear weaponry runs deep. At the Faslane protest police arrested over 370 people, including Scottish Socialist Party MSP Tommy Sheridan, Labour MP George Galloway and Green MEP Caroline Lucas. Nuclear weapons show Labour's priorities.

Betrayed over asbestos

27 January 2001
Victims of asbestos poisoning are getting "sympathy but no money" according to leading asbestos campaigner in Scotland Tommy Gorman. Thousands of workers may never get payments they are entitled to after the insurance company, QBE International, handling their claims recently went bust. "It could be a major problem," says Tommy. "People were poisoned when they worked on the Upper Clyde shipyards in Scotland. And it's not just Scotland. In areas like Liverpool and Tyneside workers were affected too."

Coatbridge

20 January 2001
Lecturers at Coatbridge College, members of the EIS-CLA (College Lecturers Association), were to strike on Tuesday and Thursday this week over pay. The action follows two one-day strikes before Christmas. Lecturers at the college have not received a pay rise since 1998. Coatbridge is the only college in Scotland not to have settled its lecturers' pay claim for 1999-2000.

Scottish teachers

20 January 2001
Scottish Teachers are being asked by their union leaders to vote for longer working hours and the right of management to control every minute of their lives. This is what the pay and conditions deal we are being balloted over really means.

The socialist challenge at the general election

13 January 2001
William Hague's Tory rabble playing the race card or Tony Blair's New Labour government privatising everything in sight. That is the choice presented to us in this year's general election. But there will be an alternative. Across Britain over 120 socialist candidates are preparing to stand in the election.

Scottish councils

13 January 2001
"This is about our union leaders letting New Labour off the hook," was how a worker in East Ayrshire council reacted to the news that leaders of the UNISON union are calling off strikes by council workers across Scotland. Workers in other Scottish councils had the same reaction. "There's a feeling of shock, of betrayal," argued a worker in Inverclyde council. "The union leaders are trying to ditch the fight, to help out New Labour in the run-up to the general election."

Scottish teachers' pay offer is a con

13 January 2001
The Scottish press slammed teachers as "greedy" last weekend for not jumping for joy at a proposed pay deal. Papers claimed negotiations between the Scottish Executive, teachers' union and local government representatives had come up with a once in a lifetime offer, worth a 21.5 percent pay increase over the next three years.

No joy for New Labour

06 January 2001
LABOUR WON the by-election in Falkirk West by the thinnest of majorities just before Christmas. Labour's majority of 13,800 in 1997 was slashed to just 705 over the Scottish National Party (SNP).

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