Socialist Worker



26 June 2004
JUST HUNDREDS of people turned out for the pensions demonstration in Edinburgh organised by the Scottish TUC. My union, the teachers' EIS, sent only one A5 leaflet to each school. The Unison union did not even have its banner at the demonstration. It is clear that the union leaders will not act unless they are pushed from below.

Axe the council tax

01 May 2004
AROUND 2,000 protesters marched through Glasgow last Saturday calling for an end to the council tax. The demonstration marked the launch of a national \"Axe the Tax\" campaign and was led by Scottish Socialist Party MSP Tommy Sheridan. He told the rally at the Barrowland Ballroom, \"The council tax has a death warrant issued. Let's establish 'Axe the Tax' committees in every part of the country in trade unions, communities and pensioner groups to establish a campaign that puts the interests of ordinary workers and pensioners before the wealthy and big business. Let's stop taxing the pensioners and start taxing the rich.\"

Nursery nurses fight despite union betrayal

01 May 2004
THOUSANDS of nursery nurses across 17 councils in Scotland were still on all-out strike as Socialist Worker went to press. They were battling on even though officials of their union, Unison, had abandoned the key plank of their fight.

Wildcat civil servants

01 May 2004
OVER 1,000 workers in Scotland and Lancashire walked out unofficially last week in response to management's suspension of PCS civil servants' union activists. Management also suspended four PCS members in Leeds on Monday of this week. Some 500 workers in two offices, Hume House and Park place, walked out. Eight offices in East London walked out unofficially on Tuesday of this week after managment suspended Nigel Prendergast, a union activist in Hackney. These activists refused to carry out staff appraisals under the Performance Development Scheme.

Give these brave strikers the support they deserve

24 April 2004
THE MAGNIFICENT all-out strike of 4,500 nursery nurses across Scotland is still going strong in its eighth week. The strikers, members of the Unison union, are fighting for a decent national pay deal from COSLA, the Labour-dominated local employers. Scottish nursery nurses voted to continue their action at a meeting on Tuesday of this week.

Nursery nurses still all out

17 April 2004
Nursery nurses in Scotland are continuing their all-out strike to win a decent national pay rise and regrading. The 4,500 strikers are members of the Unison union and have been out for almost seven weeks. On Tuesday they marched through Ayr.

Nursery nurses deserve Timex-style solidarity

10 April 2004
THE SCOTTISH nursery nurse dispute has reminded activists like myself of the tremendous energy, endeavour, imagination, determination and inspiration of the Timex strike some 12 years ago. The Timex strikers were another group of mostly women workers who showed no regard for the accepted limitations of trade union struggle.

All workers should back this strike

03 April 2004
"WE'RE INTO week five of our all-out strike and are even more determined to win than when we began." That's what Carol Ball, union convenor of 4,600 striking nursery nurses, told Socialist Worker. She was speaking after a magnificent 3,000-strong rally in Edinburgh outside the headquarters of Cosla, the umbrella body of Scottish local authority employers. Strikers left an empty table outside the building.

Refugee protest

27 March 2004
AFTER 28 days on hunger strike, and at the urging of their friends and supporters, the "Glasgow Three", Faroq Haidari, Fariborz Gravindi and Mokhtar Haydary, have ended their hunger strike. The three, Kurdish refugees from Iran, have been heartened by the growing support for their fight against deportation from across Scotland and beyond. They were also strengthened by a protest in their support at the Scottish Parliament last week.

Political fund

27 March 2004
THE Communication Workers Union (CWU), with 280,000 members in the post office and telecoms, is set to debate its relationship with Labour at its conference in June. Already one of the union's biggest branches, covering Edinburgh and Lothian, has affiliated to the Scottish Socialist Party.

Strike is shaking bosses

27 March 2004
COUNCIL employers were clearly coming under pressure as the strike by nearly 5,000 nursery nurses in Scotland entered its fourth week on Monday. Seven local authorities, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, issued a joint statement saying they were prepared to come to local pay settlements with the nursery nurses. "Our reply to that is simple," the nursery nurses' Unison union convenor Carol Ball told Socialist Worker.

Nursery nurses' action is growing in strength

20 March 2004
SUPPORT IS flooding in for 4,500 nursery nurses in Scotland who began their third week on all-out strike on Monday. A delegation of strikers arrived in London on Tuesday to spend four days visiting branches and workplaces. The strength of the strike and the solidarity are putting immense pressure on COSLA, the Labour-dominated local employers.

Solidarity pours in for low paid workers on all-out strike

13 March 2004
BRITAIN'S BIGGEST all-out strike is having a big impact in Scotland. Some 5,000 low paid nursery nurses are out actively winning the solidarity they need to win a decent national pay rise. They are getting a great response from delegation work aimed at winning donations from union branches.

Globalise Resistance

13 March 2004
OVER 100 people attended the Globalise Resistance Scotland conference in Glasgow last Saturday. Participants heard George Galloway denounce as "drivel" Blair's recent speech that though the war in Iraq might have been illegal, it shouldn't have been. Mark Curtis, author and now director of the World Development Movement, spoke of the need for more direct action.

Scottish nursery nurses are determined to win

13 March 2004
A MAGNIFICENT 4,500-strong demonstration through Glasgow has kept the nursery nurses' all-out strike in the headlines across Scotland. The demo also blew a hole in employers' propaganda that the strike is losing public support and crumbling. Mary McIntyre from West Dunbartonshire, a nursery nurse for 20 years, told Socialist Worker on last Friday's march:

5,000 nursery nurses in all-out pay strike

06 March 2004
LOW PAID education workers have begun the biggest indefinite strike in Britain for many years. The 5,000 nursery nurses walked out in three quarters of Scotland's local authorities on Monday. Liz McCulloch, a nursery nurse and Unison union steward in East Ayrshire, explains why:

Nursery nurses need your support

06 March 2004
STRIKING NURSERY nurses were greeted with a wave of support from parents and the public. But they received staggering contempt from their employers, COSLA-the Labour-dominated Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities. "We are in a decisive dispute," says Carol Ball, the Unison union convenor of the nursery nurses' campaign. "All we want is for COSLA to talk to us about a national deal. Yet it's come to an all-out strike. We are calling for support from across the movement."

Meetings round-up

06 March 2004
"I APPEAL to everyone not to let the Muslim and Asian communities suffer the way the Irish suffered under the anti-terrorist laws," Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six urged a public meeting in Moir Hall, Glasgow, last week. The meeting, held on the eve of the Scottish Labour Party conference, was called to oppose the latest government attack on civil liberties.


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.

All-out challenge by nursery nurses

28 February 2004
OVER 4,500 nursery nurses in Scotland are set to begin an all-out indefinite strike on Monday following a magnificent four to one vote. The action pits some of the lowest paid workers in education in Britain against predominantly Labour local authority employers. The fight over pay and regrading is crucial for public sector workers and beyond.

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