Socialist Worker

Scotland


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."

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.

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 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.

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.

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).

Galbraith must go

26 August 2000
"HOW CAN he sit there smugly and say it is not his fault?" That was the response of 15 year old Fiona White from Dundee to news that the minister responsible for the exam fiasco in Scotland, Sam Galbraith, has no intention of resigning.

The sisters of cruelty

26 August 2000
Shocking allegations of child abuse emerged in a Scottish court case last week. At the centre of the accusations is a religious order revered by "pro-family" campaigners such as Cardinal Winning, head of the Catholic church in Scotland. Winning denounces gays as "perverted" and backs the anti-gay Section 28, which he claims is needed to "protect children".

UNISON round-up

05 February 2000
Roddy Slorach THE APPEAL against the expulsion of leading Scottish activist Roddy Slorach from his UNISON union was last week postponed until 7 March.

Why it's right to scrap Section 28

05 February 2000
TORIES AND religious fundamentalists are trying to unleash a flood of anti-gay bigotry. Catholic Cardinal Winning and millionaire owner of the Stagecoach empire Brian Souter (an evangelical Christian) are leading a crusade to keep the anti-gay Section 28 law in Scotland. Tory lords and Church of England bishops have now waded in to defend Section 28 in England and Wales. All of them claim they oppose discrimination. Yet recently Winning called homosexuality a "perversion" and likened gay people to Hitler's Nazis. His insult is sick beyond belief. Gays were one of the groups Hitler sent to concentration camps.

Electricians

18 December 1999
UP TO 4,000 steel erectors, electricians and welders are planning a number of one day unofficial strikes over pay. The strikes are due to take place in the run up to Christmas. They will hit five big engineering construction sites, including Grangemouth in Scotland, Sellafield in Cumbria, and Saltend near Hull.

Scottish universities

18 December 1999
MEMBERS OF the Scottish lecturers' EIS-ULA union have beaten back an attempt by their employers to impose a new contract in all new university staff from 1 January. The contract involved a 20 day cut in annual leave, an unlimited working week including evenings and weekends, performance related pay and an end to automatic annual increments.

Most dangerous beef in Europe

18 December 1999
THE TABLOID press has launched a frenzy of French bashing after the French government refused to lift its ban on British beef. Tory politicians and papers such as the Daily Mail have led the pack. Now others are joining in. The Mirror has launched a "Say Non To French Golden Delicious" campaign. The Scottish Daily Record ran a page article on how France has always "betrayed" Scotland.

Socialism in Scotland

11 December 1999
"IT IS fantastic to attend such an event. It shows that socialist ideas and action are more relevant than ever as we approach the next century." That is what an electrician from Glasgow said about last weekend's Socialism in Scotland conference in the city.

Banging the bigots' drum

11 December 1999
A SCOTTISH bigot who leads a Catholic based anti-abortion group was exposed last week as formerly on the extreme right wing of the Protestant Orange Order. Jim Dawson is leader of the anti-abortion group Precious Life. The group models itself on violent US organisations that have firebombed abortion clinics, killing workers inside. Precious Life is threatening to picket the homes of clinic workers in Scotland. He used to play in a band that produced tributes to Michael Stone, the Loyalist terrorist who murdered three Catholics at a Republican funeral in 1988.

Barmac

04 December 1999
UP TO 3,000 jobs are under threat at oil rig building yards in the Scottish Highlands. The yards, owned by Barmac, are at Nigg and Ardersier, both near Inverness, and are the largest private sector employer in the Highlands. Closure, which bosses say could happen next spring, could devastate the area.

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