Socialist Worker

Scotland


Anti-racist march

04 December 1999
OVER 1,000 people marched through Glasgow on Saturday on the Scottish TUC's march against racism. The demonstrators were headed by the Chhokar family campaign who are fighting for justice for their son Surjit who was stabbed to death. The rally was addressed by Scottish minister for communities Wendy Alexander and Sky Chefs workers from the London Heathrow dispute, amongst others.

'Staggered' by attack

04 December 1999
"I WAS staggered to learn of the expulsion of Roddy Slorach. Stop the witch hunt - justice must be done." So said UNISON national executive member, and candidate in the union's current general secretary election, Roger Bannister, over the expulsion of one of Glasgow's leading trade unionists from his union. Roger's message of support for Roddy will be read out by a delegation from his Knowsley UNISON branch who plan to join a lobby in Glasgow on Saturday. UNISON members and other trade unionists from across Britain are to protest outside UNISON's Scottish Regional Council.

Defend Roddy Slorach

27 November 1999
RODDY Slorach, one of Scotland's leading trade unionists, has been expelled from his UNISON public sector workers' union. UNISON leaders have thrown Roddy out of the union for daring to stand up to New Labour. The move has caused outrage. A major campaign is under way to win Roddy's reinstatement. Roddy explained to Socialist Worker what happened:

Poor cleared out for rich

27 November 1999
THE BATTLE for the future of Glasgow's 80,000 council homes is hotting up. The city's Labour controlled council and the Scottish Parliament are split over how to transfer all the homes to private landlords. The council wants to sell all the stock to one company or a newly formed private housing association. It plans a ballot in November 2000 at the latest, with the transfer taking place in April 2001. However, the Scottish Executive is pressing for smaller transfers now.

Scottish Power

27 November 1999
ANGER EXPLODED last week at the news that energy company Scottish Power plans to axe 450 jobs, 250 of them in Scotland. At the same time the company announced profits of £1.3 million a day. Company boss Ian Robinson was paid £1.1 million last year. Even AEEU union leader Sir Ken Jackson, who talks of "partnership" between bosses and workers, was forced to slam the company. Scottish Power has tried to blame the job cuts on the power regulator demanding customer savings. In reality the cuts are part of a massive shake up in the industry.

Barmac

20 November 1999
A MASS picket caused a three mile traffic tailback outside a Scottish Highlands oil rig fabrication yard last week. Some 150 workers employed by subcontractor Palmers downed tools and blockaded the entrance of the Barmac yard at Nigg in Easter Ross. The walkout was sparked by the death in a road accident of a 63 year old scaffolder, James Maclennan, while travelling from work late at night. Workers want shift times changed so that they do not have to set off for long journeys home in the dark.

Leading trade union activist expelled

20 November 1999
ONE OF Scotland's leading trade unionists has been expelled from his union. Roddy Slorach was thrown out of the UNISON union on Tuesday by union leaders who often claim to oppose New Labour policies. UNISON leader Rodney Bickerstaffe appears on TV attacking cuts in the public sector. The hollowness of that rhetoric is shown by his appalling treatment of Roddy.

Scottish Socialist Party 'Socialism 2000' event

13 November 1999
THE SCOTTISH Socialist Party's "Socialism 2000" conference took place in Glasgow last weekend against the background of growing dissatisfaction with the Scottish Parliament's failure to deliver change. That desire for change translated into a huge vote for the left at the parliament's first elections last May. Some 100,000 people across Scotland voted for socialist candidates in the elections. Scottish Socialist Party member Tommy Sheridan was elected to the Scottish Parliament.

'Restore grants, scrap the fees!'

06 November 1999
GRANTS MIGHT return for poorer students in Scotland. That could be the result of the political crisis over education funding that has swept the country. It would be a huge victory that could detonate a massive fight to bring back grants for students in England and Wales. The prospect of the return of grants is a result of the crisis facing the Scottish Executive.

Protesters walk free

30 October 1999
NEW LABOUR was humiliated by a court ruling in Scotland last week. Three protesters who had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage at the Faslane Trident nuclear submarine base on the Clyde were cleared of any offence. Sheriff Margaret Gimble ordered a jury at her Greenock court to acquit the three after ruling that nuclear weapons were illegal under international law.

Roddy Slorach

30 October 1999
THE VERDICT in the long running union disciplinary case against Glasgow UNISON activist Roddy Slorach has been adjourned until 16 November. Roddy's reconvened hearing last week saw him rebut the union leaders' allegations against him. Scottish UNISON secretary Matt Smith, who carried out the initial investigation into Roddy, was not even present.

Gregory's Two Girls: growing pains of Mr Gregory

30 October 1999
Scottish director Bill Forsyth's new film Gregory's Two Girls is on general release. By choosing to make a belated sequel to his 1981 film, Forsyth has taken a calculated risk. The original Gregory's Girl was a gem of a film. It was a story about working class teenagers set in the new town of Cumbernauld on the outskirts of Glasgow. It made Forsyth's name as an accomplished film maker. He went on to make the whimsical Local Hero and the much underrated Comfort and Joy.

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