Scotland

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Peggy Carter, Anne Field and Ollie Moore

PCS members fighting privatisation at the National Gallery voted on 24 July for all-out strike from the start of August if the gallery does not back down.

Workers have already struck for more than 50 days, as well as holding various stunts, parties and protests inside and outside the gallery.

Workers will strike again on Wednesday 29 July and are holding an “alternative leaving party” for outgoing gallery director on Thursday 30 July.

All-out strike at National Gallery; defend Unison reps at London Met; Glasgow homelessness workers win regrading fight; more Tube strikes on 5-6 August; blacklisting protest wins.

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Glasgow Free Pride retracts ban on drag performers

Author: 

Kate Harris

“Free Pride” is an event being organised by LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, questioning, intersex, asexual, other) people in Glasgow in response to the commercialisation of the Pride Glasgow.

It is a two day “festival” and ticketed event, with prices from £8 for a day ticket to £55 for a “VIP” pass —with separate toilets and bars for those who can afford this price tag! Worse, Pride Glasgow has a vomit-inducing “happiness” theme with the Twitter hashtag (of course there’s a hashtag) #behappy.

“Free Pride” is an event being organised by LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, questioning, intersex, asexual, other) people in Glasgow in response to the commercialisation of the Pride Glasgow.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Anne Field

Members of all four Tube unions will strike on 8-9 July, in disputes over pay, the implementation of 24-hour running (“Night Tube”), and job cuts.

Drivers’ union ASLEF returned a 98% majority for strikes, on a turnout of over 80%. Members of RMT, the largest union on the Tube, voted by over 90% for strikes in two ballots (one of all grades, over pay and Night Tube, and one of station workers over job cuts), on turnouts of around 53%. TSSA and Unite members also voted for strikes by over 70%.

Tube strikes set for 8-9 July; First Great Western strike; SNP and Labour fail homelessness caseworkers.

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CalMac Ferry workers strike against SNP privatisation

Author: 

Dale Street

RMT members employed by Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) staged three days of industrial action, including a one-day strike, in the last week of June.

A ballot on industrial action held the preceding month had seen a massive majority vote for action: 92% for strike action, and 98% of action short of a strike, on a 60% turnout. The vote was so overwhelming that it passed the requirements of the Tories’ new anti-union legislation.

RMT members employed by Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) staged three days of industrial action, including a one-day strike, in the last week of June.

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Opposition grows to “Murphyite” candidate

Author: 

Dale Street

When nominations closed for Scottish Labour leader and deputy leader last Friday, two candidates most typifying the politics which were rejected at the general election were standing.

Ken Macintosh had been nominated for leader by seven MSPs (just enough to get onto the ballot paper) while Gordon Matheson had been nominated for deputy leader by two MSPs and 108 councillors.

When nominations closed for Scottish Labour leader and deputy leader last Friday, two candidates most typifying the politics which were rejected at the general election were standing.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens, Tom Harris, Dale Street and Anne Field

Strikes over privatisation continue at Bromley Council.

Workers are on strike between 10-20 June in a series of selective strikes. Unite members in adult services and transport workers will strike from 10-15 June, library staff between 13-20 June and central council workers on 16 June.

The council's cuts plan involves outsourcing most of its services, reducing the number of council employees from 4000 to 300, and privatising 14 libraries. Unite, Unison and community campaigns organised a march through the borough on Saturday 13 June.

Strikes over privatisation continue at Bromley Council; steel workers strike; reinstate Candy Udwin; solidarity with Robert O'Donnell; Glasgow homelessness caseworkers fight on.

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Scottish Labour: turn outwards, or close down?

Author: 

Dale Street

“Can the Scottish Labour Party listen and learn from its defeat on 7 May?” asked Katy Clark, former Labour MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, at last Saturday’s Campaign for Socialism (CfS) conference in Glasgow.

The 70-plus Scottish Labour members attending the event were clear about some of the things that Labour needed to do in response to that question. The same cannot be said of the Scottish Labour Executive Committee, meeting at the same time.

The Scottish left after the election.

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England right, Scotland left?

Author: 

Rhodri Evans

One story being told about the 7 May election is that Scotland has become left-wing, and England right-wing. Labour lost, so they say, because it was too left-wing for England and too right-wing for Scotland.

A likelier explanation is that the SNP was able to project itself as both a bit left-wing, and safe, whereas Labour’s combination of general talk against “predators” with extravagantly cautious and tiny policies left it looking neither really left-wing nor really safe.

One story being told about the 7 May election is that Scotland has become left-wing, and England right-wing. Labour lost, so they say, because it was too left-wing for England and too right-wing for Scotland.

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Unions are not to blame for Labour's defeat

Author: 

Dale Street

When Jim Murphy announced he was standing down Murphy claimed that he had been “at the centre of a campaign by the London leadership of Unite the Union, (who) blame myself or the Scottish Labour Party for the defeat of the UK Labour Party in the general election.”

“Sometimes people see it as a badge of honour to have [Unite General Secretary] Mr McCluskey’s support. I see it as a kiss of death to be supported by that type of politics… We cannot have our leaders selected or deselected by the grudges and grievances of one prominent man.”

Jim Murphy may be stepping down as Scottish Labour leader but his pernicious influence on the party is far from finished.

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Make sure Murphy goes!

Author: 

Dale Street

After surviving a no confidence vote by 17 votes to 14 at the meeting of the Scottish Labour Party Executive Committee (16 May), the Party’s leader Jim Murphy tendered his resignation.

Murphy’s election as Scottish Labour leader last December was the product of a carefully orchestrated plot by Blairite MSPs and Scottish Labour MPs. Last summer Murphy was given the lead role in the Better Together campaign, in order to raise his profile. The Blairites then triggered the resignation of incumbant leader Johann Lamont’, reportedly by circulating a statement of no confidence in her.

After surviving a no confidence vote by 17 votes to 14 at the meeting of the Scottish Labour Party Executive Committee on 16 May, the Party’s leader Jim Murphy tendered his resignation.

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