Scotland

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Dale Street, Ollie Moore, Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and David Ball

CCTV workers employed by Glasgow Community Safety – a Glasgow City Council Arms Length External Organisation (ALEO) – are back at work having won a 24% pay rise after twelve strike days over six weeks. The 19 workers, all Unison members, struck to achieve equal pay, i.e. parity of shift allowance payments, with other employees who work the same pattern of 12 hour shifts in a round-the-clock service.

Strikes hit Glasgow council; Southern Rail guards strike to keep trains safely staffed; GTR bosses use courts to scupper strike; John Roan teachers strike; Government backs down on “check-off”; Parents Defending Education campaign launched.

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SNP goes back on promise to scrap Council Tax

Author: 

Dale Street

The SNP ditched another of its previous manifesto commitments — big time — when it announced plans to reform the Council Tax system in Scotland last week.

For well over a decade the SNP has promised to scrap Council Tax. In 2003, the current SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said: “There is no doubt that the SNP’s proposal to scrap the Council Tax in favour of a fair local income tax is hugely popular with voters.”

In 2004, the current SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “Every vote for the SNP in the European election will be a vote to axe the Council Tax.”

The SNP is pressing ahead with another Tory policy: austerity. The combined impact of a £500 millions cut in local authority funding by Holyrood and the financial straitjacket imposed on local authorities by the Council Tax freeze could see 15,000 local authority jobs axed and the decimation of council and voluntary sector services.

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Scottish Labour starts to make noise about local government cuts

Author: 

Dale Street

The Scottish Labour Party organised a lobby of the Scottish Government Cabinet meeting in Clydebank last week, to protest against the SNP government’s cuts of £350 millions in local authority funding.

This week the Glasgow City Council Labour Group is staging a lobby outside the Scottish Parliament, to protest at the SNP’s cut of £133 millions in funding for Glasgow, which will cost around 3,000 jobs.

This is progress compared to muttering about underfunding and but getting on with ‘managing’ local authorities on a reduced budget anyway.

The Scottish Labour Party organised a lobby of the Scottish Government Cabinet meeting in Clydebank last week, to protest against the SNP government’s cuts of £350 millions in local authority funding.

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Campaign for Socialism AGM discusses way forward

Author: 

Brendan Menezes

The Scottish Labour Campaign for Socialism (CfS) held their AGM on Sunday 14th February.

The Scottish Labour Campaign for Socialism (CfS) held their AGM on Sunday 14th February.

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SNP and Tories: cuts are better than 1p tax rise

Author: 

Ann Field

In response to the decision of the SNP Holyrood government to cut £350 millions from local government funding — at a cost of some 15,000 jobs — Scottish Labour Party leader Kezia Dugdale has called for a 1p increase in income tax rates in Scotland.

Although the power to vary the different income tax bands will not be devolved to Scotland until next year, Holyrood already has the power to increase (or cut) the income tax rates currently set by the Westminster government. Dugdale’s proposal enjoys broad support among Labour Party members.

The SNP profess concern about the impact of the proposal on the low-paid — the very people who have suffered most under SNP austerity and cuts in funding to local authorities — and claim, wrongly, that an increase in income tax will hit the lower paid harder than the higher paid.

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Les Forster, 1919-2016

Author: 

Ann Field

The veteran Glasgow socialist Les Forster died last week, aged 96. Forster was the last survivor of a generation of socialist activists in the West of Scotland who broke with the Communist Party in the early 1950s and struck out to build a non-Stalinist and anti-Stalinist socialist tradition.

The veteran Glasgow socialist Les Forster died last week, aged 96. Forster was the last survivor of a generation of socialist activists in the West of Scotland who broke with the Communist Party in the early 1950s and struck out to build a non-Stalinist and anti-Stalinist socialist tradition.

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Setback for Trade Union Bill

Author: 

Gemma Short

The House of Lords has taken issue with the parts of the Trade Union Bill which relate to party funding and have referred them for closer scrutiny in the committee stages.

The House of Lords has taken issue with the parts of the Trade Union Bill which relate to party funding and have referred them for closer scrutiny in the committee stages.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Michael Tron and Gemma Short

Lambeth Libraries staff have voted overwhelmingly for strike action to save jobs and keep all ten Lambeth libraries open.

Staff voted 89% to strike against plans to close libraries and cut jobs. Unison will now be discussing extended strike action with the library workers in the borough. This strike vote follows a community campaign to keep the libraries open, as well as a walk out by staff in December when news circulated that books were already being taken out of one of the libraries.

Lambeth workers strike to save libraries; Tube unions call new strikes; teachers struggle against cuts; support LANAC candidates in NUT; Birmingham job losses; fighting for fair 16-19 funding; FE college pay strike planned; fighting union busting; Sheffield housing strike.

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Do some Labour Research!

Author: 

Ann Field

A three-page advert in “Labour Research” (monthly magazine of the Labour Research Department) costs £4,000. But the current issue of the magazine gives the SNP three pages of advertising for nothing.

Uncritically and inaccurately, an article entitled “Scotland and Employment Relations: Scotland - Showing the Way?” covers the SNP’s position on the Tories’ Trade Union Bill and the SNP’s attitude towards trade unions.

Labour Research misses the point on SNP's policy on the Trade Union Bill

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SNP attack Labour from the right

Author: 

Ann Field

Thanks to the Labour Party, tens or hundreds of thousands of families in Scotland would be worse off as a result of the Tories’ tax credit cuts. And the Labour Party’s campaign against those cuts was “disingenuous”.

Socialist activists need to take a lead in pushing for Scottish Labour and the trade unions to pursue a policy of confrontation, not just with the Tories but with the SNP as well.

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