Historic Victory for Equal Pay Strikes

by Richie Venton, SSP national workplace organiser

Equal pay strikers have won a massive breakthrough in their long, hard battle for equal pay justice in Glasgow City Council.

No exact calculations and individual payouts to the thousands of (overwhelmingly) women who have suffered years of daylight robbery of their wages will occur until at least the summer. But the city council leader has at last accepted the principles and methods of calculating compensation for this historic injustice, and publicly stated so, after the unions and claimants’ lawyers had earlier this week presented the council negotiators with a revised ‘take it or leave it’ proposal to settle the painfully long battle.

Although the formal decision on the calculations and payment plan will have to be ratified at a Council meeting later this month,

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Tories Admit Guilt – But Continue Insecure Work Crimes

by Richie Venton

When is a radical new package of workers’ rights nothing of the kind? When it’s announced by a besieged Tory government, increasingly bombarded by public anger at the horrendous insecurity of jobs and workplace rights in Britain.

Theresa May is today trumpeting a package of measures that her spin doctors describe as “the most radical upgrade of rights at work in a generation”. Let’s look behind the manufactured headlines.

They plan legislation that insists employers issue a “statement of rights” from the first day of a worker’s employment – including what paid leave they are entitled to for illness, maternity and paternity.

Anything that improves transparency in worker’s rights is welcome.

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Brexit, independence and workers rights

SSP is proud to announce its new websiteby Colin Fox

I spoke on behalf of the Scottish Socialist Party at a public meeting hosted by the Communication Workers Union in Inverness last week. The St Andrews Day event on ‘Brexit, Independence and Workers Rights’ heard me remind people November 30th is also the anniversary of John Maclean’s birth.

I pointed out that the SSP stood in the same shoes as the famous Red Clydesider as international socialists who campaigned for Independence because it would be both a defeat for British capitalism and an advance for democracy.

‘British democracy’ faces its most important vote in 50 years next week when Theresa May’s ‘Brexit’ deal comes in front of the Westminster Parliament.

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Resist “pariah state” Israel – Full Scottish Solidarity

On Tuesday 20th November, Scotland will play Israel at Hampden.

Ahead of the game, Scottish Socialist Party international secretary Bill Bonnar said: “Outside the stadium, demonstrators will gather to brand Israel a pariah state. The SSP stands with them.”

“Israel is a pariah state oppressing the Palestinian people at home while waging aggression against its neighbours. It does this with the open support of the British Government. We must show that the people of Scotland do not share this view and are in solidarity with the people of Palestine.”

Earlier in the week, demonstrators stood against the encroachment of unopposed Israeli propagandising at Stirling University. The Politics Society invited an Israeli diplomat to speak at their meeting.

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Socialism offers Scots a positive post-indy vision

24-year-old ecologist Roisin McLaren has been elected national co-spokesperson of the Scottish Socialist Party and joins Colin Fox in the role which is shared on a gender-balanced basis. Here she sets out her ideas.

Things can only get better”. The song echoed in my mind as the first news item I can remember.

It was 1997, I’m not yet three, sitting at my granny’s feet, watching the news at six. I liked the man, he smiled, but most of all I liked the song. I would sing it to myself: “Things can only get better”.

Growing up in our council house in Knightsridge, Livingston, on a street in the lowest 5% of Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation,

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SNP and Tories unite to deny Public Railway bid

Commenting on today’s defeated proposal in Holyrood on exercising the “break clause” in the ScotRail tendering contract, SSP Trade Union organiser, Richie Venton said:

“ScotRail passengers and ScotRail workers today witnessed the grotesque spectacle of SNP MSPs lining up with Tory MSPs to defeat the modest proposal of applying a contract break clause in Dutch company Abellio’s franchise in 2022. They combined to defeat the call in the Scottish Parliament for a public sector ScotRail bid in 2022 – a full four years hence! – by 85 votes to 34.”

“Twenty-five years of railway privatisation has been an unmitigated disaster for workers and passengers alike, but a Klondike gold rush of profiteering for train operating companies and those who grabbed infrastructure,

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SSP Executive Committee 2018/2019 election results

At the SSP National Conference 2018, after full hustings for contested posts and statements from the nominees, the party elected its office-bearers.

The 2018/2019 members of the committee are as follows:

Joint National Spokespeople: Colin Fox, Róisín McLaren

National co-Chairs: Calum Martin, Christine McVicar

National Secretary: Hugh Cullen

National Treasurer and Membership Secretary: Jim McVicar

National Workplace and Trade Union Organiser: Richie Venton

International Secretary: Bill Bonnar

National Press Officer: Ken Ferguson

Social Media Coordinator: Scott Macdonald

Photos: Craig Maclean

Members also elected seven women and seven men by single transferable vote to serve on the committee:

Carly Cunningham
Frances Curran
Dawn Fyfe
Debora Kayembe
Louise McDermott
Rosa Stevenson
Suzanne Wright

Andy Brown
Ashab Ahmad
Colin Turbett
Kevin McVey
Liam McLaughlan
Morgan Lewis Wilson
Steve Hudson

The Scottish Socialist Party thanks the comrades vacating the committee for their service,

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Unions Pledge to Fight For Dundee Michelin Jobs

by Ken Ferguson

The news that tyre company Michelin are to close their Dundee plant with the loss of 850 jobs is a tremendous blow offsetting much of the optimistic economic talk around the recent opening of the V and A in the city

Commenting on the announcement STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

‘This announcement is a devastating blow to the workforce and to Dundee. However, they have faced this situation before and overcome it due to their commitment and resilience.”

“We will give the workforce and their union Unite every possible support to do so again and to ensure that Michelin continues to operate in Dundee”.

“The company needs to meet its obligation to explore with the union every avenue to retain activity and jobs at the plant and both the Scottish and UK Governments and their agencies need to work all out with the union to put in place an alternative plan that will retain Michelin in Dundee and secure the jobs at risk.

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