Solidarity Statement on Glasgow Equal Pay Strike

SOLIDARITY STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF GLASGOW EQUAL PAY STRIKE

In June 1968 female sewing machinists in the Ford car plant in Dagenham took a stand for equal pay in a strike that stopped production for three weeks. They succeeded with abolishing their lower “women’s rate” of pay and triggered a wider campaign and without the action implemented by the Ford women there would have been no Equal Pay Act of 1970.
The Equal Pay Act of 1970 was replaced by the Equality Act 2010, which gives men and women the right to equal pay for equal work.

In 2005 Glasgow City Council undertook a job evaluation scheme, this was intended to ensure predominantly low-paid women would get equal pay to men for equal work.
However, despite years of negotiating and false promises by the previous Labour Administrations since 2005 thousands of low paid women are still waiting to be paid the wages they are due in recognition of the Equal Pay legislation.

The Labour Administrations in Glasgow let down low paid women for many years and even went to court to prevent equal pay settlements thus using Glasgow council tax payer’s money to deny pay justice to thousands of their own low paid women employees. They should hold their heads in shame.

It is little surprise that the Labour Administration lost 13 council seats in May last year and the SNP won 12 to become a new minority administration. In the last 16 months they have negotiated in good faith but promises to settle are not enough. Promises don’t buy messages and pay bills. These low paid women workers have had enough and although worried about taking action and concerned for the people they care for and educate they simply can’t wait any longer.

Solidarity backs this strike action 100%. Our members are among the strikers and are the authors of this statement. Some say the unions are only now backing strike action to politically embarrass an SNP led council. That may have some truth in it but the fact remains the action is legitimate, overdue and necessary. All involved know the biggest culprits in this sorry mess are the previous Labour councillors who denied us equal pay justice and rights.

Many of us low-paid women cannot afford to strike but we feel we have been more than patient. Solidarity are very pleased that the GMB, Unison and Stefan Cross are all working together and that Stefan Cross has made it clear that if negotiations are to progress while strike action is ongoing, that it has to be with all parties.

Liza Farrell, Jenny Kiernan & Irene Lang – UNISON & Solidarity Members

Solidarity Statement on Sheku Bayoh Case

Solidarity is disgusted at the decision to not charge any of the police officers involved in the killing of Sheku Bayoh.
It’s shameful to see that 9 officers, one of which over 25 stone and another with a less than perfect past (to say the least), can cause the death of an unarmed man and walk away without an issue.

The media, at the time of Sheku’s death, really enjoyed explaining that he was foreign and was reported for having a knife. Despite the fact that his hands were empty when he was approached, having a knife isn’t punishable by torture and death.

In Sheku’s final moments, he was attacked with gas and batons, all while being restrained. He ended up with bruises and cuts all over and a cracked rib. To tell us that none of these police officers were at fault during this incident is to tell us that the sky is green.

Solidarity stands firmly with the family of Sheku and will support any decision they choose to make.

Solidarity Statement on SERCO’s threat to evict over 300 Asylum Seekers.

Solidarity condemns, absolutely, the decision to evict over 300 Asylum Seekers and demands the Scottish Government, in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, to support the initiative of Mike Dailly of the Govan Law Centre.

This is a situation where no-one in government, or SERCO themselves, is accepting responsibility and one which even the relevant charities cannot address. Charity is therefore, not a solution.

The Home Office gave the contract to SERCO to house Asylum Seekers. SERCO is a multi-national company which, according to reporter Christopher Knaus of the Guardian‘, has an abysmal record in Australia, with allegations of fraud, covering up the abuse of detainees (in their private prisons) and even the mishandling of radioactive waste! They run 11 of Australia’s onshore immigration detention centres and in the UK operate six adult prisons. The infamous Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre helps manage healthcare facilities and provides critical support services to the military.
There has been a history of allegations ranging from tax evasion to covering up sexual abuse of immigrants in Yarl’s Wood. Also, they were under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for billing the government for the electronic monitoring of criminals who turned out to be still behind bars or deceased. They paid back £68.5m but were never prosecuted. They are the company which the Westminster government decided would be fit to provide fair treatment and accommodation to Asylum Seekers.

That is the company, Paul Sweeney Labour MP, wrote to asking if an equality impact assessment had been undertaken and asking them to suspend evictions pending a full investigation taking place. Good luck with that one, Paul. Thanks for nothing.

Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, also wrote to Sajid Javid, Home Secretary, who took the Pontius Pilate approach and washed his hands of the affair.

Mike Dailly, Govan Law Centre, has declared that SERCO is proposing to act illegally in evicting the Asylum Seekers. The Scottish Government and Glasgow Council must take note and act as quickly as possible to avoid further distress to people who have already been traumatised in their own countries. And give them the peace, comfort and dignity they deserve.

Solidarity Statement on Donald Trump UK Visit

Solidarity: Scotland’s Socialist Movement calls on the UK Government, even at this late hour, to abandon the invitation to Donald Trump.

There can be no justification for a visit from this deluded individual.

He neither represents decency or diplomacy, which is shown by his deep disregard of humanity.

 

To extend this visit is to endorse the inhumane treatment of children in deprived areas of the world from Palestine to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is an affront to democracy.

 

Solidarity calls on the US Administration to show some backbone and reign this megalomaniac terrorist in.

Describing Trump as a terrorist is justified, as he is intent on terrorising the rest of the so-called ‘civilised’ world and is responsible for continuing the suffering of the People of Palestine and children of South Americans fleeing oppression, whether that is physical or financial oppression.

Pat Lee & Jock Penman

Co-Conveners

Solidarity.

Solidarity Statement on SNP Walkout

Statement from Jock Penman, Co-Convener of Solidarity:

The excitement in the Westminster Parliament today, when Ian Blackford was ‘shown the door’ by the Speaker, is pretty much a storm in a teacup. While Blackford was trying, in vain, to use Parliamentary procedures to get a vote on the latest Brexit bill, he was summarily dismissed by the boss in the House of Commons.

The Labour Party MPs sat watching the spectacle like witnesses at a road accident, refusing to step in and help either side. Afterwards their only criticism is of the SNP, while ignoring the real issue of the Westminster government ignoring the Scottish Parliament. They have nothing of any substance, to offer, by way of a radical alternative.

Yes, it is an insult to the Scottish Parliament and, by implication, an insult to the people of Scotland; however, the question now is, ‘What happens now?’. Does the SNP plan to demonstrate their anger with further walkouts, still using the out-dated, undemocratic form of government that exists in Westminster?

Or will they carry out the mandate agreed by the Scottish Parliament and call for another referendum on Scottish Independence. There is now a choice; either carry on in the quagmire of Westminster or concentrate on independence.

Press Officer Craig Duncan

Statement on EU Withdrawal Bill

Press Release 13th June 2018

“Solidarity is disgusted in the way the Tories have dismissed the power of the Scottish government in the debate on 12/06/2018. They have disregarded the devolution agreement, disregarded the entire purpose of a Scottish government and disregarded the views and opinions of the Scottish people. Even those who voted to stay in the UK support the Scottish parliament having a say. The tories have decided to remove that say.

This is not a move that would be allowed to happen in a fair and equal union. This is a power grab by Westminster tories and nothing more.
Solidarity will not stand back and allow the rights of the Scottish parliament to be trampled on by authoritarian dictators.

The Scottish parliament have a mandate to call for a second independence referendum before the end of this parliament. After this showing of disdain for the devolved government, it’s never been more necessary to use that mandate, call for a second independence referendum and get us away from these disgusting practises of the Westminster elite. ”

By Craig Duncan

Press Officer

USE THE MANDATE ( TOMMY SHERIDAN )

 

On March 28th 2017 after several days of parliamentary debate, the Scottish Government voted by a majority, in favour of Indyref2.
That mandate was secured on the backs of the grassroots Indy Movement during the 2014 referendum, the 2015 General Election and the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.
Solidarity, many campaign groups and indeed many bloggers and commentators believe that mandate must be used and the date set for IndyRef2 to take place in September 2018 or, at the latest before April 2019.
Some say we must wait till the next Scottish elections and use them as a plebiscite on Independence in the hope there is a pro-indy majority returned. What if there isn’t? What then, after we’ve thrown away the very real and democratic mandate we already have?
Others say we must wait “till the time is right” echoing Mayhem’s position of “now is not the right time.” Since when are we willingly dancing to Wastemonsters tune?
Come along and hear Tommy Sheridan put forward the case to “USE THE MANDATE” Comes To Lanarkshire Branch to Speak On Use The Mandate

Free entry, Everyone Welcome

Refreshments Tea and Coffee Sandwiches ETC

South Of Scotland List Candidates Unveiled At Ayr Town Hall Thurs 4th Feb.

Cheryl edited (Ayr Town Hall)Ayrshire Branch held a public meeting in Ayr Town Hall Thursday 4th of February, where lead candidate Cheryl Scott & fellow list candidate Kayleigh Paterson were unveiled to an enthusiastic audience. The crowd were treated to stirring compassionate speeches by both candidates, and in Kayleigh’s case it beggared belief that this very talented young individual is only 17 !! She spoke very passionately about Solidarity’s commitment, to eradicate all forms of poverty & the scourge of foodbanks. She also spoke passionately about Nationalising Energy Companies, and the unacceptable anathema of zero hour contracts.

Kayleigh’s research & attention to detail, was very commendable as she reeled of one set of chilling statistics after another. Well schooled in trades union activity and politics by Dad Jim Walls, it is also evident that she has those genes of her Dad and the required ‘fire in her belly’ It was hard to believe that this talented young 17yr old was giving her very first public speech, especially in the way that her presence commanded the hall, and lit up the evening’s proceedings like a beacon, such is her passion and determination for radical societal change. You can read the full transcript of Kayleigh’s speech by clicking HERE

Cheryl Scott, well known the length and breadth of the country, as a tireless, fearless & above all ‘ever present’ activist, having been involved in the organising of many rallies and demonstrations, one of which was the BBC Bias campaign, another being a rally in ‘Freedom Square’ on the eve of the Referendum vote, which attracted a crowd in excess of 20,000. As Co-convener Tommy Sheridan said in his closing speech, Cheryl has been at the coal face for many years, she is no stranger to the front battle lines, that’s for sure.

Cheryl spoke very candidly about Ayr town and the demise of local industry, also the social deprivation that has befallen the once thriving bustling town. She also reminded the audience of the flight, of our brightest young talent, simply because of a lack of opportunities here in Scotland. She spoke very matter of factly about the cultural annihilation, the inequalities of Barnet and the vision and commitment of Solidarity SSM, that finally brought her to leave SNP and tread a progressive Socialist Republican path. Her speech was stirring, rousing and above all inspirational. The future of Solidarity SSM is in fine hands with these two fine candidates in Cheryl & Kayleigh.SSSM Manifesto

The evening’s discussions were brought to a close by Solidarity SSM co-convenor Tommy Sheridan, we heard of the irrefutable arithmetical facts of the D’Hondt system and explained very ably how the rounds of the system roll out. Picking off several items within the proposed manifesto for this years election, He pleaded with the audience to unite the Yes vote and destroy the rainbow Tories in the Regional List vote.

Speaking of ‘Defiance’ of ‘Austerity’ rather than ‘Compliance’, Austerity being nothing more than punishing the poor for the sins of the rich & greedy. Tommy also set out Solidarity’s red line stance on all forms of Fracking & Underground Coal Gasification, and the promotion of and investment in renewable clean energies, of which Scotland has opportunities in abundance. We also heard about the disarming & removal of Trident.

We heard also about Solidarity’s commitment to a new fairer Service Tax, to replace the unequal Council Tax, that favours the rich and does nothing, to redistribute wealth generated by tax revenues. Tommy reiterated that given the chance, Solidarity would put forward a ‘Democracy & Accountabilty’ bill, which would hold MSP’s to account over their campaign pledges/promises. This would be tackled with the right of recall and a subsequent by-election.

Tommy Sheridan received a standing ovation, after which there was a short question and answer session. The evening chaired by Jim Walls of the Ayrshire Branch was a great success, and I would hope that people left the hall afterwards feeling invigorated and more informed of what Solidarity can give to the people, that all important pro-independence people’s voice in Holyrood. Tommy pledged that Solidarity will put forward a bill for ‘Indyref2’ for 2018, and closed asking the audience to give Solidarity their second ‘peach ballot’ vote.

Videos of the speeches can be found below:

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Tommy Sheridan At Ayr Town Hall (Ayr Advertiser)

As Written In Ayr Advertiser:

Sheridan.jpg-pwrt3Tommy Sheridan will be speaking at a public meeting at Ayr Town Hall this Thursday on behalf of Solidarity, Scotland’s Socialist Movement.

The group which was co-convened by Mr Sheridan claims to be a pro-independence socialist party fighting for a fairer society for all. They campaign to stop attacks on the poor, benefit sanctions and aim to get rid of the work capability assessment.

The party have been holding street stalls in Ayr Town centre, which appear to have been well received by the public, and anticipate a full house on the night.

Their motto ‘bairns not bombs’ aims to show that they oppose Trident as a nuclear deterrent on Scotland’s shores and want it removed as part of a unilateral nuclear disarmament campaign.

Solidarity say they want public democratic ownership of energy companies, transport and a publicly owned pharmaceutical company to supply the publicly owned National Health Service.

Speakers on the night will include South of Solidarity candidates, Cheryl Scott, Karen Hendry, Kayleigh Paterson as well as Tommy Sheridan followed by a question and answer session for those who with queries.12240013_568550276627360_106501974160629754_n

The meeting start at 7pm sharp and will be held in the Chambers Room, Ayr Town Hall, New Bridge Street KA7 1JX and wheel chair access will be available.

Trish Donaldson, spokesperson for Solidarity, said: “We are an anti-austerity party who say we need defiance and not compliance when it comes to implementing Tory cuts.

“The divide and conquer tactics of the Tory government and main stream media needs to stop.

 “Austerity is not the fault of people on benefits, it’s not the fault of immigrants, it’s not the fault of the working poor in our society”.

“The blame lies solely with greedy bankers and politicians and they should pay for this, not us.”

 

Link to original article in Ayr Advertiser

http://www.ayradvertiser.com/news/14247252.Tommy_Sheridan_at_Town_Hall/?ref=fbshr

 

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Gail Sheridan confirms that she will be Tommy’s Campaign Manager.

12107183_10153935457611095_5282679477778388083_nHello everyone I don’t normally post on Facebook (I think that is the terminology) but I am having to learn fast how to use this and Twitter as I am managing my husband Tommy’s campaign for re-election to the Scottish Parliament this May. I am managing his campaign and supporting him because I know he can do the job of representing people and fighting the cause of independence very well. Some will say I am biased. They are entitled to their opinion. The truth is in terms of talent, experience and commitment Tommy will be as good a representative for Glasgow than anyone. His drive, energy and speaking abilities are second to none.

However we still have to convince at least 6 in every 100 voters across Glasgow to give him their 2nd vote. Quite frankly if he doesn’t get that level of support he will no longer be involved in politics. For decades now people call, txt, email, write to or visit Tommy at our home looking for his help. He has not been an elected politician for 9 years but people still come to him. He offers advice but is largely powerless without political office. Well now he needs your help. He needs your 2nd vote in May and your time and support over the next 4 months. He won’t like how frank I am being in this message but tough. I’m fed up with the amount of time, energy and support people demand from him and how that diverts him from spending time with us, Gabrielle and me. Well if you want him to continue fighting all the causes he is capable of fighting then give him your support. Pledge your 2nd vote and some of your time and energy.

I may not have his talent for words and I am certainly not diplomatic the way he is. But if less than 6 out of every 100 voters in Glasgow can’t be bothered voting for him the message will be clear. He is not valued enough and we will demand he comes home to us permanently. Some want him to give up politics anyway. Well I will be demanding it if he fails to generate the 6% support required in Glasgow. Don’t get me wrong I will fight hard on his behalf but at the end of the day if the people of Glasgow don’t want him that’s fine. We do.

So if you can and want to help please send a private message to me. I aim to work alongside his party and supporters in the coming weeks to get him around all the Glasgow schemes and communities. I reckon he deserves your support and when people listen to him they will be convinced to pledge their votes. Its a helluva fight but I was born in Govan and raised by a wonderful mum and ship worker dad. I am up for this fight. I may not have degrees in politics or like long political debates but I know from my own life experience that Tommy will not let my city or my class down. Sorry this is so long but I feel passionate about this issue. Thanks to those who have read it.

Gail Sheridan (17/1/2016)