Chris (centre) on the by-election campaign trail. Photo: Scottish TUSC
Chris (centre) on the by-election campaign trail. Photo: Scottish TUSC

The candidates have been officially confirmed for the Rutherglen and Hamilton West UK parliamentary by-election being held on 5 October.  Against the backdrop of a continuing trade union fightback against the cost-of-living crisis, the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing local union leader and member of Socialist Party Scotland Chris Sermanni. 

Although a new offer has now been tabled by the employers, the present situation is that more than three-quarters of Scotland’s schools will face closure just a week before the by-election, as over 21,000 members of Unison plan strike action over three days from 26-28 September.  In a separate dispute, Unison members at South Lanarkshire and City of Glasgow Colleges will be taking part in rolling strike action during the by-election period.

When Unison members in 24 council areas in Scotland voted in favour of strike action, Chris said:

“The vote by Unison members in schools and early years in council areas across Scotland are phenomenal. Twenty-four of the 32 council areas have exceeded the Tory anti-union thresholds, with most showing over 90% of members voting to strike for a decent pay rise. They are joining members of GMB and Unite who have also strike mandates in ten council areas each.

“This sends a clear and unequivocal message to our employers that they had better increase their unacceptable pay offer or face strike action in schools in two-thirds of Scottish councils.

“As a council worker myself, I congratulate South Lanarkshire Unison members on their determination to fight for pay justice. Whenever action is called, Scottish TUSC will be on the picket lines supporting council workers”.

A voice of workers’ protest

Chris Sermanni, a resident of Cambuslang, in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency, is also a Unison shop stewards convenor at Glasgow City Council.  He is ideally placed to be the voice of workers’ protest in the by-election contest against the establishment parties: from the SNP and their allies in the Scottish government, the Scottish Greens, to the Tories, Lib Dems and Scottish Labour.