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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 January 2009

Victory for left in Glasgow Unison

As reported in last week's issue of The Socialist, International Socialists (CWI Scotland) member, Brian Smith, has been elected to the post of branch secretary of the Glasgow City branch of Unison.

Ronnie Stevenson, convenor Glasgow social work services (SWS) shop stewards

In one of the largest branches of Unison in Britain Brian won by 990 votes to 891 for the sitting branch secretary, Carol Ball. It comes after many years of strong campaigning and leadership within the SWS sub-branch.

We sought to organise the influence of the left within the 14,000-strong branch by organising a broad left. This was helpful in extending the left's influence beyond SWS, where our strength lay. Another left, Jim Snell, was elected to the post of depute conditions of service officer.

The pursuit of the 2008 pay claim was an important test for those who sought to lead Unison. The sitting branch secretary was part of the national leadership of the pay claim strategy and members' disappointment and even anger about the way it was conducted no doubt played a role in her defeat.

SWS shop stewards argued for a positive alternative to the leadership's strategy. Also important was the role played within the branch by Brian and the stewards in fighting the proposed pay cuts arising from the implementation of 'single status' within Glasgow.

Currently Brian is leading the strike of community service supervisors, some of the lowest-paid workers in SWS.

Brian's election statement clearly stated he is a socialist and believes Unison should stop paying money to the Labour Party because of their betrayal of ordinary working people.

His election is only a start. We are entering a very difficult time for public services.

Others in the Unison branch must now come forward to help transform the branch into a fighting democratic unit, prepared to defend the interests of all the members.

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In The Socialist 28 January 2009:

JOIN THE MARCH FOR JOBS

Defend jobs and services

Era of illusions in capitalism ending

The crisis in manufacturing: Fighting for jobs and living standards

No pay discrimination against young people

Ferengi dealers


Slaughter in Gaza

Coventry protest over Gaza onslaught

Israel: Thousands march in Jaffa against Gaza massacre

Students' angry sit-ins


Anti-racism

Stop the racist BNP

Stop the deportation of Yahya Al-Faifi


Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist councillor opposes Tory plans for education privatisation

Labour's abandoning of the working class

Croydon: Striking against academies

Scotland: Step up opposition to cuts

Fast News


Socialist Party workplace news

Fighting council cuts

Say 'no' to the Metro privateers

Amicus Unity Gazette left with egg on its face

Unison right wing exposed

Victory for left in Glasgow Unison

Solid support for Glasgow strike

Building a fighting Unison leadership


Education

Build a mass movement for free education

Save our school!


Marxist analysis: history

Germany 1919 The Spartacist uprising


International socialist news and analysis

Russia: Bosses sack auto-factory union leader

Courageous socialist activist, campaigning journalist and human rights activist


Socialist Party news

Obituary - Barry Malone


Socialist Party reviews

A People's History of Sports in the United States

The Reader


 

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