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All-out Strikes demand fair pay
Matt Dobson and Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland
One hundred and seventeen Dundee hospital porters and 70 local government workers in Glasgow are on strike in separate but similar disputes for fair pay and recognition for the job that they do.
In Glasgow, the Unison homeless caseworkers have been on indefinite strike since 31 March over the council's long-standing refusal to award a pay grade that recognises their responsibilities.
Unison steward Chris told the Socialist: "We are not going back until we get fair pay and parity with other social workers. We have had fantastic support from the public and the picket lines across the city are solid."
The Dundee porters at Ninewells and Victoria hospitals are on a band one grading - the lowest in the NHS. They are demanding a re-grading and back pay for being underpaid for over a decade.
Striking porter and Unite senior steward Graham Nelson explained: "We have been lied to and bullied by NHS management for demanding fair pay. Our strike began as a series of four-hour stoppages but they refused to listen. We've been on all-out strike since April 7. The support for the strike is absolutely solid and we're determined to win."
Solidarity is pouring in from trade unionists and working class people across Scotland and beyond.
The porters in Dundee and the council workers in Glasgow are not asking for the moon and the stars. Not for six-figure salaries like NHS bosses and top council officials. Or the huge salaries paid to MSPs and MPs.
The Scottish National Party's (SNP) health minister should be intervening to ensure the £6 million is made available to resolve the strike. The Scottish government underspend last year was £440 million. Why are the "anti-austerity" SNP leaders sitting on their hands when they should be actively intervening to support the demands of the porters?
In Glasgow, the Labour council is putting the boot into its own workers. Yet less than £1 million would meet the workers' demands.
Labour and SNP politicians have implemented the Tory cuts to the penny. They have stood aside and left decent working people with no choice but to strike to defend themselves. Socialist Party Scotland and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) are fully supporting these strikes. We demand that elected politicians stand and fight austerity, not implement it.
- See interviews at www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/852/20549
Trade unionists should urgently consider inviting a striker to speak. Financial support is also crucial.
Graham Nelson 07749241470
Donations to Unite, 110 Blackness Road, Dundee DD1 5PB (cheques payable to Unite)
Facebook: Support Ninewells Porters
Glasgow homeless caseworkers
Cheques to Glasgow City Unison 84 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ
Facebook: Glasgow Homeless Caseworkers Strike
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