Make Bristo Square Red Square! Defend Edinburgh University Lecturers and the National UCU Pension Strike

Max Wright, IMT Edinburgh

Beginning this month, the National union of students (NUS) and University and College Union (UCU) have called for four rounds of strikes action in a unified defence against the slashing of Pension benefits. Lecturers at Edinburgh University will be partaking part on this strike. These benefit cuts will lead to a typical lecturer being £10,000 worse off in retirement, at Edinbrugh this is happening even when the university is already reliant on “voluntary” severance deals. Edinburgh IMT call for total support of the action in order to fight back against the increasing levels of Marketisation affecting our education system. The strike action was backed by 88% of UCU members in the largest vote for industrial action ever seen in the higher education sector.

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Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers Need a Socialist Leadership: Vote Richie Venton for USDAW NEC

We publish the statement by Richie Venton below in his campaign for USDAW NEC. and also his statement on the threat from Tescos to axe 17,00 jobs.

USDAW organise some of the most exploited workers in companies such as Tescos, Sainbury’s, Ikea, Co-op, Argos, Aldi and Lidl along with various factories and warehouses. It is potentially very powerful Union.

With a militant leadership and a recruitment drive they could have the Tesco CEOs running scared and with a Socialist programme they could play an integral part in a fight for nationalised, workers controlled, food producers and distributors service. Yet they have a very conservative leadership.

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Battle for Bifab: The Return Bout

By Tam Burke, IMT Edinburgh, Prospect, Personal Capacity

Compared with Catalonia, South Africa or the USA, political life in Scotland for most of last year hardly set the heather on fire. Then in November came the Battle for BiFab when the workers made headlines with their successful fight for the wages they were due. A dispute last November between their employer, Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab), and its customer, Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), over what payment was still due, threatened the closure of the three yards, Burtisland and Methyl in Fife and Arnish, Isle of Lewis. BiFab said they’d no money coming in to pay wages, so 1400 workers would be laid off. There was no likelihood of the yards reopening. “A hammer blow to BiFab workers and communities in Fife and the Isle of Lewis” declared Gary Smith, GMB Union organiser. SHL said it’d paid BiFab on time in line with the contract. BiFab sought a Notice of Administration, giving just ten short days to find a solution before the yards fell silent. Shocked politicians at every level and of all parties condemned, denounced, exclaimed, wailed, complained and proclaimed that somehow it must not happen, but without any mitigation of the catastrophe.

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SNP Draft Budget Changes Nothing

By Harvey Dodds, IMT Edinburgh

The draft budget presented by the Scottish Government in December marked a chance for the SNP to embellish the anti-austerity credentials they have earned in recent years with a bold budget. With the tax powers that have been devolved to Holyrood, it would have been possible to significantly raise tax for the highest earners in order to fund redistributive policies, public sector pay, and investment without affecting lower earners. This, however, was not the case. 

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