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Showing posts with the label victor vanni

Turning the screw

From the February 1984 issue of the Socialist Standard
Three years ago the company I worked for announced it was closing. It was part of an ailing industrial giant which was itself finally sunk soon after when the banks withdrew their support. During the three month run-down period rumours that a "consortium" of managerial staff was trying to buy the place kept our hopes alive. Those of us who had been kept on to finish outstanding work knew that if the consortium didn't employ us then we would have little chance of a job anywhere else so we worked like we've never worked before. That deal fell through but an American multi-national moved in and bought the company. We soon learned that not everyone still working there would be employed by the new owners so each of us redoubled his efforts in the hope of being offered one of the available jobs.
A week after the old company finally closed some of us, the lucky ones, started work for the new company. A few days earlier …

Brief history of Glasgow branch

To say times were hard when Glasgow branch was formed in 1924 would be a serious understatement. The branch consisted of working men, only some of whom had jobs, and money was so scarce that in the early days branch meetings were sometimes held in the open because members couldn’t afford to rent a hall.

If funds were lacking then energy and commitment were not, so members threw themselves into making the party known in the city. John Higgins, the first branch secretary, was particularly effective at this and his meetings Glasgow Green gave many Glaswegians their first introduction to the party’s case.

To branch members knowledge meant everything and they were determined to have as much of it as they could, so classes on Marxist theory, logic, etc, were an essential feature, but the main activity was always indoor and, especially, outdoor meetings. Glasgow branch always had a reputation for having first-class speakers and even our opponents, whatever else they thought of us, conceded th…

UCS Shipyard Occupation - What we said

Former Glasgow shipyard trade unionist Sammy Barr recently passed away.  Alongside Jimmy Reid and Jimmy Airlie and Sammy Gilmore - he was one of the organisers of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders workers occupation in 1971. The shipyard work-in was an alternative to a strike to thwart attempts by the then Conservative government to close the yards by refusing subsidies. The decision meant at least 6,000 of the 8,500 shipyard workers employed by UCS would have to be made redundant. The work-in saw workers manage and operate the UCS shipyards until the government changed its policy. It was intended to prove that the yards were viable. The Heath government finally relented in February 1972 and announced a £35m injection of cash into the yards. Within three years, shipbuilding on the Upper Clyde had received about £101m of public grants and credits, with £20m going to the UCS.

The following is an article written at the time of the UCS work-in.

A Report from the Clyde

At the time of writing th…

Class

The newspaper reads"The number of middle-class homeowners in Scotland who are declaring themselves bankrupt is rising dramatically...The trend is being blamed on the well-off no longer being able to use rising equity in their homes to finance their lifestyles and pay off debts.."

Oh , how often we come across the expression "middle class" , as if those people are somehow different from the working class. This article from the archives of the Socialist Standard explains why there is no such thing as middle class and that we are all members of the working class.

Getting the blues in suburbia

There aren't many factory workers like me in the area where I live - a pleasant suburb called Giffnock which lies just over the south side of the Glasgow boundary. I moved there about five years ago and when my workmates heard where I was moving to they were amazed. Al­most all of them live in council flats or houses (Scotland has a much higher percentage of council and other r…