Socialists vow to keep fighting for workers
SSP: We’ll hold those in power to account
The Rutherglen branch of the Scottish Socialist Party held a successful public meeting just days before last week’s general election.
Around 30 people turned up to Springhall Community Centre to hear guest speakers call on the main parties to put working people first.
The meeting was chaired by Christine McVicar, Chair of SSP East Kilbride Branch.
There were three main themes of the meeting: the continued use of zero-hours contracts; poverty pay and benefits cuts; and the campaign for an immediate £10 per hour minimum way with nonnegotiable equal pay for women.
Labour and the SNP were in the firing line as Richie Venton, the SSP’s national workplace organiser set out his opposition to zero hour contracts.
He said zero- hour contracts amounted to “modern serfdom,” and accused the SNP and Labour of making “milk- and- water promises,” on the issue. He added: “Both repeatedly talk of ‘tackling’, or ‘clamping down’, on what both Labour and SNP insist on calling ‘exploitative zero hours contracts’.
“When are they not exploitative? Why not just pledge to abolish the lot, and bring in secure contracts with guaranteed hours, full-time or part-time?
“Labour has elaborated they will introduce a system where after 12 weeks of regular hours worked, that would become the contract hours.
“But what’s to stop employers dodging such ‘regular hours’, or simply shedding workers and replacing them after 12 weeks - like the avoidance tactics used towards improved agency workers’ rights?
“The truth is it’s only because some unions and the likes of the SSP have spearheaded persistent campaigns demanding £10 now, - for both men and women - and outright abolition of zero hours contracts, that these mainstream parties have gone as far as they have.”
Alan Milne, the baker’s trade union Scottish organiser, turned his attention to the Tory party when discussing poverty.
He said: “Poverty and inequality scar the face of Scotland. A million people are on the breadline - including 200,000 kids - in the 14th richest nation on Earth!
“Tory assaults on benefits - of which many recipients are in work - have condemned many people to hunger and destitution.”
A spokesperson for the local branch said afterwards: “The public meeting took place whilst election season was in full swing and while the SSP were only standing in four seats across Scotland, the party and it’s local branch are paying close attention to proceedings so that they can hold whoever is in power to account when it comes to how they treat ordinary working men and women.”
Like minded (from left) Richie Venton SSP National Workplace Organiser, Christine McVicar Chair of SSP East Kilbride Branch and Alan Milne of the Bakers Union at the meeting hosted by Rutherglen SSP