Parliament tribute to sit-in workers

Former Caterpillar workers set off for Scottish Parliament.
Former Caterpillar workers set off for Scottish Parliament.

Former workers at Tannochside’s Caterpillar were given pride of place at the Scottish Parliament to mark the 30th anniversary of the factory sit-in.

Central Scotland Labour MSP Richard Leonard welcomed them to a debate and reception, paying tribute to their efforts during the 103-day occupation.

The sit-in started in January 1987 after the American owners announced the closure of the factory. It was backed by the local community, but despite the protest the plant couldn’t be saved and the workers’ jobs were lost.

Mr Leonard said: “For too long we have not properly recognised working class history and marking the Caterpillar occupation is an important step forward.

“The workers who defied their bosses serve as a beacon for us even today. The most enduring lesson of the occupation is that when working class people organise and rise up against injustice they can bring about change.”

A reunion to mark the 30th anniversary was held at Tannochside Miners’ Club on Friday.

There is a special feature on the Caterpillar workers in the Times & Speaker this week. Buy your copy on Wednesday.