Reunion marks 30 years since workers’ sit-in

Former workers and guests at the unveiling of a memorial in Tannochside.
Former workers and guests at the unveiling of a memorial in Tannochside.

Events are being held to mark the 30th anniversary of one of Scotland’s most famous industrial struggles.

Around 1,200 workers occupied the Caterpillar plant in Tannochside in January 1987 after the American engineering giant announced its closure.

The sit-in lasted 103 days, with the workers helped by a massive community effort, but the factory could not be saved and was later demolished.

Former workers will travel to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday to hear a debate on the sit-in instigated by Labour MSP Richard Leonard.

Then on Friday, January 20, a reunion for everyone touched by the events of 1987 will be held at Tannochside Miners’ Welfare Club.

Former union convener John Brannan said: “You won’t find a better example of community support than we got back then.

“The local people were superb and businesses helped us too — butchers, bakers, even a video shop donated films to watch during the sit-in. Anyone with a connection is welcome to attend the reunion.”

It starts at 6.30pm and there will be photos and other memorabilia, with musical entertainment at 9pm.

Other events to mark the anniversary are a play, ‘Out of the Bad’, at Motherwell Theatre next month and a concert at the same venue in April.

Three years ago former workers unveiled a memorial to the sit-in and North Lanarkshire Council will pay tribute to the workers when it names streets on a new housing estate at the site of the plant