Strike message is loud and clear

Some of the strikers who attended the rally at Motherwell Civic Centre
Some of the strikers who attended the rally at Motherwell Civic Centre
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NORTH Lanarkshire Trade Union Council organised a Public Pension Rally outside Motherwell Civic Centre last Wednesday to coincide with the UK-wide strike by public sector workers

Picket lines were out in force at hospitals, colleges, schools, courts, job centres, council buildings, service yards and many other buildings over planned changes to public sector worker’s pensions.

At the rally in Motherwell NLTUC chairman Jim Baxter introduced speakers to the large audience of hundreds of trade union members and supporters.

Among the speakers were UNISON’s Lilian Macer, COMMUNITY’s Pat Donnelly, EIS’s Helen Gordon, UNITE’s Scott Walker, STUC women’s committee speaker Margaret Boyd, from GMB, and the council coalition group’s John Corry who all expressed the anger being felt by their members.

Meanwhile, workers at the Argos depot in Newhouse are holding a 24-hour strike today (Thursday) due to proposed changes to their pensions.

Talks between the trade union UNITE and logistics company Norbert Desstrangle, who took over the sub-contract in March, broke down.

Local union rep Scott McDade said: “The union has been negotiating with Desstrangle since March, but they keep insisting they need to cut costs.

“This is from an organisation that made £3.6 billion last year and are currently 25 per cent ahead of budget this year.

“None of us want to strike, but if we don’t stand up for ourselves we will be left in poverty when we retire.”

The Times & Speaker called Norbert Desstrangle’s local managing director, Gerry Friel, but there was no answer.

Full story in December 8 edition of Times & Speaker