A new dawn in the fight for jobs

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A NEWLY formed socialist group held its first public meeting in Tannochside Miners Welfare.

Made up of trade union activist and fans of the left-wing newspaper from across the county, the Morning Star Lanarkshire Readers Supporters Group discussed youth employment and the power of the big supermarkets in the food industry.

The speakers were Scottish Trade Union Council (STUC) youth committee chairwoman Megan McCrossan from Wishaw and the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union regional secretary Jim McLelland.

One of the new group’s organisers, Hugh Gaffney, from Viewpark¸ of the North Lanarkshire Trades Union Council said: “Lanarkshire previously provided decent jobs in the steel making and engineering sector for generations of young people.

“However Ravenscraig, Caterpillar and many other steel plants and factories have closed. The expansion of the food industry has been a lifeline but we need to fight to protect these jobs so that they don’t go the same way as the steel and engineering jobs.”

Others at the meeting spoke of in-work poverty, people working in two or three jobs to make ends meet, children dependent on school meals, the impact on families of pay freezes and rising petrol and food prices.

Stephen Smellie of UNISON, who chaired the meeting, said: “There is a race to the bottom that has to be stopped and this group as been launched to promote solidarity between workers and ideas on how to fight for a decent future.”