Workers from USDAW, RMT, Musicians’ Union and Equity gathered for the Glasgow march and rally organised by the STUC as part of the national demonstrations on 20 October. The contingent from the RMT seen above included maritime workers from Calmac Ferries – engaged in an ongoing fight against privatisation – and members from Blackpool and Carlisle City branches. A recent poll shows only 30 per cent support in Scotland for separatism – this cross “border” solidarity enhances that finding.
USDAW Scottish organiser Lawrence Watson expressed bitter disappointment at the outcome of a long campaign to keep open the meat factory of Hall’s of Broxburn, whose Dutch owners Vion announced the closure in mid October. It will be fully wound up by February next year. Hall’s had become a household name in Britain, making meat products here for over 80 years. It made Britain’s best-selling haggis and a popular range of sausage meats. With up to 8,000 pigs being processed each week there will be a big knock-on effect on the farming industries. It’s the biggest single factory closure in Scotland for over a decade, since the withdrawal of Motorola from Livingston in 2001. Potential bidders for the factory had been turned down, despite plans that assured few, if any, permanent job losses, fuelling anger in this central Scotland community. ■