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New community membership campaign meetings – Edinburgh & Glasgow

23 Oct

Unite is the biggest trade union in the UK and Ireland, with 1.5 million members and over a century of experience in organising to stand up for our rights at work.

Now Unite wants to take the unions beyond the workplace and into the community.

Community membership offers the chance to join for people who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to be part of a union because they’re not working – unemployed people, disabled people on benefits, retired folk or students. Community members get the support of the union with issues like free legal advice and access to training and education.

But it’s also bigger than that.  Being part of the union is about being part of a movement to build a better society. We want to bring people together who want to change something and who want to work with others to make their community a better place to live.

It could be something local like saving a library that’s closing or it could be a national issue like defending vulnerable people losing out through welfare cuts.

Unite will give you the support you need to build successful campaigns and groups – and make change happen.

To get things going in Edinburgh and Glasgow, we’ve organised our first meetings.  We want to bring together everyone who’s interested in organising and campaigning out in the community and has ideas about what we should do.

The meetings are open to all, so please come along and find out more.

Edinburgh: Saturday 27th October 2 – 4PM, St John’s Church, Princes Street, EH2 4BJ

Glasgow: Monday 29th October 6.30 – 8.30PM, John Smith House, 145-165 West Regent Street, G2 4RZ

 

For further information and to find out more about Community Membership, please contact Unite Scotland’s Community Coordinator, Jack Ferguson, on 0845 604 4384 or via email at jack.ferguson@unitetheunion.org

 

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Glasgow taxi drivers meet over new registration fee fury

25 Sep

Unite Scotland members will hold a mass meeting on Wednesday evening (26th September) over an imposed annual £50 registration fee for drivers at Glasgow Taxis Limited (GTL), which will cut take-home pay and further fuel a race to the bottom across the local industry.

The Executive Committee of GTL told all drivers that a new registration fee of £50 must be paid by October 1st if they are to continue working from their existing radio circuit – from which they already pay towards and where work has been cut by 20% due to the loss of a key NHS contract. The previous registration fee was a one-off £10 payment.

With many drivers saying they are being squeezed beneath the low-pay threshold, the fee further restricts the ability to make work pay for many GTL drivers already working their maximum allocation of hours.  It prompted a furious response but concerns were stonewalled by an unsympathetic Committee.

Unite Rep for the Taxi Industry Drew Connelly said, “It’s beyond belief that GTL Executives, who know full well the conditions drivers are currently facing, have imposed this cash grab without any consultation whatsoever. 

GTL’s taxi drivers are at breaking point. It’s a choice between walking away from employment and joining the dole queue or increasingly slogging it out in a vicious circle of low pay and long working hours.

Drivers contribute significantly to some very handsome profits for GTL and provide an important public service, yet find their own earnings rapidly going downhill. This race to the bottom is unsustainable and Wednesday’s collective response has been a long time coming.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:  For further information please contact Unite Rep for the Taxi Industry Drew Connelly on 07980845196.

The meeting for all drivers, union and non-union, will take place in the Thistle Hotel, Cambridge Street, Glasgow on Wednesday 26th September at 6.30 pm. 

People’s Charter demand for ‘more and better jobs’

23 Sep

The Scottish Committee of The People’s Charter has put forward proposals for the protection and creation of jobs in the face of the Government’s failed austerity programme.

The Unite and PCS trades unions are calling for the revitalisation of collective bargaining and trade union rights to help boost pay and conditions. Furthermore, urgent state intervention and private investment in strategically important sectors of the economy are both required if the UK is to lift itself out of recession.

The proposals are central to the Charter’s radical alternative campaign which launched its new e-petition last week in the Scottish Parliament, already gaining cross-party support and over 1,000 public signatories.

Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said, “The increasing inequality of the UK economy can be linked to the decline of collective bargaining over the last thirty years and the legislative assault on trade union rights.

It’s a simple fact that in economies where high levels of collective bargaining and trade union freedoms exist, workers benefit from greater job security and stability of pay and conditions while wider society enjoys greater equality and prosperity.

A fresh focus on sector-wide collective bargaining coupled with legislative change from Government which supports and not attacks trade union rights are vital components for economic recovery and a future that works.”

The PCS Scottish Secretary Lynn Henderson added, “The failed politics of austerity has caused key industries to haemorrhage quality jobs, skills and slash wages with devastating effects on earnings and households.

Mainstream economic thinking increasingly supports our view that to achieve growth you must invest, so state intervention and an end to private capital strike in sectors like construction, manufacturing and green tech is now essential – its no longer up for debate.

It’s not rocket science; this will sustain existing jobs and create new opportunities, boost skills and increase purchasing power to help get the economy flowing again.”

ENDS

Notes for journalists:

For further information please contact Peter Welsh in the Unite Scotland Campaigns & Communications Unit on 07810157931.

The People’s Charter poses six demands as an alternative to the politics of austerity.

  1. A fair economy for a fairerBritain.
  2. More and better jobs.
  3. Decent homes for all.
  4. Protect and improve our public services – no cuts.
  5. Fairness and Justice.
  6. Build a secure and sustainable future for all.

In addition to the partners named above, the Scottish Committee People’s Charter is supported by a number of Unions, MPs and MSPs. Details can be accessed at:

http://peoplescharterscotland.blogspot.co.uk/

The People’s Charter e-petition (Scottish Parliament PE01452) can be signed at:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/peoplescharter

Radical new step for trade unionism in Scotland – introducing the Community Membership

20 Sep

By Jack Ferguson

 

“Unite community membership could vital for many. I’m part of a generation that feels like it hasn’t got a future. Since I graduated uni I’ve been unable to even find minimum wage employment, let alone graduate work. I think the only way we’re ever going to change that is if we get organised.”

Those are the words of unemployed 22-year old Liam Turbett, one of the over 43,000 young Scots surviving on Jobseeker’s Allowance. He signed up to become a community member of Unite as soon as he heard about the scheme.

“Young people are also a lot less likely to have worked in a secure permanent job where they will have heard anything about trade unions, and may not know anything about them. I hope that community membership is going to help develop a whole new generation of activists who’ll stand up for their rights at work and in the community.”

 

Community membership is a radical new step for Unite, and for the trade union movement as a whole. It opens up the benefits of being a trade union member to all those who are out of work for whatever reason. They could be unemployed, a student, retired, or a person with disabilities on benefits. At a much reduced rate of 50p per week, they can now become members of Unite. It also takes the union beyond just organising in the workplace, and into supporting ordinary people and fighting for trade union values out in the community.

As members, unwaged people will get access to the full range of benefits that come with being a part of Unite, such as free legal advice and debt counselling, as well as specific support for members who are trying to get back to work with CV writing, interview skills and a Unite job board.

However, the most important aims of the community membership scheme can be summed up in the old trade union slogan, ‘Educate, Agitate, Organise!’ Unite is aiming to build up a network of local community branches that are actively discussing issues in their area, and campaigning to bring about positive change.

It could be something really simple and local, like traffic calming for a busy road. Or it could be saving a library or community centre threatened by government cutbacks. Or organising a consumers’ co-op to tackle fuel poverty. Where possible, Unite can help organise joint campaigns between workers and users of threatened services. And of course, perhaps the most major issue effecting people who are out of work: the attacks on the welfare state and benefit system.

In order to support these local groups, we’re developing an exciting range of training to allow local activists to be as effective as possible, in areas such as community organising, using the media and the internet, how to engage with councils and government, as well as specific information about rights and benefits to ensure members get everything they’re entitled to.

The union isn’t going into communities with its own agenda and priorities to impose on people. Community membership is completely new, and we want it to be bottom up, and led by its members from the outset. People who actually live in communities are the ones who know best what affects them. What the union can do is provide resources, training and backup to people who want to take the initiative.

Having said that, it’s already clear what one of the main tasks of the union is set to be: standing up for the rights of benefits claimants. We’ve seen scandal and protest when it emerged that the Paralympics were being sponsored by Atos, the private firm tasked by the government with creating humiliating tests to get disabled people off benefits. Disabled people and others that rely on the welfare state for survival are constantly vilified in the media, meaning that some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society are made to suffer as scapegoats for the greed and incompetence of the financial elite and government.

Attacks on people with disabilities or the unemployed come because those who victimise them believe they are weak and disorganised, and in no position to fight back. But with the whole of Unite the union as allies, that situation looks set to change. We aim to develop a network of members who have been trained in welfare rights and the procedures used by the likes of Atos, and are equipped to support each other through the bureaucratic hell of getting what they’re entitled to, buddy people to meetings and help prepare appeals.

Another group at the sharp end of government policy are those unemployed people effectively forced to become slave labour through workfare schemes. This issue is a key concern for the labour movement as a whole, as employers will delight in using workfare workers to undermine wages and conditions for all. Community membership offers a way to help organise people being forced to work for their benefit.

The trade union movement in Scotland has a proud history of improving the conditions that people work under. The key lesson of that history is that the only thing that makes the rich and powerful change their mind is when the people get organised about standing up for their rights, and force them to.

People throughout Scotland have had long experience of the consequences of decisions taken by people outside their communities, in which they have had no say, wreaking havoc with their lives. With the decline of traditional industries communities have become more atomised, with people living individual lives with little connection to their neighbours or others round about them. As Glen Hunter, a community member and community councillor in Glasgow’s Pollokshields, puts it:

“The first thing we need to do is rebuild and foster communities. Bringing people together through social and community events is so important if people aren’t going to be completely isolated from each other.”

Community membership offers a way for communities in Scotland to find their voice and rediscover the power of getting organised.  They might not have money, or political influence, but they have got people power – it’s just a matter of working out how to use it.

 

Jack Ferguson is the Unite Scotland Community Coordinator. You can reach him on 0845 604 4384 or via email at jack.ferguson@unitetheunion.org

 

New Unite Scotland Community Co-ordinator will mobilise unemployed and retired to improve communities

14 Sep

The unemployed, students and the retired are among the groups that Unite, the largest union in the country, wishes to mobilise so that they can make improvements in their local community.

Unite has appointed  28-year-old Jack Ferguson to bring together groups not covered by traditional trade union membership, so that they can get involved in campaigns in their area, for example, to save their local library from closure.

Jack Ferguson, Unite community coordinator for Scotland said, “Across Scotland communities feel like they don’t have a voice. Unite community membership is going to help change that. We think it’s time that people who don’t have a job for whatever reason are now going to have access to the benefits of trade union membership.

That means members will have access to all kinds of training and education in order to enhance their skills. But most importantly, it will allow communities to come together and get organised to create positive change. By becoming part of the UK and Ireland’s largest trade union, you’ve got 1.5 million allies in standing up for your rights.

People have already been getting in touch to join. I’m really looking forward to working with communities throughout the country, helping them identify their own campaigning priorities and work to bring them about. It could be something as simple as getting a zebra crossing put in on a busy road, or it could be saving a much loved local library, or supporting vulnerable people in navigating the benefits system.

Ordinary members will decide how community membership develops, and I’m really excited to see what good ideas people have.”

Jack Ferguson originally from Fife, will be based in Glasgow and is one of six community co-ordinators appointed by Unite across the UK whose role is to engage with the community at the grassroots and offer new community members the benefits of a trade union for the cost of 50p a week.

Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said, “The community membership scheme, launched by Unite, seeks to energetically engage with groups not covered by trade union membership.

We need to mobilise right across communities to improve lives and take a stand against the austerity policies of the coalition which have brought misery to millions of people, not just in Scotland but across the UK.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Unite campaigns officer, Liane Groves on 07793 661657 for interviews with the new community co-ordinator.

Remploy workers ‘nightmare’ fight for their futures

5 Sep

Disability is high on the political agenda just now.  The London Paralympic Games has continued the feel-good spirit from last month’s Olympic Games and then some with world-class athletic displays that are inspiring the public.

The Coalition Government itself is boxed-in and wounded by the failings of its own austerity agenda and has been quick to try and capitalise on the Paralympics’ success.  It’s a good news story and politicians of all varieties want to be associated with good news stories – particularly embattled ones.

However, while David Cameron is championing the Paralympic athletes, outside the walls of the Olympic Stadium his Government may well be consigning a generation of vulnerable workers to the UK’s unemployment scrapheap.

Whatever your thoughts on the Government’s Access to Work scheme, and the Sayce Report recommendations which underpin the policy, the on-going closures of Remploy factories has exacerbated the fears and fragilities of the company’s workforce.

This week Unite members in Remploy’s Cowdenbeath and Clydebank factories are striking to defend their livelihoods.  They hold very real fears that there is no opportunity or hope for them in the prevailing conditions of our recession-mired labour market.

Unite Shop Steward Linda Menzies at Remploy in Cowdenbeath sums-up the workers predicament, “You don’t know if you are coming or going – it’s a total nightmare.”

The Cowdenbeath plant itself has 36 people in full-time employment manufacturing world-class life jackets for the Ocean Safety Company.  Unite has been at the forefront of the campaign to save these jobs but the workforce is still in limbo.  They have been earmarked for the second wave of closures and are now reliant on a white knight to purchase their plant to have any hope of retaining jobs – something that is not without its own potential pitfalls.

Linda is damning of the silence from both Government and management over the factory’s future and reveals that it’s stoking tensions among the workers.

“The UK government agenda is cut and dried; we feel they want us off the books by any means necessary.  But there is no communication whatsoever, not from the DWP and not from management.  We ask for updates and information and we’re told it’s classified or unavailable.  It’s a deplorable way to treat a loyal workforce, some of whom have given over 30 years of service.”

“A potential new owner and TUPE transfer offers little comfort either; they will have their own business plan and ideas for the future.  We fear it will become a cherry-picking exercise where only the most able survive – with no guarantees on protections of our modest terms and conditions.

“The uncertainty is distressing the workers in different ways.  Their disabilities range from hearing and physical impairments to deep learning difficulties – some people don’t comprehend what’s going to happen to them.  Questions get asked and you can’t calm their fears – some of us are getting very depressed.  At its worst it’s a form of cruelty, really.”

The fact these closures take place against a backdrop of celebration in the form of the Paralympic Games is all the more galling for the Remploy workers.

Linda added, “David Cameron has said the Paralympics demonstrates disabled people can work and live in the mainstream.  Of course they can! We didn’t need an Olympics to demonstrate this.  But where are the Government going to find each and every one of our workers alternative employment in this economic climate?

“Closures won’t put disabled workers into the mainstream; they’ll consign them to the four walls of the house and shatter the routines that underpin their everyday lives.  For many workers the plant isn’t just their livelihoods it’s also their support network.  All that will be stripped away.”

This Thursday, Unite members in Remploy Cowdenbeath and Clydebank will take 24-hour strike action to defend what’s left of their company, their livelihoods and their futures.

The Government say the Remploy closures are about accelerating mainstream employment for disabled people.    Remploy workers say it will put them on an already significant unemployment scrapheap, with their own specific personal circumstances reducing their employability further against the backdrop of cuts and economic recession.

Unite whole-heartedly supports our members fight and their right for dignity in their employment and personal lives.  They tell us that’s what Remploy gives them; they want decent employment and to be able to continue contributing towards society. They don’t want the dole queue.

The Government and it’s Ministers should listen to the people at the coal-face. If how we look after our most vulnerable is a reflection of our society, the Remploy closures – particularly in this economic climate – should shame our political class.

The last word goes to Linda, “We cannot believe the Government can’t see what will happen if they close these workplaces now.  We need a miracle and that’s what we’re fighting for.” 

Remploy PDF

The Miami Five – an ongoing injustice

3 Aug

By Kath Campbell & Vicky Grandon

Overview

Unite is backing the campaign to bring freedom to the Miami Five and visitation rights to their families.

On 12th September 1998, the Miami Five – Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, René González, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González – were arrested by the FBI in Miami while trying to stop right-wing groups carrying out terrorist attacks against the Cuban people.

They have been unfairly interned in the US since 1998; their wives and family are denied full visitation rights and they are often held in solitary confinement.

 

Scotland’s Support for the Miami Five

On Wednesday 9th May the Scottish Parliament hosted a historic debate on the Miami Five. The debate – believed to be the first time a national legislature outside Cuba has dedicated a whole parliamentary session to the issue of the Five – coincided with Glasgow hosting the Beyond the Frame exhibition of contemporary Cuban art.

The first ever debate on Cuba at Holyrood saw a resolution highlighting the Five moved by Labour MSP Elaine Smith, Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Cuba.

Elaine Smith – speaking alongside MSPs from Labour and the SNP – told parliament that the Miami Five had suffered a “miscarriage of justice” and were innocent men being used by the U.S. as “pawns in a political game.”  Elaine called for an end to the 50-year old economic blockade of Cuba, declaring it a “Cold War relic that should be consigned to the dustbin of history.”  Elaine’s contribution and those that followed in the debate also discussed opposition to the U.S. blockade and championed greater cultural, economic and political co-operation between Scotland and Cuba.

The debate was attended not only by the Cuban Ambassador, Esther Armenteros, but Rosa Aurora Freijanes, wife of Fernando, and Antonio Guerrero, Antonio’s son. They also met many Scottish Trades Unionists throughout their time in Scotland.

Arthur West, Secretary of the Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign, welcomed the debate saying:

“This is a historic moment in the Miami Five campaign.  The fact that our Scottish Parliament, representing over five million people, has recognised the ongoing struggle for justice for the Five and their families, can only be regarded as a huge breakthrough.

It is testament to not only the growing acceptance of their right to freedom but also to all the work of the Cross-Party Group and the Solidarity Campaign.  This in itself has been made possible by the tremendous support of the trades unions in Scotland, including Unite who have been staunch supporters of the campaign.”

For over fifty years Cuba has endured ongoing terrorist attacks against Cuban people emanating primarily from dissident groups in Miami.

To save lives, Cuba sent five men to infiltrate and monitor these violent dissident groups. At the request of the U.S government, this information was passed to the FBI but – instead of arresting the terrorists – the Bureau used the information to identify and arrest the Miami Five.

Held in isolation, denied proper access to legal teams and tried in a hostile atmosphere which made it impossible to receive a fair trial, they were sentenced to a total of seventy-five years confinement. Compare this to the terrorist and former CIA-operative Luis Posada Carriles who – although responsible for the blowing up of a Cuban airliner in 1973 which killed seventy-six people – remains at liberty in America.

 

Trial of the Miami Five receives international condemnation

The questionable legal processes used for the arrest, trial and sentencing of the Miami Five has horrified NGOs and human rights campaigners from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to Amnesty International .

In October 2010, Amnesty International published a report condemning the trial of the Miami Five and calling for a review of the case. Central to their criticism was the “underlying concern related to the fairness of holding the trial in Miami, given the pervasive hostility to the Cuban government in that area and media and other events before and during the trial . . . there was evidence to suggest that these factors made it impossible to ensure a wholly impartial jury.”

Amnesty raised serious concerns about the circumstances of the pre-trial detention of the five men which included sporadic solitary confinement and limited access to attorneys and evidence. As the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared in May 2005, this “undermined the equal balance between the prosecution and the defence.”

Amnesty’s report followed a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals which, in August 2005, unanimously overturned the convictions of the Miami Five on the ground that “pervasive community prejudice in Miami against the Castro government merged with other factors to prejudice their right to a fair trial.” The decision was promptly quashed by the US government.

Furthermore, recent evidence obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act demonstrates that the American government directly funded Miami-based journalists $125,000 to write and broadcast injurious articles and commentary before and during the trial. Despite overwhelming evidence, the Supreme Court has consistently refused to consider appeals on these grounds – even though similar cases have been granted a retrial.

Conditions of René’s release endanger his safety

On 7th October 2011, René González became the first of the Miami Five to be released from jail after serving thirteen years of unjust imprisonment. In jubilant and emotional scenes, René was greeted by the loving embrace of his two daughters, Irma and Ivette.  His wife, Olga Salanueva – who has been denied visitation visas throughout René’s incarceration – was unable to greet her estranged husband as she was forbidden from entering the territory of the USA.

Prior to his release, Judge Joan Lenard issued a directive which forces René to live in Florida for a further three years and which prohibits him “from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals or groups such as terrorists, members of organizations advocating violence, organized crime figures are known to frequent.” The irony is that Florida is home to the very terrorists that René was monitoring. He is unable to return to his homeland, his life is in danger from anti-Cuban terrorist organisations and – most tragically of all – he will be separated from Olga for three more years.

René’s safety is further threatened by inflammatory statements made by Cuban-born Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who described González as an “enemy of America” with “blood on his hand” just days before his release.

 

Building the movement to Free the Five

The British trade union movement – and Unite in particular – has led the campaign to ‘Free the Five’, grant family visitation rights and allow René to return to his homeland.

An open letter to President Obama urged him “to intervene in this case and allow René to return to Cuba, rather than be forced to stay in Florida, which would not only be a cruel additional punishment but potentially threatening to his safety.”  The letter – along with various politicians and personalities – was signed by Len McCluskey and the general secretaries of 18 of Britain’s largest trade unions. This represents more than 4.7 million workers, or 80% of Britain’s unionised workforce.

UK-based NGO the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC), in Scotland, the SCSC and Unite have been crucial in building the broadest possible alliance in support of family visitation rights, René’s return to Cuba and, ultimately, the release of the Miami Five. Cables released by WikiLeaks reveal that former Prime Minister Gordon Brown raised the case with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a direct result of lobbying by CSC and Unite.

Any potential solution lies with the American government and the British movement in support of the Miami Five has been working closely with US unions – including the United Service Workers, the United Steel Workers and the Teamsters – to lobby key stakeholders in the Obama administration.

Former Unite General Secretary Tony Woodley spoke at the first trade union meeting in the U.S in support of the Miami Five last year and declared, “the Miami Five enjoy a great deal of support on the international level, but that is not the case inside the United States. Solidarity is absolutely crucial in this case and the political struggle will be decisive for the return of the Miami Five to Cuba.”

Unite also recently supported a CSC Miami Five stall at the SEIU conference in Denver. This is the first time that the issue of the Miami Five has had such a high profile at an American trade union conference.

In  June 2012, the wives of the Miami Five – Adriana Perez, Olga Salanueva, Elizabeth Palmiero and Rosa Freijanes – were special guests at Unite Policy Conference in Brighton. It was the first time the wives had visited the UK together and they were greeted to a standing ovation by over 800 delegates and visitors.

Elizabeth Palmiero – wife of imprisoned Cuban anti-terrorist Ramón Labañino – spoke on behalf of the wives and called on President Obama to intervene personally, saying, “The only thing our husbands are guilty of is protecting the Cuban people against terrorist attacks.

The case is political and there is no other way to resolve the injustice than building the pressure of international public opinion against the policies of the U.S. government.”

Conference adopted a motion to intensify support for the Miami Five, oppose the U.S blockade of Cuba and further increase the number of branches affiliated to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. General Secretary Len McCluskey declared, “Unite will continue to give all the support needed until justice prevails.”

My plea to Unite members and beyond is simple.  As Rosa Freijanes said from the platform at Glasgow May Day 2012, “The Cuban people have resisted the illegal and punitive Blockade for over 50 years but the Miami Five are human beings and do not have another 50 years to survive – we must intensify the pressure on all our U.S contact to free them now.”

I hope readers will do just that and further strengthen this campaign.

 

Getting involved

Legal avenues in defence of the Miami Five have been virtually exhausted and only humanitarian intervention from President Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton can give justice to the five and their families. Public pressure to break the silence around this case is vital.

If the campaign in support of the Miami Five is to succeed, it requires resolute solidarity and concerted political will to raise the issue at the highest level both domestically and internationally. Everyone can play a role in achieving this, either as individual activists, or within unions, organisations or solidarity campaigns.

Here are some ways to support the Miami Five:

  • Unite, along with all its regions and over 100 branches are currently affiliated to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. Many are also affiliated to the Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign. Affiliation for Union branches is only £20 a year.  Contact us  at: scottishcuba@yahoo.co.uk
  • Become an individual member of SCSC
  • Make an online donation to the campaign to Free the Five here
  • Support SCSC annual vigils  on the Miami Five in Glasgow and Edinburgh

As Wiki Leaks revelations show, actions like this have the potential to reach the highest level of US government. The freedom of the Miami Five will only be secured through collective political action across the broadest possible campaign. Until their release, the campaign will continue.

 

BREAKING NEWS: Dr Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che, will be speaking at a public meeting 7pm Friday 14 September at STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow.

A benefit night for Cuba takes place at The Stand Comedy Club, beside the STUC on Wednesday 19 September 7:30pm. A special one day Latin American Conference will feature Cuba amongst other current issues on Sunday 02 December, also STUC.

Please contact us at the SCSC for tickets for all the above and encourage your branches to participate by buying tickets to distribute.

Kath Campbell is the Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign Co-ordinator.   Vicky Grandon is the Chair of the Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign.   Both are long-standing Unite members and activists.

Rosa Aurora Freijanes, wife of Fernando Gonzales, and Antonio Guerrero’s son, also Antonio, with the Unite Scotland activists at this year’s May Day Rally in Glasgow.