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Photo: Mark Porciani

Photo: Mark Porciani

Glasgow rallies around the sacked P&O workers, as RMT and and other trade unionists take aim at scab labour recruiters, reports Mark Porciani

Around 150 trade unionists and activists protested outside Clyde Marine Recruitment in sunny Govan, Glasgow today, following hints from Gordon Martin, the Scottish leader of the RMT, at the Alba Party conference that this protest was happening over the weekend.

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According to the Evening Standard, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said in advance that,

"we are making it clear that there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide for those who have been complicit in the P&O job massacre. We will keep the pressure on at every opportunity until we get justice for the P&O Workers. We look forward to another good turnout tomorrow after the weekend’s protests and greatly appreciate the remarkable solidarity from our trade union colleagues in this dispute." 

This objective was clearly met. Today's protest was outside one of the companies involved in the recruitment of scab labour to replace the sacked workers. Speakers included former sacked IKEA worker Ritchie Venton. This time two years ago he led a successful campaign at the height of the pandemic against draconian policies by IKEA bosses.

Chris Mitchell and other GMB Cleansing Workers were in attendance. Their equal pay strike was called off on Friday, though action is still scheduled for April. However, a deal looks likely and a letter from the Council hints that all demands will be met in time for Council Elections in May. 

To return to today’s action, the speakers included Labour MSP Monica Lennon. The Scottish Government has said they will "re-examine" P&O contracts. These are substantial contracts and an automatic cancellation of these orders would be a more fitting action. 

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Long standing RMT activist Phil McGarry spoke on behalf of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity Scotland. He encouraged people to attend "The Cost of Living Crisis, We Can't Pay - Justice for 800 P&O Workers" demonstration, which will take place this Saturday April 2nd, at 1pm, in George Square, Glasgow.

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As Phil announced Saturday’s action, radio and TV news broadcasters could be heard telling their audiences about this planned demo. 

Following today's action and the successful protest at Cairnryan port in Stranraer last Wednesday, another is planned there for April 8th. 

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