With our AGM being held late last year we are looking over a period of ten months, and a busy ten months it has been.

The trades council has continued having hybrid meetings in the shopping centre and we are grateful to the disability group for their kind hospitality.

Good working relationships continue with the local trade union branches of UNISON, EIS, and RMT.

West Dunbartonshire UNISON has led the anti-cuts campaigning where regular Thursday night meetings have been getting held with union and community activists planning activity on fighting local government cuts. The trades council was asked to chair the recent anti-cuts rally held outside West Dunbartonshire Council building.

We were invited out to North Lanarkshire TUC to attend and speak at one of their public meetings where we saw first-hand the similar problems that working-class communities face over Scotland.

Our Clydebank TUC stall has been held every Monday in the shopping centre through rain, hail, and bitter winds especially (we did have the odd bit of sun), using petitions, and STUC and affiliated unions materials. Many discussions have taken place with the local public in an attempt to raise class consciousness in the community.

Further affiliation continue with UNISON West of Scotland University branch and UNITE Glasgow and West of Scotland Community branch. New affiliations have come from ASLEF and the FBU, with GMB Diageo branch being the latest. Further work is required to win affiliations and we welcome the STUC’s efforts to prioritise the work of trades councils among affiliates.

We have been heavily involved in the UNITE Community branch’s public campaigning eg Calton Weaver’s commemoration, Fuel Poverty, Feed the Weans, among others. We have supported our sisters and brothers in Glasgow in their fight against local government cuts. The trade union branches in Glasgow have adopted a similar position to West Dunbartonshire union branches on calling on councillors to not to comply with budget cuts. Young members of UNITE branches who are involved in Fuel Poverty campaigning have joined our meetings and campaigning work and are proving themselves to be stalwarts of the trades council.

The trades council was present over the past year at the Erskine anti-fascist, anti-racist pickets, supporting our comrades in PaisleyTUC who led the campaigning of trade unionists and local residents. We hope to show the anti-racist film The Old Oak shortly on the back of a very successful showing of the film about the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn - The Big Lie which packed out a local bowling club and raised a substantial sum for Platform Films who produced the film.

We supported a public meeting on a discussion in the town hall asking if there were too many socialist parties but not enough socialists. Concern was expressed at the cost of hiring a room which many local groups would not be able to pay. We saw this as an attack on local democracy with the town hall turning into a white elephant afforded only by corporate events and milking those couples who wish to hold their wedding there.

We have also been present at the Strathclyde Better Buses Campaign pickets at the headquarters of the Strathclyde Passenger Transport. We had a speaker from the organisation at one of our meetings and did local work around lack of transport to the local health centre.

Clydebank Post: We have been present at the weekly Palestine solidarity rallies held in Glasgow against the genocide taking place in Gaza.

We were also present at International Brigade Memorial Trust events in Paisley and Glasgow.

The TUC was present at the Assisted Dying conference in the Town Hall but have not yet taken a view.

We have received our usual invitation to attend the annual Workers Memorial Day to be held in Alexandria and have a young delegate ready to represent us this year.

We have been on the picket lines of workers in struggle all over the country and attended STUC trades council conferences.

We have elected three delegates to the forthcoming STUC Congress in Dundee and will be promoting policy to combat poverty, war, and attacks on the social wage.

We see it as essential in all our activities attempting to build a class consciousness in union branches and through our street work in the community. We see this as continuing the proud radical tradition of Clydebank going back to the days of Red Clydeside. The need for a combative trade union movement is the central thrust to our regular column in the Clydebank Post.

As always, thanks to the delegates of the trades council who give up their free time to further the cause of trade unionism locally and nationally.