Unite Representatives at Lothian Buses have picked up the inaugural Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) award for organising and promoting the benefits of strong trade unions in the workplace and the community.
Lothian Buses is the last remaining publicly owned bus company in Scotland and the union has worked tirelessly to promote public transport in public ownership and, with the employers, recognise the role of trade unions in the success of Lothian Buses.
However for the Unite Branch their work in promoting trade unionism does not stop within their own workplace, they have assisted Unite members in Edinburgh Trams achieve over 95% trade union membership and set up trade union structures in the company and all before the first commercial tram service runs.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said
“The Unite branch in Edinburgh is not only a perfect example of trade union organising for the benefits of their members and the wider community but also sends a strong message that there is a place for publicly funded public transport in Scotland.
“Unite at Lothian Buses have ensured that Edinburgh Trams remained publicly owned through traditional trade union lobbying and lobbying Edinburgh City Council and, at the same time, ensured employees in the new company, have the same trade union rights as their colleagues in Edinburgh Buses.
“The STUC are in no doubt whatsoever that this would not have been the case had Edinburgh Trams been privatised.
“However, we should not forget their work in the community and the charitable fund they manage on behalf of the company, most recently donating £4000 to buy specialist equipment for a local school for childreb with learning difficulties.
“The Unite branch have worked hard to deliver market leading terms and conditions for their members, effective public transport for the people of Edinburgh and to maintain a relationship with the community.
“They are worthy winners of the first STUC Organising Award.”