STUC Black Workers’ Conference – Our Future in Scotland

October 3rd 2014

18th STUC Black Workers’ Conference

Saturday 4 / Sunday 5 October 2014

Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld

The 18th Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Black Workers’ Conference will take place in the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 4-5 October). The Conference brings together black trade unionists from a range of workplaces across Scotland to debate issues and motions of interest to them. Motions to this year’s conference cover a range of issues including: living standards, equality in the workplace and decent work.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Our Future in Scotland.’ Speaking ahead of the conference Gozie Joe Adigwe, chair of the Black Workers’ Committee said:

“This conference, coming just after the referendum, is a chance for Black Workers’ to come together and consider the type of Scotland that we want to see. It’s clear that there are still many problems in our society and this is reflected in the range of motions that have been put to conference but it is imperative that we continue to work towards a Scotland that is welcoming and free from racism. We are looking forward to being a part of the discussions on what further devolution will look like, and continue to believe that this should be a citizen led process, that builds on the high level of political engagement that currently exists in Scotland.”

In his speech to STUC Black Workers Conference on Saturday 4th October Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary will say:

“‘The ‘Vow’ published by the three Party Leaders promised ‘extensive new powers for the Parliament (that) will be delivered by the process and to the timetable agreed and announced’ and ‘that the people of Scotland will be engaged directly.’

“The Smith Commission’s artificially restrictive timescale and process, which is focussed only on consultation over the existing proposal of the three main Westminster parties, suggests an outcome that will be less than satisfactory. The Scottish public are impatient for change and a prolonged process is in no one’s interest. However, without the time for proper community engagement the danger is that the outcome will be a shabby political compromise that fails to satisfy and delivers proposals that have not been sufficiently scrutinised for their economic and social impact with the risk of a variety of unintended damaging consequences.

“It must also be recognised that any proposal for enhanced Scottish Devolution will be intensely scrutinised in Wales, Northern Ireland and in London not to mention by those who we know already wish to attach conditions on Scottish representation at Westminster.

“A scenario in which a cobbled together deal is met with hostility in Scotland because it is perceived not to go far enough and hostility elsewhere because it fails to take account of their demands and therefore falls apart either before or after the General Election is all too easy to envisage.

Ends

Notes to Editors

Speakers at the conference include: Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Sport, Equalities and Pensioners’ Rights

June Minnery STUC President

Grahame Smith STUC General Secretary

James Glover, Service Manager Royal Edinburgh and Associated Services

Jim Thakoordin, UCU

Usman Ali, Chair of STUC Youth Committee

Eurig Scandrett, Scottish Friends of Bhopal

A panel session on organising will also be held on the Saturday afternoon and will include the following speakers:

Eleanor Adam, Development Officer, Scottish Union Learning in the Highlands and Islands

Jamie Caldwell, Unite Community Organiser

Roger McKenzie, UNISON, Assistant General Secretary

Roza Salih, Strathclyde Students Association

For further information contact Helen Martin 0141 337 8100

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