STUC response to Kezia Dugdale’s speech to Congress and comments on the Trade Union Bill

April 18th 2016

Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

“The STUC warmly welcomes the speech today from Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Her two central themes committing to tackling austerity through new powers and legislating in opposition to the trade union bill and recognising the key role of trade unions, sit comfortably with our own priorities.

“Over the past fortnight we have been asking MSPs and prospective candidates to pledge their commitment to refuse to implement aspects of any Trade Union Bill which runs counter to the Equality and Human Rights obligations in the Scotland Act.

“I am very pleased that such a large number of candidates from political parties standing across Scotland including SNP, Labour, Liberal, Greens and RISE* have committed to continuing their opposition to the Bill if it becomes an Act. The Tories have again been found wanting. Ruth Davidson may be trying to shed the image of being a fully paid up members of the nasty party, but her complete disregard for trade union rights gives the lie to that.

“Kezia Dugdale in announcing her commitment to a Fair Work and Trade Union has left us in no doubt that Labour will continue to fight the Bill and support a positive relationship with trade unions if elected.”

In his speech at the STUC Union Rep awards tomorrow (11am), Grahame Smith will say: “Today the Trade Union Bill returns to Westminster for further debate in the House of Lords. As the noble lords rally against this vindictive and nasty piece of legislation, we are proud that we can bring together the First Minister of Scotland on a platform with trade union reps who are the very epitome of the reason we have a different approach to industrial relations here.

“Everything these reps embody, the delivery of safer workplaces, more equal workplaces, better skills and increasing union membership, is everything the Tories despise. These reps use their facility time – which the UK Government wants to take away - to deliver fairer work and more productive workplaces. The UK government wants unions spending more time wrapped in red tape, we want unions to spend more time developing and supporting workplace reps do enable them to do the things their members need.

ENDS

For further details contact

Dave Moxham: 0141 337 8100

*The STUC refuses to engage with UKIP

Notes

Pledge (signed by candidates across Scotland)

  1. I respect and value the requirement of devolution that any act of the Parliament or the Scottish Government must show direct compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights.

  2. If elected to the Scottish Parliament, or appointed to the Scottish Government, I pledge to support full human rights compliance from the heights of the legislative process down to the basics of how we employ staff appointed on my authority.

  3. I, therefore, pledge to work to amend or disapply any provision of the Trade Union Bill which purports to require me to act in breach of the Scotland Act duty to uphold the European Convention on Human Rights.

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