Commenting in advance of the Scottish Parliament debate on trade union membership initiated by Clare Haughey MSP, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
“I welcome today’s Scottish Parliament debate on the positive role played by unions in Scotland initiated by Clare Haughey, herself a former union rep. The positive attitude to unions shown by the Scottish Government, by many politicians and employers in Scotland, stands in stark contrast to the anti-union attitude of the UK Government which recently forced through at Westminster the unfair, unnecessary and undemocratic Trade Union Act.
“That said, at our recent Highlands and Islands Conference, members raised serious concerns at the anti-union attitude of some employers who benefit from public contracts or grants. We don’t expect the Scottish Government to recruit members for us. But neither do we don’t expect it to support employers that actively prevent unions from recruiting and intimidate workers who want to join. Warm words from politicians about the importance of unions is fine. Ostracising anti-union employers is what’s required of those genuinely committed to ensuing workers have an effective voice.
“Today’s debate also provides the opportunity to highlight the role played by unions at an EU level in securing a range of workplace rights and to expose the threat to these rights should the UK vote to leave. The recent record of the UK Government suggests that the erosion of employment protection is a likely consequence of Brexit. It is a fundamental principle of trade unionism that we are stronger when we work together. We have made progress in the past working with unions across the EU and will do so in the future if we choose to remain.”
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