STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
‘With a General Election looming it is vital that the trade union movement restates its position on Brexit and the protection of migrant workers. The STUC will continue to oppose hard Brexit and to campaign for free movement and the right of EU nationals living in Britain to remain in Britain.
‘Motions to STUC Congress make clear the commitment of affiliated unions to inward migration and to the protection of migrant workers through legislation and trade union organising. We believe migration has entirely positive contribution to make to Scotland’s economy, demography and culture, particularly in a properly regulated labour market in which workers’ rights are protected.
‘However, as it becomes increasingly clear that Theresa May is wedded to a policy of hard Brexit, it is incumbent on her to recognise the different approach advocated in Scotland towards migration and employment protection. UK immigration policy is increasingly encroaching on the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament, including how it runs its public services and who works within it.
‘Even with immigration reserved, it is clear that significant additional power could be vested in the Scottish Parliament. Along with powers to protect employment rights and increase the minimum wage there is a potential to carve a distinctly different approach in Scotland.’
STUC’s six demands:
• Entrench the right of EU nationals living in Scotland to remain living and working here. • Negotiate a variated migration policy for Scotland similar to Australia and Canada/Quebec significantly enhancing the power of the Scottish Parliament to set differentiated criteria and/or granting flexibilities under the points based migration • Devolve employment and equalities law to allow the Scottish Parliament to legislate for better core protections for all workers. • Empower the Scottish Government to legislate for the right to work for refugees and asylum seekers living in Scotland. • Empower the Scottish Parliament to increase (though not lower) the Minimum Wage above the UK-wide figure. • Increase the Scottish Parliament power over procurement allowing for improved promotion of fair work, apprenticeships and the living wage within contracts.
For further information contact Kevin Buchanan 0141 337 8100