EU workers have stronger voice in a union

April 22nd 2017

The STUC has today (Monday 24 April 2017) launched a major initiative to give EU/EEA nationals working in Scotland a stronger voice on workplace issues, including organising more EU/EEA workers into trade union membership. Unions, working with colleagues at Strathclyde University, will conduct a comprehensive on-line survey of EU/EEA workers, commencing with those who are Polish speaking. The information produced on workplace practice, experience and concerns will not only inform future demands for fair work, it will be vital in shaping union organising campaigns. The STUC will also use its extensive contacts with unions across the EU to ensure that the EU/EEA workers know that, as well as being valued citizens, they are valued members of the trade union community. Union representatives from Norway, Italy and Catalunya will be in attendance at the Congress.
Launching the initiative at the STUC Congress in Aviemore today, STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said: “Workers from EU and EEA countries are a vital part of the Scottish workforce and many are active members of unions. The anti-migration rhetoric that was such a disgraceful feature of the EU referendum which has spilled over into the hard Brexit approach of the Tory Government, has made many migrant workers fearful for their future. “The clear message from the STUC to every EU/EEA worker is that you are not only more than welcome in Scotland, you are more than welcome in a union. You are vital to our economy and as union members and activists. The more of you that join a union the stronger and more effective will be our collective voice in fighting for fair work and in demanding that you have the right to continue to live and work in Scotland. “The online survey we are launching today, developed by our colleagues at Strathclyde University as part of wider research into workplace practice and experience in Scotland, will give us detailed information on the workplace concerns of EU/EEA workers that will inform our demands for fair work and will be vital in shaping union organising campaigns.”

Commenting on the survey developed by Strathclyde University, Professor Patricia Findlay, Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research, said: “We know from our ongoing research that there are significant concerns among migrant workers and their employers arising from the UK decision to leave the EU. Working with the STUC to gather new insights and understanding more about the experience of Polish workers in Scotland will make an important contribution to broader debates about fair work and job quality and, crucially, will inform us about some of the challenges faced by migrant workers as well as their aspirations for working in Scotland.”

ENDS

For further information contact Kevin Buchanan 0141 337 8100

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