Annual STUC conference opens with condemnation of plans by Coalition ministers to attack employment rights and union facility time

Tim Lezard

STUC plaqueThe annual Scottish TUC congress opens later today with condemnation of plans by Coalition ministers to attack employment rights and trade union facility time.

Delegates to the conference – which takes place in Perth over the next 3 days – are expected to criticise changes to existing anti-union legislation which they say will make workplaces more dangerous and undermine the ability of unions to negotiate over low pay.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond is due to address the conference this afternoon.

STUC officials contrast the approach of Coalition ministers with that of the SNP government in Edinburgh, which they say has taken a “more nuanced” attitude and maintains “positive dialogue” with unions north of the border.

STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said: “In almost every area of employment law the UK Government is weakening protection – an approach that will foster insecurity, make workplaces more dangerous and undermine the ability of unions to negotiate away low pay.

“Trade union reps represent one of the largest groupings of voluntary workers in the country undertaking millions of additional hours a year and contributing significantly to the success of the economy through ensuring fair treatment for employees.

“Despite this the Coalition seems intent on attacking trade union facility time for its own employees and encouraging a cavalier attitude to workplace democracy in the wider economy.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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