Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Solidarity with RMT in their strike for decent pay and against cuts to the rail network


Aberdeen Trades Union Council sends our solidarity to the members of RMT in their strike action to demand a decent pay rise.

See statement from RMT below.

RMT statement on the forthcoming Rail and Tube strikes

In the past few weeks, discussions have been taking place at senior level with Network Rail, Train Operators and London Underground.

Despite the best efforts of our negotiators no viable settlements to the disputes have been created.

It has to be re-stated that the source of these disputes is the decision by the Tory Government to cut £4bn of funding from our transport systems - £2bn from national rail and £2bn from Transport for London.

As a result of this transport austerity imposed by the Government, the employing companies have taken decisions to:

  • Savage the Railway Pension Scheme and the TFL scheme, cutting benefits, making staff work longer, and poorer in retirement, while paying increased contributions.
  • Thousands of job cuts across the rail networks.
  • Attacking terms, conditions and working practices in a form of internal fire and re-hire.
  • Cutting real pay for most of our members through lengthy pay freezes and below RPI inflation pay proposals.

In the face of this massive attack on our people the RMT cannot be passive.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

ATUC protests cost of living crisis and demands rich pay their fair share

Aberdeen Trades Union Council delegates were out on the streets protesting cost of living rises that are crippling working people and forcing the poorest to choose between eating and heating their homes.

Whilst president Graeme Farquhar took the ATUC banner to London and joined Kate Ramsden, Kathleen Kennedy and 100,000 other marchers on the TUC "We demand better" march and rally, other delegates were at a stall in St Nicholas Square, Aberdeen, making the arguments locally for action to deal with the crisis.

Graeme said, "It was an uplifting event and great to march with so many like minded people.

"It was also great to see so many women in the leadership of our union movement."

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Solidarity with CWU in their strike action for decent pay

Aberdeen Trades Union Council sends solidarity to our comrades in the Communications Workers' Union who are taking strike action on Monday 6th June to demand a decent pay rise.

The strike is an absolute last resort and is necessary as a consequence of Post Office’s ill-conceived policy on pay. CWU members delivered a 97.3% YES vote for strike action on a turnout of 70.2% due to the pay freeze. This means there is a clear mandate for strike action.

Post Office has a significant group of workers (Postal Assistants) earning less than £24k per annum and if they were strictly following Government’s Public Sector pay policy, these workers should have received at least a £250 pay rise – they have not.

On top of the pay freeze for 2021/22, Post Office has offered an insulting 2.5% pay increase plus a £500 one-off payment (pro-rata for part-timers) for 2022/23.

Despite repeated attempts by the Union to instigate meaningful negotiations since the YES vote was declared on 28th March, Post Office has steadfastly refused to get around the bargaining table. They are putting their heads in the sand hoping this dispute will go away.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Please attend SPSC event on 4 June and hear about life in Palestine and why we must support BDS


Aberdeen Trades Union Council is delighted to sponsor Scottish Palestine Solidarity Aberdeen's event on Saturday 4th June from 11-1pm in our ATUC premises in Adelphi.

We are urging all delegates, family and friends to go along.

The event will consider life in Palestine today, under oppression and occupation, especially in light of Amnesty International's report declaring Israel to be an apartheid state, and the call from civil society and trade unions in Palestine for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in support of Palestinian freedom and justice.

Tommy Campbell, ATUC delegate and SPSC member said: "We're excited for our first in person event for over two years. We'll have three speakers, discussion and authentic Palestinian food to finish. 

It promises to be a great event. Please come along."

Online and in-person tickets are available. You can register on Eventbrite. Click HERE to book your place.

The event is free to attend, but donations towards the campaign and event running costs are welcome.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Workers march for peace and prosperity at excellent May Day event


The ATUC March and rally in Aberdeen on 7th May, celebrating international workers’ day or May Day was our first in person event since the start of the Covid pandemic.

Led by the rousing tunes of a pipe band, the marchers from trade unions, political parties and activists' groups made a colourful display with our flags, placards and banners, to the enjoyment of passers-by many of whom stopped to watch.
The Guarana Drummers with their exciting rhythms brought up the rear.
Chairing the rally at the Castlegate, ATUC President, Graeme Farquhar told those gathered that May Day is normally a day of celebration for all workers, but this year with the cost of living crisis we do not have much to celebrate.

Graeme Farquhar

This conservative government have inflicted poverty upon four million children and through criminal neglect. During Covid they have caused the deaths of over 20 000 older people by sending them back to care homes without a test.

"This is a party who have normalised poverty while enriching themselves at the expense of the working man, woman and their families," slammed Graeme.
"In just 12 years they have taken us back decades. They awarded themselves a £2000 pay rise and if it is good enough for them then it, is  good enough for every worker in the UK.

"But maybe instead of giving them the 2000 maybe we should stand at our doors on a Thursday night at 8 and clap for them," said Graeme to much applause.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

STUC recognises Ron Webster's lifetime of trade union activism

Ron receives his award from Pat Rafferty

 Aberdeen Trades Union Council is delighted to report that during the STUC Congress in Aberdeen, ATUC consultative member and long-standing union member and delegate, Ron Webster, was awarded a certificate in recognition of a lifetime of trade union activism, amounting to 80 years as a trade union member of different unions.

The certificate was awarded by Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Regional Secretary and STUC president.   STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer was also on hand to congratulate Ron, as was his firnd and comrade, Tommy Campbell..

The ATUC would like to congratulate Ron on this wonderful achievement. We are delighted that it has been recognised by Ron's union, Unite and by the STUC.

Ron himself is a past president of the STUC as well as holding the post of ATUC secretary. Ron was an active member of ATUC up until very recently and is well known and held in high regard by many of the delegates.

Friday, 29 April 2022

International Workers' Memorial Day service demands workplace health and safety as a fundamental right


Aberdeen Trades Union Council hosted a moving and well attended International Workers' Memorial Day service on 28th April in the beautiful Persley Memorial Gardens. 

The event was made particularly poignant after two years of COVID, when so many workers have lost their lives or been made ill as they continue to deliver vital services to our communities.

Welcoming representatives from many different unions as well as from Aberdeen City Council and political figures, ATUC President, Graeme Farquhar said that this years theme is make safe and healthy work a fundamental right.

"Every year there are more people killed at work than in wars. 

"People don’t die at work in tragic accidents, they die because their employer decided that their safety was not as important than making a profit," slammed Graeme.