Friday, 11 September 2020

Please sign petition calling for an immediate end to the Israeli blockade on the people of Gaza

Aberdeen Trades Union Council continues its support for freedom and justice for Palestine by calling on all delegates, associaltes, families and friends to sign the petiton calling for an end to the long-standing blockade of Gaza by the government of Israel. 

The Gaza Strip has been under siege from Israel since 2007.  The impact of this siege, coupled with intermittent bombardments, has already had a disastrous impact on the physical and mental health of Palestinians in Gaza, as well as devastating the economy.  

In the past weeks this disastrous impact has once again been brought into sharp focus as Gaza has reported its first cases of COVID-19 which has started to spread quickly through refugee camps and communities. 

COVID-19 is uniquely threatening to the people of Gaza. The 1.8 million Palestinians cannot safely self-isolate – there simply isn't space – and no one can leave the region.

On top of that, Israel has not allowed sufficient medical supplies, including tests, to enter. It's a catastrophe waiting to happen.

After 13 years of conflict and blockade, Palestinians in Gaza face a severe shortage of resources and medical personnel. Health officials warn that containment and treatment under the Israeli blockade will be nearly impossible.

Together we are demanding that Parliament call on Israel to end the blockade NOW, before more life is needlessly lost.

The people of Gaza have for too long been abandoned by the international community, and the UK has a particular responsibility to act.  This petition calls on the UK government to confirm to us that they will show leadership and stand in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Take One Action 2020 Film Festival

This year's Take One Action film festival runs from 16th-27th September, with tickets on sale on a "pay what you can" basis.

Take One Action nurtures communal exploration of the stories, ideas and questions at the heart of positive social change. Through film screenings, conversation and enquiry, we bring people together to inspire a fairer, more sustainable and more fulfilling world, in Scotland and beyond our borders.

From freedom of the press to prison reform, from labour rights in the garment industry to indigenous rights and climate justice our programme offers a much-needed opportunity to connect with some of our planets most pressing issues - and to (re-)connect with our power to be the change.

See the trailer here, or go direct to their website for more information at

Thursday, 13 August 2020


Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) would like to express our thanks to the emergency services, including local authority, health and transport workers who have provided, and continue to provide, support to our communities in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire during the recent heavy rain, thunder and lightning, with flooding in some areas. Including the role they continue to play in supporting and safeguarding our communities during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

In light of the news of multiple fatalities at the train derailment at Stonehaven, ATUC wishes to extend thoughts and condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the victims. 

ATUC also wishes to commend the emergency services for their quick response and professional handling of the incident. 

Issued by the Executive Committee of ATUC.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

ATUC joins with Scottish civil society to call for sanctions against Israel

Aberdeen Trade Union Council has joined with trade unions, community groups and individuals to sign an open letter calling for sanctions against Israel for their continued oppression of the Palestinian people, compounded by their threats of further annexation of Pelstinian land.

The letter reads:

"As representatives of Scottish civil society, we are extremely concerned for the fate of the Palestinian people who have suffered under Israeli occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid for decades. Despite the numerous declarations and resolutions of international bodies such as the United Nations which uphold Palestinian rights including the right of return to their homes and properties from which they have been displaced, no concrete actions have been taken to ensure the state of Israel ends its violations of Palestinian rights.

Instead we witness silence and ever-increasing complicity from our governments, institutions and corporations. In Scotland, our local authority pension funds continue to invest in some companies that arm Israel and in others those that directly sustain Israel’s illegal occupation, such as Bank Hapoalim. Meanwhile, our governments and senior politicians join with coordinated attempts to silence campaigners who are responding to the call from Palestinian workers and organisations from across civil society to boycott, divest from and sanction (BDS) the State of Israel and companies that are profiting from its breaches in international law.

Monday, 6 July 2020

In the line of duty - Unite senior organiser Davy Kettyles aims to raise cash for the NHS – with a song

Davy Kettyles
 Davy Kettyles is well known to ATUC delegates as he attended our St Andrew's Day rally a few years ago and the international brigade commemoration in Aberdeen earlier this year where he played and sung some of the powerful and moving songs he writes.

Davy has now written a song about the Coronavirus, "No tears at your grave" which is going on sale to raise money for the charity Asks for Masks.

Please go on and buy the digital track for a very good cause.

Want to download the single? Here’s how you can

This is how it came about:

It’s rare for Unite Ireland senior regional organiser Davy Kettyles to watch breakfast TV – he normally listens to Today on Radio 4. But on one fine May morning, Belfast-based Davy, for no apparent reason, tuned into BBC TV’s Breakfast programme – and was surprised to see his old friend actor Adrian Dunbar, aka Superintendent Hastings as BBC’s Line of Duty fans know him – asking viewers to support the NHS-fund raising charity Asks for Masks.

Adrian was promoting a short spoof Line of Duty video promoting the charity – and Davy, who has worked with Unite NHS members and care workers – wanted to help.

“It was serendipity,” Davy says. “Adrian and I grew up on the same estate in Enniskillen and it just so happened I’d written a song about the Coronavirus, No tears at your grave.”

Friday, 3 July 2020

Join the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre - lest we forget

Hasan Hasanovic

Next week marks the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, which saw the killing of 8000 Bosnian Muslims. Commemorations will take place around the world to mark this anniversary, a reminder of how quickly division and prejudice can turn into killing and genocide.  The lessons of the past must not be forgotten. 

ATUC is urging all our delegates and affiliates to join the commemoration organised by Interfaith Scotland in partnership with Remembering Srebrenica Scotland. This will be an online engagement event on 8 July 2020 at 4 pm on the 25th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide. The guest speaker will be the survivor and acclaimed author, Hasan Hasanovic.
Hasan was 19 when the town of Srebrenica fell to Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995. He endured a 100 kilometre march through hostile terrain to escape the massacre that took the lives of around 8000 Muslim men and boys, including his brother and father. 

‘I want to speak to people and share my story because my heart speaks.  And now, finally someone is listening’

Contact to register and receive joining instructions or alternatively sign up with our Google form

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Aberdeen Trades Union Council Executive Committee Statement on the UK Freedom Movement

Aberdeen Trades Union Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the UK Freedom Movement. The UK Freedom Movement is aiming at holding a number of ‘anti-lockdown protests’ masked as social gatherings, including in Aberdeen. 

ATUC is deeply concerned about the possible links the UK Freedom Movement has to the extreme right, with possible links to Jayda Fransen, former Deputy Leader of Britain First, alongside former British National Party leader Nick Griffin and Tommy Robinson also voicing their support. 

ATUC urges members of the public to not attend these events, instead heed the advice from the Scottish Government to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

ATUC calls on Grampian Police, and Police Scotland in general, to investigate the organisers of these events for possible links to the far right and other organisations putting public health in danger during this crisis.

Aberdeen Trades Union Council Executive Committee