Saturday 23 December 2017


The next meeting of Aberdeen Trades Union Council will be on Wednesday 10 January 2018 at 1900 hours (which is 2nd Wednesday due to the holidays!) at ATUC premises at 22A Adelphi Aberdeen

Where we continue to look forward and plan the coming year which our 150 anniversary year - which we are delighted to be celebrating

We hope as many Delegates as possible make it along


Seasons Greetings to all from ATUC Officers, Delegates and Affiliates.

Have a good Christmas, a great New Year, a happy holiday and be ready for the challenges that 2018 will no doubt bring. Best wishes to all our union members providing essential services over the Festive period.

2018 will be a exciting year for the ATUC when we celebrate our 150 anniversary which we hope you will take part in

Thanks to everyone who has supported the ATUC in the past year and we look forward to continuing these partnerships and collaborations in the new year.

Saturday 2 December 2017

Come along and hear Shir Hever on the privatisation of Israeli security

Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign is hosting Israeli economist Shir Hever in Aberdeen on Thursday 7 Dec, 7 pm: UNITE offices, 43-44 King Street, AB24 5TJ

Shir Hever is speaking across Scotland about his new book that analyses the impact of Palestinian resistance on Israeli occupation and U.S. military aid. He shows how the Israeli security elites turn violence into a commodity. This is highly relevant here in Scotland as Israeli hyper-surveillance systems (NICE Safe Cities Solutions) are piloted in Glasgow.

SPSC believes it's crucial not just to get angry at Israel's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people but to take effective, collective action based on an understanding of the forces at work in the Middle East, Washington and Europe. That's why they bring experts in their fields to sustain an informed conversation in Scotland on Palestine.

Shir Hever is an economic researcher based at the Alternative Information Centre in Jerusalem. He is the author of The Privatisation of Israeli Security (Pluto, 2017) and The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation (Pluto, 2010).

Between 1994-2014, Israel’s security service was transformed, becoming one of the most extreme examples of privatised security in the world. This book is an investigation into this period and the conditions that created ‘Occupation Inc.’: the institution of a private military-security-industrial complex. 

Saturday 25 November 2017

St Andrew's Day Rally: It May Be Cold Weather, But It's a Warm Message of Solidarity

St Andrew's Day rally speakers. A cold day, but a warm message of solidarity.
Posted by Aberdeen Trades Union Council on Saturday, 25 November 2017
It was a chilly November day for this year's St Andrew's day rally in Aberdeen, organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council, but nevertheless we had a good turnout of people to support the event and to hear the speakers.

Regrettably we had been unable to start the rally with our usual march from St Nicholas Kirk, due to the prohibitive costs (in the region of £3,000!) of gaining a road closure order and therefore this year we only had the rally at Castlegate. We will investigate what could be done for next year to allow us to reinstate the march.

Nevertheless, this years national theme of No Racism: Educate, Agitate, Organise allowed us to hear from a variety of speakers, including Kate Ramsden (UNISON), Tommy Campbell (Unite), Lewis Macdonald MSP, and Fiona Napier (SPSC), who all took the microphone to denounce racism and promote equality, fairness, and justice for all citizens of Scotland.

We also gave a live Facebook broadcast of the speakers this year, so you can hear what they had to say in the video on the left. 💓

Friday 24 November 2017

Kathleen speaks out at the STUC disabled workers conference

Kathleen Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy, Vice President had a busy time as she represented the ATUC at the STUC disabled workers’ conference in November.

As well as moving the ATUC motion  Kathleen spoke in three other debates.

She said, “It was a sheer delight to be there participating on behalf of the North East of Scotland.

“Throughout the conference, there was a lot of enthusiasm that was infectious and you could see how everyone was willing to take part and encouraged each other to do so.

“As disability and work related issues is one of my specialist areas I was determined to take part.”

The ATUC motion called on the STUC to look at giving additional speaking time to people with communication disabilities at STUC conferences and to encourage other affiliated unions to do this also.

Kathleen said, “This is something that I am very passionate about as I have noticed in many conferences I have attended that I am sometimes the only person or one of only a few people with a communication disability speaking. I felt it was very important that we encourage and enable more people with communication disabilities to feel able to take part.”

The motion was approved and was put to the STUC Disabled Workers Committee to implement.

Friday 10 November 2017

Join us for the St Andrew's Day Rally on 25th November at 12 noon in the Castlegate, Aberdeen

Please come along to the Aberdeen's St Andrew's Day Rally on Saturday 25th November 2017 at 12 noon in the Castlegate.

Please note that there will be no march this year due to prohibitive cost.

Organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council, this year's St Andrew's Day event will once again celebrate the diversity of the North East of Scotland. It will call on us all to "Educate, Agitate and Organise" to bring an end to racism and fascism and to fight for equality and social justice for all.

ATUC joint president, Kevin Hutchens said, "We would like as many people as possible to join us for this rally to give a clear message that we still keep alive the proud history of the North East of Scotland of fighting fascism and racism wherever it rears its ugly head.

"We will hear from a range of speakers from community groups and local politicians, all giving this same message. Please come along."

Thursday 9 November 2017

ATUC members congratulate Kathleen on her election to the STUC Disabled Workers' Committee and Congress

Aberdeen Trade Union Council vice-president, Kathleen Kennedy has been elected unopposed onto the STUC Disabled Workers' Committee and to represent them at the STUC Annual Congress.

Kevin Hutchens, joint president said, "Kathleen was nominated by the ATUC to these roles and we are delighted with her success.

"Congratulations have flooded in from ATUC members and we know that Kathleen will do a great job representing the ATUC and disabled members in Scotland.

"We send Kathleen our very best wishes in these roles."

Saturday 28 October 2017


You are warmly invited to attend an evening to honour Aberdeen's International Brigaders on November 24, 2017 at 6.45pm in Aberdeen Town House Council Chambers.  

This will be followed by Music from 9pm at The Rusty Nail, 67 Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen.

The programme for the evening is as follows:

6.45pm Teas & Coffee

7pm Introduction by Tommy Campbell, Chair of Aberdeen 15th International Brigade Committee and welcome from the  Lord Provost

7.15 pm Presentation by Nina Londragan on the Aberdeen International Brigaders and their Connections to the First and Second World Wars as well as the Spanish Civil War followed by Question & Answers.

8pm Songs & Poems.

Please let Tommy Campbell know if you are planning to get along to either or both of these events.

Next ATUC Delegates meeting on Wednesday 1st November 2017 at 7.30pm

The next ATUC Delegates meeting will be held on Wednesday 1 November 2017 at 7.30pm within the ATUC premises at 22A Adelphi Aberdeen. 

As the 150th Anniversary of the ATUC in 2018 comes ever closer, this will be a key agenda item. This years St Andrews Day march and rally will also be on the Agenda.. 

We hope as many Delegates as possible can make it along.

Friday 1 September 2017

Next ATUC Delegates meeting on Wednesday 6 September 2017 at 7.30pm

The next ATUC Delegates meeting will be held on Wednesday 6 September 2017 at 7.30pm within the ATUC premises at 22A Adelphi Aberdeen. 

This is the first meeting after the summer recess with the 150th Anniversary events, Annual Report 2017, STUC 2018 and this years St Andrews Day march and rally to discuss. 

We hope as many Delegates as possible can make it along. 

There is also an Executive Committee meeting at the same venue at 6.45pm.

Sunday 13 August 2017

Balfour's Shadow - come along in 16th August and hear David Cronin talk about his book

Please get along to this important event to mark the centenary of Balfour, on Wednesday 16th August at 7-9pm in the Unite Offices,  42-44 King Street, Aberdeen. The event is co-hosted by Scottish PSC, CND Aberdeen, Aberdeen Trades Union Council, and Aberdeen Student Palestine Society. 

This is a great opportunity to hear Journalist David Cronin speaking about his book, ‘Balfour's Shadow A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel’, the history of the British government’s involvement in the Zionist project, from the Balfour Declaration in 1917 to the present day. 

It promises to be an interesting and thought-provoking event. 

Click here for more information

Saturday 29 July 2017

Invitation to the Hiroshima Memorial Day ceremony in Aberdeen on 6th August

The Hiroshima Memorial Day ceremony in Aberdeen will be held on  Sun 6th August at 12pm in Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen.
Organised by Aberdeen Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), all are welcome to attend.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony is held each year on August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Wednesday 26 July 2017

ATUC congratulates UNISON on landmark court victory as tribunal fees scrapped

Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) has welcomed UNISON's landmark court victory against the government this morning which means that employment tribunal fees will be scrapped. 

The Supreme Court – the UK’s highest court – has unanimously ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees four years ago.

From today, anyone who has been treated illegally or unfairly at work will no longer have to pay to take their employers to court – as a direct result of UNISON’s legal challenge.

 The government will also have to refund more than £27m to the thousands of people charged for taking claims to tribunals  since July 2013, when fees were introduced by then Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling.

Kevin Hutchens, joint president of Aberdeen TUC stated "This is a great victory for justice and for workers rights. Clearly the case has been won for basic human rights to be respected.

"True justice should be the right of all regardless of financial status. UNISON is to be congratulated on this crucial success for trade union rights, and never again should barriers such as fees be created".

 Read the full story here

Thursday 20 July 2017

Get along to the Aberdeen Mela on 30th July and celebrate the rich diversity of the North East of Scotland

#OneWorldDay The annual Aberdeen Mela - One World Day, will take place Sunday 30th July 2017 from 12-8pm in Westburn Park.

This is a collaboration between the Aberdeen Multi-Cultural Centre and the Aberdeen International Youth Festival and will be a day of music, dance, food, song and stories that celebrates and brings together the diverse communities of Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland along with many international visitors.

This vibrant festival celebrates culture, atrs, food and family with activities to highlight the richness of many different cultural groups in the area. A day for all the family where sharing each other's lifestyles, diversity and thnicity is at the heart of One World Day.

This day of cultural diversity promises music, food, crafts, and children's activities with FREE ENTRY, with cash-only stalls, as well as performances from diverse musical acts from Scotland and abroad.

Please come along!

Sunday 9 July 2017

Happy 90th birthday Ron Webster - ATUC and Unite celebrate a great ambassador of the trade union movement

The ATUC and Unite held a celebration at the Aberdeen  Unite Office on 26th May  for Ron Webster on his 90th birthday.

Ron Webster
Ron is a long standing ATUC delegate, Labour and Trade Union activist of considerable standing within Aberdeen, Scotland and Internationally.

He represented Scottish Trades Councils for many years on the STUC General Council serving both as Vice-President and President of the STUC.

It was in his role as STUC  Vice-President that he had the pleasure of meeting Fidel Castro on a visit to Cuba.

He has also recently celebrated over 60 years Trade Union  membership having originally been a member of the NUVB (National Union of Vehicle Builders) which them merged with TGWU and in the  last few years then merged to form Unite.

The celebration for Ron was very well attended by Trade Unionists and Labour Politicians  with  glowing tributes from the City Council’s Lord Provost, Councillor Barney Crocket, Unite Regional Secretary , Pat Rafferty, and Grahame Smith,  STUC General Secretary.

Thursday 22 June 2017

Now You’re the Voices For the Dead

Please read this powerful and emotional poem writtien by our colleague Davy Kettyles from Unite.

Flanked by opulence and riches,
Stands a tombstone for the poor,
A landmark to indifference
To agony endured,
Warnings mocked and laughed at,
by the mighty of this land,
till the flames lit up the darkness,
and exposed this brigand band.

On the top floors of the tower,
Beyond firefighters reach,
Trapped, children and their mothers cried,
save us, hear them screech
all praying for a miracle, on phones some said  goodbye,
they've no angels wings to fly away,
they may get them, when they die.

As the smoke and flames engulf them,
and their last breath they inhale,
Their deaths will live in infamy
But truth it shall prevail,
hold to account the guilty,
on their shoulders place their crime.
For profit before people
Was the reason and the rhyme 

Neath the skyline of this city
Stands tall this blackened shell,
ash carried on the morning breeze
and the smoke you still can smell.
Cometh  righteous indignation,
Cry justice, - must be said
Arise arise the many,
now you’re the voices for the dead.

Davy Kettyles
June 17th  2017

Wednesday 21 June 2017

ATUC Special Meeting - Learning the lessons of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy

Aberdeen TUC  has called a special meeting with a speaker from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU)  to help us start to learn some of the lessons from the Grenfell Tower disaster.

This will take place at the UNITE office 44 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5TJ at 6.45pm on Tuesday 27th June.

All delegates are invited.

In view of the importance of the issue some key residents organisations are also to be invited.

Kevin Hutchens, Joint President, who has organised the meeting had previously sent a message of condolence, support and solidarity to all those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Kevin had said, "Aberdeen TUC sends its sympathy and support to all affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.For those killed in the tragedy we grieve, to the relatives and friends we send our condolences, to those injured we send our best wishes for recovery, to the rescue workers we send our admiration and gratitude for their bravery and to the community we send our solidarity.

"While recognising investigations have to be completed we call for justice to be done and for every effort to be made to ensure this never happens again."

Kevin added, "The meeting will start with a minutes silence as a mark of respect for all those who lost their lives in this appalling tragedy.

"I look forward to seeing you there."

Sunday 4 June 2017

Aberdeen Trade Union Council stands with the people of London and all those around the world affected by terrorist attacks.

Aberdeen Trades Union Council stands united in solidarity with the people of London,  as we did with the people of Manchester last week. We condemn last night's terrorist atrocity and all terrorist atrocities around the world, and we send our sympathy to the bereaved and best wishes for full recovery to the injured.

Terrorism will never prevail over the people, Only by working together in harmony can the forces of terror be defeated. Thanks to all the health service workers and emergency services keeping our streets safe, and to all those courageous citizens who went to the aid of those attacked.

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Aberdeen Trades Union Council stands with Manchester

The thoughts of Aberdeen Trades Union Council are with all those caught up in the terrible events in Manchester where yet again we have seen innocent people killed and injured in an appalling attack. We condemn these acts against innocents, and especially the targeting of children. We have no words.

We wish to pay tribute to all the emergency services who from all accounts were outstanding as always in extremely difficult circumstances. And to the many citizens of Manchester who rallied to support those affected, including taxi drivers from all different ethnic backgrounds, standing together as we all must against such horrific acts.

We stand in solidarity with all the people of Manchester, Britain and the world against hatred and division. Terrorism will not be allowed to divide our communities.

Sunday 21 May 2017

Congratulations to FELA on their pay victory

Aberdeen Trades Union Council congratulates the EIS Further Education Lecturer’s Association (FELA) in their pay victory with colleges, as a result of strike action by members.  

The union has now suspended all future strike action.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: "Following a further round of talks, we have reached a position where Colleges Scotland have agreed to honour the deal.

"This is a significant victory for EIS Further Education Lecturers' Association (EIS-FELA) members and it means that the employers will move immediately to implement Phase 1 of the March 2016 pay agreement."

Lecturers had taken strike action to make colleges implement the Agreement they signed up to in March 2016.  

This deal agreed equal pay for lecturers across Scotland by 2019, with the first payment due in April 2017, and set out key dates for harmonisation of “Terms & Conditions” across colleges in Scotland – all of which have been missed.  

This Agreement was a consequence of the return to national bargaining after 20 years, and which was promised in the 2011 SNP Manifesto.  Local pay bargaining had led to a £12,000 pay gap for some lecturers in the sector, with differences in terms and conditions. 

Next ATUC delegates meeting on 7th June at 22a Adelphi. All welcome

The next meeting of Aberdeen Trades Union Council will be held on Wednesday 7th June at 7.30pm in ATUC premises, 22a Adelphi, Aberdeen. 

There is the usual packed agenda including our planning for the 150th Anniversary celebrations in 2018. The STUC have indicated their support for our plans and will bring a General Council meeting to Aberdeen in the course of the year. We will also review a very successful May Day march and rally.

All delegates and associates are welcome to attend and we hope to see you there.

Sunday 14 May 2017

Register to vote NOW. Don't lose your chance to transform your future for the many not the few

This week a YouGov poll revealed that 18 - 40 year olds overwhelmingly support Labour, with Labour commanding a 15% lead over the Tories among young people.

Unfortunately 2.4 million young people are missing from the electoral register and millions more, of all ages, have never been inspired to vote. But this election is different. Now we have the chance to radically transform our society by electing a government for the many, not the elite few.

The deadline to register to vote is Monday 22nd May.
 If millions of people register in the next two weeks, then we’ll have already won.

Here’s two things you can do to make it happen:

1. Don’t lose your vote
If you’re not already registered to vote, register now. It takes just 2 minutes, and all you need is your national insurance number. Remember, if you’re a UK resident from the Republic of Ireland or a Commonwealth country you're eligible to vote. 
If you’re not sure where you’ll be on 8th June, make sure you register for a postal vote. Just fill out this form and post or email it to your Electoral Registration Office. It must reach them by 5pm on 23rd May, so make sure to send it this week.

2. Get everyone you know to register
If every single one of us gets five people to register, we’ll win this election. Do your bit, make sure your friends and family are all registered to vote by 22nd May.

Share this video on your Facebook and forward this email to five people telling them to register to make their mark on this historic election.

If millions of us rise up and have our say, we will get Jeremy into Number 10. Let’s fix this rigged system and build a society for the many, not the few.

Sunday 7 May 2017

Aberdeen May Day March calls for human rights for all and an end to poverty

Blue skies and sunshine greeted the hundreds of trade unionists, politicians and community activists as they turned out to celebrate International Workers’ Day.

The May Day March and Rally in Aberdeen,  held on Saturday 6th May, was organised by ATUC. As always, it was a colourful sight as the procession of banners and flags made its way down Union Street behind the stirring beats of the Guarana Drummers, to call for an end to poverty in one of the world's richest countries. And a celebration of the basic human and workers' rights workers and their families deserve, including decent wages and health and safety standards.

The rally in the Castlegate was co-chaired by ATUC co-Presidents, Kevin Hutchens and Tyrinne Rutherford. Kevin roused the crowds with a poem that he had written for the occasion.