Friday 21 December 2018

Festive greetings and best wishes for 2019

Aberdeen Trade Union Council wishes all our delegates, affiliates, associates and friends our best wishes for a wonderful festive season and a happy and peaceful New Year.

We particularly send greetings to those providing essential services over the holiday period.

Thanks to you all for making our 150th centenary year one to remember. 150 years on Aberdeen Trade Union Council is still going strong, fighting for workers's rights and human rights at home and across Scotland, the UK and the world.

Best wishes to you all.

Monday 3 December 2018

John Maclean commemoration 3rd Dec - speeches from the event

Fiona Napier
Speech from Fiona Napier, ATUC Secretary, welcoming those gathered and giving some background to John Maclean's visit to Aberdeen 100 years ago.

"Thank you for being here this morning! 

"We’re here today to speak about a great man, a true working class hero – Glasgow schoolteacher and revolutionary socialist – John Maclean. He was a man who campaigned all his life against the injustices he saw in society - imperialist wars, poverty, inadequate housing – a fight that saw him labelled ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’ by the British intelligence services. Dangerous, because he challenged injustice wherever he saw it, and refused to be silenced, and dangerous because he inspired others to action. 

"He publicly – and ceaselessly - opposed the First World War, encouraging working class men to defy conscription. Three times MacLean stood in court, accused of sedition and offences against the Defence of The Realm Act, and on his 3rd appearance he was sentenced to 5 years and sent to Peterhead jail. There he was subjected to brutal treatment, including a harsh regime of force-feeding. His health never recovered from the damage done to him in jail, and he died far too soon, aged only 44.

"When he was released from Peterhead prison on 3rd 1918, 100 years ago to the day, he began his train journey back to Glasgow, stopping for a time in Aberdeen, where he was greeted by comrades at the station and joined a reception organised for him by ATUC. 100 years later, we are proud to be here today, commemorating the life and works of this courageous man. John Maclean died too young, but his legacy lives on. The injustices that he fought against all his life are still with us today, and we’re here to fight them"

ATUC commemorates John Maclean's release from Peterhead jail 100 years to the day

Aberdeen Trades Union Council delegates and friends gathered at Aberdeen Railway Station today, Monday 3rd Dec to remember “the great John Maclean,” schoolteacher and revolutionary socialist.

It was 100 years to the day that our ATUC comrades gathered to welcome John Maclean as he journeyed back to Glasgow on his release from Peterhead Prison, having been jailed on a charge of sedition for opposing the first world war.

The John Maclean Memorial Band (aka Irn Broo) provided the soundtrack to the event and had the train station rocking with their renditions of the John Maclean March, the Freedom Come All Ye and the Ballad of John Maclean, as those gathered added their voices to the singing.

Friday 30 November 2018

A history of political protest in Aberdeen - come and hear all about it

Join us for an evening of radical activism on Thursday 13th December from 7pm till 8.30pm, as local historian Andrew McGregor presents a history of political protest in Aberdeen over the last two centuries.

The event is the last in a series of talks arranged to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Aberdeen Trades Union Council and will be held in John Londragan House, 22A Adelphi, Aberdeen. 

This is the second talk by Andrew - the first was extremely well received. Come along if you can.

Saturday 24 November 2018

Still we rise - marching against racism and fascism and for internationalism, freedom and justice

The ATUC St Andrew's Day March in its 150th anniversary year was a colourful sight on a grey November day as it made its way down Union Street behind the stirring tunes of the Pipe Band.

The red of Unite, the purple and green of UNISON and the bright yellow of the EIS mixed with the banners and colours of other trade unions and political and community groups.

All came together to pledge "Still we rise" to combat the scourge of racism and fascism and for internationalism, freedom and justice.

Shoppers stopped to watch and wave as the March passed by. The free Scotland wrap around edition of the Morning Star was well received by the marchers and onlookers alike.

Sunday 18 November 2018

Aberdeen Post Office under threat - please get along to the Campaign Day on 1st Dec

Aberdeen TUC stands alongside Aberdeen Labour  in support of the local branch of the CWU (Communications Workers Union) in their #SaveOurPostOffice Campaign.

We are dismayed to hear that Aberdeen's Crown Post Office has been earmarked for Privatisation. Aberdeen Labour is holding a campaigning event in St Nicholas Street, Aberdeen on 1st December from 11-2pm to protect the Post Office from unnecessary privatisation.

Please sign the Petition by clicking here - and please get along to the Aberdeen Labour Campaign Day on December 1st - to help protect the Post Office from unnecessary privatisation!

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Join us at the St Andrew's Day March and Rally in Aberdeen on 24th November

Please come along to the Annual St Andrew’s Day March and Rally taking place on Saturday 24th November 2018.

The march will gather from 11am, leaving from Rubislaw Terrace, Aberdeen at 11.30am to march to the Castlegate rally at 12noon.

The St Andrew’s Day March and Rally takes place every year with a focus on fighting racism and fascism and celebrating equality and diversity.

The theme this year is “Still we rise!” in support of internationalism, freedom and justice across the world.

Following the Rally there will be a social event with soup, sandwiches and music from 12.30 – 4pm at Parkvale FC Supporters Social Club, 16 King Street. All are welcome to attend.

This event is particularly special, as we approach the conclusion of the Aberdeen Trades Union Council’s 150th anniversary year. Please come and march for equality and diversity.

Click here for the facebook page. Please share widely.

Saturday 10 November 2018

"Historic" civic reception celebrates Aberdeen Trades Union Council's achievements across 150 years

Kathleen Kennedy cuts the cake as the Depute Provost and guests look on
In a first for the council, Aberdeenshire Depute Provost, Cllr Ron McKail, hosted a Civic Reception  to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Aberdeen Trades Union Council as our birthday year draws to a close.

Members of Aberdeen Trades Union Council, affiliated unions and organisations and councillors from opposition groups on the council attended the lunchtime event in Woodhill House on 9th November 2018.

Depute Provost Cllr McKail
Opening the event, the Depute Provost said, "It is a pleasure to host this reception, as the anniversary year comes to a close. Taking time to honour the work of the Aberdeen Trades Union Council is important.

"This event will be a visible and heartfelt way of thanking members for their hard work in continuing to keep traditions alive, and ensuring that workers’ rights are at the front of our minds.” 

Cllr McKail said that he was personally delighted because he had been a member of two trade unions over his working career - the NUM, of which his father was also a member and NASUWT, of which he remains a retired member.

"I certainly appreciated from an early age the vital importance of having a strong union to support its members," said Cllr McKail.

Saturday 3 November 2018

Aberdeenshire Provost hosts Civic Reception as our 150th anniversary year draws to a close

The Provost of Aberdeenshire Council will host a Civic Reception to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Aberdeen Trades Union Council, as our anniversary year draws to a close.

Delegates and invited guests will attend the lunchtime event on Friday 9th November 2018 in the Members' Lounge at Woodhill House. They will hear a welcome from the Lord Provost before ATUC President, Kathleen Kennedy addresses the event.

Councillor Ross Cassie will also say a few words before Councillor Alison Evison, who is also a Consultative Member of Aberdeen Trades Union Council, gives a vote of thanks.

Kathleen Kennedy
Kathleen said, "We are delighted that the Provost of Aberdeenshire is hosting this celebration of 150 years of our Trade Union Council.

"Although it is entitled, Aberdeen TUC, our affiliates include trade union branches from across the North East of Scotland, including my own union, Aberdeenshire UNISON.

"As a Trade Union Movement we are proud of our history of fighting for the rights of workers in both the City and Shire.

"The ATUC has had a wonderful anniversary year, which began with a Civic Reception hosted by Aberdeen City. We thank the Provost and Aberdeenshire Council for helping us to bring this special year to a close."

Rise Up Quines - Aberdeen's newest Festival celebrating women 12-18 Nov 2018

Please get along if you can to some of the amazing events at a brand new festival for Aberdeen, Rise Up Quines!

The Festival takes place between 12-18 November  2018 at various venues across Aberdeen.

It marks the centenary of (some) women winning the right to vote. It will seek to celebrate women in politics and leadership, past, present and future.

It includes a range of events such as workshops, panel discussions, films, exhibitions and performances, and aims to inspire women and girls to become politically engaged and lay the foundations for them to become future activists and leaders.

ATUC delegates, Fiona Napier and Kate Ramsden will facilitate a Unions Into Schools Workshop on Wed 14th November with a focus on women's rights and challenging sexual harassment and discrimination.

Find out more at the Rise Up Quines webpage. 

Click here for a Festival Programme

Sunday 7 October 2018

Living Rent is coming to Aberdeen! Get along to the first meeting on 8th November.

All Aberdeen Trade Union Council delegates, associates and friends are invited to attend the Living Rent, Aberdeen first meeting on 8th November 2018 from 7 - 8.30pm in the Unite Office, 42-44 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5TJ.

This will be an opportunity to hear about the campaign and talk about how together we can fight for tenants' rights in Aberdeen. Come along and find out how you can get involved.

The meeting will last approximately 90 minutes, and the venue is wheelchair accessible.

If you have any questions about the event, the campaign or the venue, please don't hesitate to drop the organisers a message via their Facebook page.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Launch event - Plea for Anarchist Communism

 Aberdeen Anarchist Group and Aberdeen Trade Union Council are hosting a Launch Event - A Plea for Anarchist Communism on Sunday 7th October 2-4pm in 22a Adelphi.

This launch event follows on from the recent (re)publication of the ''Plea for Anarchist Communism'' by H.H. Duncan (1893).

A member of the Aberdeen Anarchist Group along with another comrade will present the pamphlet and will talk about its political significance, the historical context surrounding its composition as well as H.H. Duncan himself. There will be a Q&A after the presentation and the pamphlet will be available for purchase on a donation basis.

All are welcome to attend.

See more on the Facebook event

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Nae Pasaran showing at the Belmont Cinema, Aberdeen Sat 15th Sept

Please get along to the Belmont Cinema on Saturday 15th September at 6pm and see Nae Pasaran - a wonderful, moving and inspiring film.

We are looking forward to welcoming both the director of the film and a special guest from the film itself. There is a 2-for-1 ticket offer that you are most welcome to use and to share with friends and family.

Use the code NAE (all caps) either in person at box office, online ( or on the phone (01224 343 500) to get 2-for-1 tickets to this screening.

With unprecedented access and research, NAE PASARAN reveals for the first time the incredible impact made by Scottish factory workers 40 years ago against one of the most repressive dictatorships of the 20th century.

40 years after their defiant stand in protest against Pinochet's Air Force in Chile, Scottish pensioners discover the dramatic consequences of their solidarity.

1974, Scotland. Bob Fulton, a Rolls-Royce engine inspector, returns to his section, upset and anxious. He's just told his colleagues that a Chilean Air Force jet engine has arrived in the factory for maintenance and he's refusing to let it go through, in protest against the recent military coup of General Pinochet.

He's seen the images of people packed into football stadiums and the Chilean Air Force jets bombing Santiago, and now one of the engines from those very same planes is right there, waiting for inspection.

He can see his supervisors approaching, he knows he's about to be fired, yet he feels a responsibility...

Thursday 23 August 2018

Aberdeen Trades Union Council opens its doors on our rich history

In its 150th anniversary year, Aberdeen Trades Union Council will welcome visitors to its premises at 22a Adelphi, Aberdeen as part of Doors Open Day on Saturday 8th September.

Visitors will be able to view art and artefacts collected over the course of our 150 year history, relating to significant historical events including the Spanish Civil War.

The doors will be open from 10am to 3pm and all are welcome to participate in this unique opportunity to witness the wealth of historical artefacts of Aberdeen's trade union and labour movement, and our activities in the current day.

Please come along if you can for what will be a fascinating look at our rich trade union history.

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Hiroshima Memorial Service. Lest we forget. All welcome to attend

The 2018 Hiroshima Memorial Service will be held on Sunday 5th August 12noon until 2pm in Union Terrace, Aberdeen. All are welcome to attend.

The Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th in 1945. It was much smaller than the Atomic bombs we have now but its effects were still devastating.

The event has been organised by Aberdeen Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). They organise an annual memorial to remember those who were killed and injured by the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the one that took place two days later in Nagasaki.

The event is also held to remind us all of the potential horrors of nuclear war. A CND peace sign will be created from flowers and there will be speeches, music and poetry.

ATUC has always supported this memorial event. Please get along if you can.

Click here for more information

Friday 20 July 2018

ATUC in action at the 121st STUC Congress

Kathleen Kennedy moving ATUC motion
The 121st STUC Congress was held in Aviemore between 16 April and 18 April 2018. ATUC had three delegates - Tyrinne Rutherford, Fiona Napier and Kathleen Kennedy as delegation leader. The delegation had a very busy successful Congress this year.

Kathleen Kennedy, delegation leader said, “I think we thoroughly enjoyed it and we worked well as team."

ATUC had submitted three motions. Two were composited and one stood alone. All were approved.

Our 3 motions were
  • Organising in Hospitality
  • End Israeli apartheid and the detention of Palestinian Children
  • Scotland is not just the Central Belt

Thursday 19 July 2018

North East says a resounding NO to Trump's "politics of hate"

Hundreds turned out at the Trump International Golf Course at Menie, Balmedie on Saturday 14th July to tell Donald Trump that his rasist, sexist and inhumane policies are not welcome in Scotland and the UK.

This protest, organised by ATUC and a range of supporting organisations, was part of a "carnival of resistance" to Trump which saw hundreds of thousands of people across the UK turn out to condemn his policies and his politics.

In the sunshine, the protest was good natured and upbeat, as protesters brought placards with hard-hitting if often amusing messages slamming Trump's attitudes and behaviours since he became president.

At the end of the day Donald Trump didn't show his face in the North East of Scotland. However the press coverage meant that he could not have failed to get the clear message that the people of the North East and the UK as a whole, oppose his politics of hate.

See more photos on our Facebook page

A just transition for Aberdeen - come along and hear how this can be achieved in the North East

ATUC is hosting an open event on a just transition for Aberdeen, on Wednesday 25th July at 7pm in the ATUC premises at 22a Adelphi, Aberdeen

The event will look at the opportunities and barriers for workers and society in north-east Scotland.

It will ask what climate change and sustainability imperatives mean for a region like north-east Scotland which relies heavily on oil and gas production for employment and economic prosperity.

Click here for the Facebook event page

The idea of a 'just transition' is gaining increasing attention in policy and governance circles as a means of ensuring that the move to a more environmentally-attuned society does not create or enhance inequalities. 

In the context of places like Aberdeen and the north-east, this has come to mean ensuring that people employed in industries such as oil and gas are given the opportunity to transition to work in activities compatible with climate change and environmental targets. 

Dr Leslie Mabon from Robert Gordon University will kick-off a discussion on what a just transition for Aberdeen might look like and how this might be achieved, by presenting examples from other regions with close relations to high-emitting industries. 

Saturday 7 July 2018

Piper's Tune by Henry Cairney in memory of Piper Alpha and all those lost

With thanks to Willie Gibson and the STUC for sending us this very powerful and brave poem, written by Henry Cairney, President of the Calgary Burns Club, and like Willie, an offshore worker in the 1980s. Henry lost friends in the Piper Alpha disaster and has penned this in memory of that tragedy and so that we never forget.

Piper's Tune

The  morning  air  was  crisp  and  clear,  todays  shift  change  was   drawing  near,  Some  worked  below,  some  rose  on  high,  both  shall  meet  soon  eye  to  eye, One  thinking  ofthe  day  ahead,  another  thinks  of going  to  bed, 
Yes  here  they  are,  men  one  and  all,  soon  some  will  live  and  some  will  fall.   

All  quiet  at  the  breakfast  table,  some  wonder  one  day  if they're  able,  To  leave  this  way  of life  for  good,  and  elevate  above  this  mood,   
Of sometimes  joy,  and  sometimes   pain,  walking  out  in  freezing  rain,   
To  trudge  down  steps  and  start  the  toil,  and  raise  this  nations  bloody  oil.   

The  day  has  past,   he  thinks  with  pride,  and  climbs  once  more  the  monsters  side,  To  mingle  with  the  off-shift  crew,  relax,  before  it  starts  anew.   
He  feeds,  showers,  and  settles  down,  to  another  night  in  this  little  town,  
If  only  he  could  see  through  time,  he'd  know,  he'll  never  reach  his  prime.   

He's   heard  the  rumble  from  below,  the  flickering  lights   give  an  eerie  glow,  And  stumbling  forward  to  the  door,  with  fear  that  strikes  him  to  the  core,  
His  cries  that  join  a  chorus  loud,  came  from  a  man  once  tall  and  proud,  
His  fate  decided,  a  final  story,  of a  life  which  could  have  reaped  more  glory.   

ATUC remembers Piper Alpha

As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, the thoughts of Aberdeen Trades Union Council are with the families and friends of the 167 people who lost their lives and with those who survived that most terrible and avoidable tragedy.

We echo the words of Unite's Pat Rafferty and his concerns that 30 years on we still have an industry that is driven increasingly by cost reductions, with corners and jobs being cut to save money.

 “We must never forget the lessons of Piper Alpha.

“But 30 years on, we should have learned something and it doesn’t look like offshore employers have.

“The Workers’ Memorial Day has a strapline: remember the dead, fight for the living. We do remember; we will never forget.

“But we must also continue the fight to make sure the industry is as safe as it can possibly be to ensure workers can return home at the end of their shift.”

We pledge, as we do every year at our Workers' Memorial Day service, to continue the fight for proper health and safety regulation and oversight, to make sure that no worker dies or is made ill at their work.

Click here to read Pat Rafferty's full piece in the P&J

Thursday 5 July 2018

Join the "Trump's a Chump" carnival of resistance on 14th July

Aberdeen Trades Union Council has joined with a number of local organisations to organise a protest against Donald Trump at his golf course on the Menie Estate during his forthcoming visit to the UK.

This event, entitled, "Trump's a Chump" will be held on 14th July as part of a "carnival of resistance" across the UK, when tens of thousands are expected to demonstrate against Trump's racist and mysogynistic policies.

Protesters will gather at Trump International Golf Links, on the Menie Estate, Balmedie at 11am until 3pm on Saturday 14th July. Please join us if you can.

Kathleen Kennedy, ATUC President said that she expected thousands to turn out across the UK "to make our voices heard."

She added, “Since Trump became president we've seen a worrying roll back of human rights, most recently in the separation of young children from their parents on the Mexico border. This comes on top of the discriminatory travel ban, his reckless announcement on Jerusalem, and harmful policies on refugees, women's rights and climate change."

“His visit to Britain will be an important opportunity to underline the importance of free speech and the right to protest, freedoms which he seems to have little time for,” added Kathleen, calling for as many people as possible to come along to add their voices to the protest.

"Bring your friends and banners and let's make some noise," urged Kathleen.

Join us for an evening of ATUC history in our 150th year, with Jurgen Thomanek

During our 150th anniversary year, ATUC is holding a number of celebratory events. This talk is one in a series looking back over ATUC’s history.

We are delighted to announce that long-time ATUC member and now consultative member, Jürgen Thomanek will present his postponed talk, An Evening of Aberdeen Trade Union Council History on Tuesday 10th July from 7-9pm in the ATUC Premises at John Londragan House, 22a Adelphi, Aberdeen.

Jürgen Thomanek (J.P. , M.Ed. , Dr. Phil. ,FRSA) is a former President of ATUC (1982-2000), and a current member of ATUC’s executive committee.

After studying at the universities of Kiel and Tübingen in Germany, Jürgen came to Aberdeen in 1966, completing a doctorate and later obtaining an M.Ed. at the University of Aberdeen, where he spent the rest of his academic career, becoming Professor of German in 1992. 

He was the first Aberdeen Association of University Teachers (AUT) delegate to Aberdeen Trades Council, and the first Aberdeen University AUT Secretary and President. He was also heavily involved in National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Union of Seamen (NUS) and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) disputes.

Join us for a fascinating evening of trade union history!

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Jurgen Thomanek

This talk has been postponed was supposed to be tonight  but will be rescheduled in the next fortnight please watch this space for more details

Monday 25 June 2018

Alison Evison, CoSLA President addresses STUC Highland and Island's Conference

Alison Evison
ATUC delegates, Fiona Napier and Steve Gray attended the STUC Highlands and Islands conference, held in the beautiful historic Inverness Town Hall. A packed day of interactive sessions, culminating in a panel of local councillors and MSP's taking questions from delegates - Conservatives, Lib Dems, Greens and Labour were all represented (no SNP as all at SNP conference in Aberdeen)

Good morning everyone

I’m delighted to be here with you, and I want to start by firstly thanking you for inviting me today.

I’m really pleased to be able to join you because it is a chance to build the kind of approach that I want COSLA to be all about- working together to understand the issues, learn from one another, and focus on solutions. 

That’s vitally important, because every day millions of people rely on the essential services that councils provide.  And that simply wouldn’t be possible without the huge dedication and hard work of the 240,000 staff that deliver them in communities across the country. 

Local Government is one of Scotland's largest employers, and roughly 1 in 10 working people are employed by a council.  As a lifelong trade union member and teacher for over 20 years, I absolutely believe in the vital importance of a properly skilled and valued workforce in getting the best possible outcomes for our communities.

Friday 15 June 2018

Aberdeen remembers Grenfell - FBU's Leon Murray - "We will not rest till we have justice."

ATUC held a moving commemoration for Grenfell in Aberdeen on 14th June, remembering the 72 men, women and children killed one year ago this evening in a terrible and preventable fire. 

It began with a statement from the Justice4Grenfell, then around 50 people lit candles and wrote messages of support to survivors, families and friends of those lost.
There were emotional speeches and poems and a clear message that we will not forget and we will fight for justice for those who died and those left behind. We thank all the speakers.

Leon Murray spoke on behalf of Fire Brigades Union. Here is the speech he made.

"I’d like to thank Aberdeen Trades Union Council for organising this event and inviting me to attend and I’d also like to thank you all for coming here to take part in what, I’m sure you will agree, has been a very moving event. It’s right that we remember what happened a year ago in this way.

None of us will ever forget what we saw on our TV screens when we woke up that morning, the shear horror of the event unfolding was impossible to comprehend. As a firefighter it was no easier to believe, no firefighter in the UK had ever dealt with a fire of that magnitude, it was a fire that could not be prepared for, it should not have been able to happen.

Once we all realised that what we witnessed was real then the questions started to be asked, and those questions remain largely unanswered. How could this have happened, how could a relatively modern building in one of the richest areas, of one of the richest cities in the world be involved in a tragedy so horrific that 72 people, 72 innocent men, women and children lost their lives?

Monday 4 June 2018

Vigil in Aberdeen to remember Grenfell one year on - please join us.

Aberdeen will join the commemorations happening in towns and cities throughout Scotland and the UK to remember Grenfell, one year on. 

A vigil, organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council, will be held in St Nicholas Square on Thursday 14th June from 6.30-7.30pm. This will be followed by short speeches and contributions.

ATUC Secretary, Fiona Napier said, "As the inquiry begins into Grenfell, and we have heard the moving testimonies from loved ones to all those who perished in the fire, it reminds us that we must never forget what happened here - a completely avoidable tragedy.

"We will be remembering those whose lives were lost and all their friends and relatives who were so deeply affected by the terrible events of a year ago. 

"We will be giving thanks to the emergency services who worked tirelessly, at cost to themselves, to deal with the fire and its aftermath.

"But we will also be pledging to fight to ensure that this terrible tragedy can never happen again."

For details on Facebook click here

Saturday 26 May 2018

A Fantastic Grampian Pride March and Rally!

Today saw the first Grampian Pride march down Union Street in Aberdeen which had thousands of people proudly raising their rainbow flags and enjoying the sunshine in an inspiring event by the LGBT+ community, joined by their friends and allies from all walks of life.

The parade was led by a Scottish Fire & Rescue Service engine, and had a number of brightly decorated floats, followed by loads of community groups, with drums and music all the way.

Grampian Pride 2018
Aberdeen Trades Union Council was proud to be a supporter of Grampian Pride this year, and it was fantastic to see a great representation by many different trade unions on the march, continuing the long commitment trade unions have had to promoting equality and breaking down boundaries.

A great event - and we look forward to the next one!  Go here for more photos of the event.

Posted by UNISON Aberdeen Universities Branch on Saturday, 26 May 2018

Thursday 17 May 2018

Statement from Aberdeen Trades Union Council on the massacre of Palestinian protesters in Gaza

Aberdeen Trades Union Council condemns unequivocally the massacre by the State of Israel, of Palestinian citizens exercising their right of peaceful protest.

We are outraged at the shootings and killings by the Israeli Defence Force of unarmed protesters, including many children, one as young as 8 months. There can be no justification for killing unarmed civilians and children. It is a breach of international law which shames us all and we call on the international community to hold Israel to account.

We are appalled that the US has blocked a UN call for an independent inquiry. This is another stain on the United States and the position they have taken on Palestine since Donald Trump became president.

ATUC has already condemned Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. The jubilation of those at the opening ceremony stands in shocking contrast to the scenes on the Gazan border where Israeli Defence Force snipers continued their assaults on Palestinians, murdering and injuring protesters with weapons some of which were no doubt purchased from the UK.

We note the UK Government’s condemnation of Israel’s actions but words are not enough. We demand that the UK Government immediately ceases its arms trade with Israel.

We also call on all political parties, trade unions and individuals to embrace the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, to put pressure on the Israeli government to end the oppression of Palestinians, the occupation of their lands and to give Palestinian refugees the right of return.

The great Nelson Mandela said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” ATUC will continue to campaign for that freedom, for justice and for peace for the Palestinian people.

Please come along to the protest against the killings and maiming and to call for an end to Israeli war crimes. This will be held on Sunday 20th May 1-2.30pm outside Ross Thompson MP's office, 192 Holburn Street, Aberdeen. Click here for details

Please also sign this Avaaz petition Palestinian Lives Matter

Tuesday 15 May 2018

ATUC Annual Report 2017

ATUC Annual Report 2017
Aberdeen Trades Union Council is pleased to announce the publication of our Annual Report for 2017, which is now available for download from this website.

If you would like hard copies of this report to distribute within your organisations, please contact us on our Facebook page and we can arrange to get copies to you.

The year 2018 is also our 150th Anniversary year, and we'd like to give our special thanks to everyone who provides articles for the report, for our dedicated team of people who work on putting the report together, and also all the trade unions and other organisations who help to support the work of the ATUC throughout the year, and who support the production of the annual report by providing articles and adverts.

Monday 7 May 2018

May Day March and Rally - standing up for workers rights and equality in our 150th anniversary year

Hundreds turned out for the ATUC organised May Day March and Rally to celebrate International Workers Day - a true celebration of workers’ rights on the 150th anniversary of the ATUC

The sun shone and the marchers made a colourful and noisy spectacle as they paraded down Union Street to the upbeat rhythms of the wonderful Guarana Drummers.

The crowds on Union Street stopped to watch and wave as the march passed by and marchers gave out leaflets bringing greetings from the ATUC in our 150th birthday year.

At the rally, compered by ATUC President, Kathleen Kennedy, a range of speakers highlighted the importance of workers' and human rights here and around the world and called for greater equality and justice for all.

A photo at the end will send greetings from the march to our colleagues in Gaza, suffering under Israeli occupation and oppression.

You can enjoy the videos of the march and the rally below.

Posted by Aberdeen Trades Union Council on Saturday, 5 May 2018

Posted by Aberdeen Trades Union Council on Saturday, 5 May 2018

Friday 4 May 2018

Moving Workers' Memorial Day Service pledges to remember the dead, fight for the living.

A moving International Workers’ Memorial Day Service was held on Saturday 28th April  in the beautiful Persley Memorial Garden, Aberdeen.

Organised by ATUC and chaired by Donna Clark, Vice-President, the service was addressed by politicians, activists and trade union speakers in this the 30th anniversary year of the Piper Alpha disaster and ofcourse our own 150th anniversary year.

Wreaths were laind by Aberdeen City Council and by the ATUC. Welcoming those attending Donna said that no one should leave for their work never to return, but it happens all too often. The theme of this years  remembrance events is that unionised workplaces are safer workplaces.

Participants observed a two minute silence to remember all those who had died, been made ill or injured at their work.

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Please come along to the next ATUC Delegates meeting on Wednesday 2 May 2018 at 7.30pm

The next ATUC Delegates meeting will be held on Wednesday 1st May 2018 at 7.30pm within the ATUC premises at 22A Adelphi, Aberdeen.

Other agenda items will be arrangements for May Day on 5th May. There are also a number of new events as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations. The new Exec will bring you up to date on plans for these events.

The Annual Report has been published and copies were circulated at the STUC Congress to great acclaim. The meeting will hear about the Congress and the high profile of the ATUC delegates again this year.

We hope as many delegates as possible can attend this important meeting.

Join us on our May Day March and Rally in our 150th year

Aberdeen's May Day March & Rally for International Workers' Day will be held on Saturday 5th May this year.

The event is organised as always by Aberdeen Trades Union Council. Each year, people across the globe take to the streets to commemorate International Workers' Day, or May Day.

ATUC President, Kathleen Kennedy said, "In our 150th anniversary year we want to make our May Day March and Rally an event to remember.

"We are calling on trade unions, community groups, friends and families to join us with banners and placards.

"We want to give a clear message on International Workers Day that workers matter. We are the backbone of our society and should be treated with respect, decently paid and their workplaces should be safe, healthy and family friendly.

"We shouldn't need to strike to defend our pensions, our pay and our terms and conditions - yet we do. Events like our May Day March show solidarity and support for our struggles."

Please gather at Rubislaw Terrace at 11.00am, to march off at 11.30am down Union Street. A rally will be held in the Castlegate from 12.15pm, with a range of speakers from trade unions, local politicians and community activists.

Sunday 22 April 2018

An introduction to economics for trade union and community activists - 9 May 2018 at 7pm

As part of its 150th Anniversary celebrations, Aberdeen Trades Union Council is supporting aseries of  talks aimed at demystifying economics. 

The first is to be held on 9 May at Aberdeen Trade Union Council, 22a Adelphi, Aberdeen.   It will be presented by Keith Paterson, Phd student at Aberdeen University and long-time trade unionist and political activist.

Please get along if you can and circulate details widely to union branches, contacts and activists. 
Drawing on the concepts of Marx, Keynes and contemporary radical economists, these talks aim to provide a critical introduction to a political economy approach to understanding the central dynamics of the economy and provide a framework for understanding how capitalism works and how crises come about.    

For trade union and community activists the aim is to provide a tool kit to question what is presented in the media and by so called experts about economic issues and provide an alternative way of examining the economy.
A major objective is to demystify orthodox economics which has been found wanting yet continues to provide the ideological justification for austerity, cuts and privatisation.

For further information, contact Keith at

Thursday 19 April 2018

Tributes at Holyrood to ATUC in our 150th year

Lewis Macdonald, MSP and Aberdeen Trades Union Council Consultative member, pays tribute to Aberdeen Trades Union Council in the year of our 150th Anniversary, as he leads his Members' Business debate on this in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 17th April 2018.

You can hear his full speech by clicking here

ATUC Vice-President Donna Clark and Executive Member Laura McDonald attended the debate in Holyrood and presented Lewis with our ATUC 150th celebratory badges and our 2017 Annual Report.

In his speech, Lewis outlined the history of Aberdeen Trades Union Council and the important role that it and its affiliates have played in the North East of Scotland.

He highlighted the important role of all Trades Union Councils across Scotland. Delegates attend the STUC Congress on the same basis as delegates from affiliated unions and Lewis explained that more ATUC delegates would have been at the debate if it didn't co-incide with Congress where the ATUC was playing a full part in those proceedings.

Lewis also brought greetings from Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard, who was unable to be in Holyrood because he too was in Aviemore addressing the STUC Congress.

Aberdeen Trades Union Council would like to express our thanks to Lewis for highlighting Aberdeen Trades Union Council in the Scottish Parliament in this our 150th year, and for all his support to the ATUC over the years as a Consultative member and our local Labour MSP.

Thank you Lewis!

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Please come along to our Workers' Memorial Day service to "Remember the dead, fight for the living."

Please join us in our 150th year at the annual Workers' Memorial Service. It will be held on Saturday 28th April in the Persley Walled Garden, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen. Please gather at 12.30pm for a service at 1pm.

Click here for A4 poster 

Click here for A5 flyer

International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) takes place all over the world on 28th April each year.

Its purpose is two-fold. Firstly it is about not forgetting those who have died, been injured, or made ill by their work. Secondly it is about ensuring that this tragic loss and suffering are used to reinvigorate the campaign for healthier and safer work.

 This year’s theme is ‘unionised workplaces are safer workplaces’. See the list of events around Scotland on the Scottish Hazards website – along with posters for each event.

ATUC Vice-President Donna Clark said, "Health and safety in our workplaces protects those at work. 

"It also protects those in the wider community. Whether it is a hospital, school or care home our elderly and vulnerable relatives, our children and our communities are also protected by measures intended to keep everyone safe from harm.

"In a year where we are still seeing people killed, injured or made ill at their work it is ever more important to come together to 'Remember the dead, fight for the living!'

"We look forward to seeing you all there"

Monday 2 April 2018

Please come on Saturday 7th April and protest the Land Day Massacre in Gaza

We are urging all our delegates, associates, supporters and their friends and families to join a protest  this Saturday 7th April 1pm to 3pm  in St Nicholas Square, Aberdeen to show your solidarity with the people of Gaza who have been victims of yet another shocking carnage perpetrated by the State of Israel. 

Seventeen Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip on Friday as Israel used massive violence against tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators who had gathered along the Gaza-Israel boundary to demand dignity, justice and freedom.
Nearly 1,500 were injured, nearly half by the Israeli soldiers shooting  live bullets at the peaceful demonstrators.
Twenty Palestinians are said to be in critical condition.
One of those killed on Friday was farmer Omar Wahid Samour, 26, who died when Israeli forces fired artillery shells at him while he was on his land, more than 700 meters from the boundary fence, in southern Gaza.
Two million people living in Gaza have been victim of a brutal siege and serial bombardments since 2006 leading to sustained devastating effects on the population including shortages of medical supplies, electricity and fuel.
Despite the outrage of the international community at this appalling situation, Israel continues its policy of human right abuses with impunity.
Sign the petition calling our Government to condemn Israel’s actions aimed deliberately at unarmed civilians and to take the necessary steps to get the UN to agree actions to end the 12-year long siege of Gaza.
Join us this  Saturday 7th April at 1pm to 3pm in St Nicholas Square, Aberdeen   to express outrage at the extra judicial killings in response to a democratic protest against an illegal siege and occupation. Join us to demand dignity, justice and freedom for our brothers and sisters in Gaza.
Speakers already confirmed are - Jonathan Russell (CND), Kate Ramsden (UNISON and ATUC Executive Committee), a Representative  from the Palestine Student Society,  Tyrine Rutherford (Unite  and ATUC delegate)

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’ Desmond Tutu