Tuesday, 31 December 2019

St Andrews Day Anti-Racism / Anti-Fascism Rally 2019


More from the St Andrews Day rally - here, Doug Haywood from Aberdeen Anarchists...



Hi. I’m an activist with many groups and causes. Today I’m speaking for the Aberdeen Anarchist Group. Check us out online, we’re fun at parties.
When our group were asked, it was suggested that we try to find a female or non-binary speaker. I’m sorry to say the only person available was another old, white male.
Doug Haywood, Aberdeen Anarchists


To go some way to remedying this I’d like to give a shout out to a women. A woman who died 100 years ago. Rosa Luxembourg.

Rosa was a tireless activist, theorist, anti war campaigner and revolutionary socialist. She became one of fascism’s first victims when she was killed in 1919 by Freikorps troops, her body dumped in a Berlin canal.

Rosa lived in a time when another world really DID seem possible, it felt like it was being born after the horror of WW1. She worked tirelessly for that better world, and the Fascists cut her down.

As an Anarchist I’m fond of her most famous quote, that, “Freedom is always the freedom of the dissenter”, (a mild criticism of the limited freedom offered by some socialist traditions), but I also love her assertion that,

“The most revolutionary thing one can do is always to proclaim loudly what is happening.”

There’s a lesson there for us today.


What’s happening is that we live in a time when many politicians are happy to pander to racist, populist rhetoric. To enhance division, fear and hatred as a means to keep power and wealth in the hands of the few.

We can see it in the hostile environment policy, in the Windrush scandal, in the hysteria over a few desperate people in inflatables trying to cross the Med or the Channel. It causes tragedies like we saw last month with the horrific deaths of 31 people in the back of a refrigerated lorry.  



Rosa Luxembourg
We must reject the ugly, insular, selfishness that leads to these tragedies. OPEN THE BORDERS. We must be internationalist, or we are lost to the bigots. To quote Rosa again,

“I feel at home in the entire world, wherever there are clouds and birds and human tears”

The right are weaponising insecurity and fear, the right are breeding hate. We must stand against this. We must stand in solidarity with those the pedallers of hate would seek to marginalise and “other”.


We must stand up in our workplaces, our schools, our streets. In our homes, clubs and when we’re socialising.

We must challenge this fear and hate wherever we find it, however it rears its head.

We cannot accept or be indifferent to fear, hate, racism and the far right. We must “loudly proclaim” that they have no place in this world. Indifference is part of the problem. We must stand up.

Nae Pasaran!

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Festive greetings and best wishes for 2020

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 your continued support. In the challenging political climate of 2020, Aberdeen Trade Union Council will continue its fight for workers' rights and human rights at home and across Scotland, the UK and the world.

Monday, 23 December 2019

St Andrews Day Anti-Racism / Anti-Fascism Rally 2019



This year's rally included climate change and environmental justice as a core theme, highlighting the fact that ecological hazards and climate disasters disproportionately affect the global south – having the harshest impacts on people of color, indigenous populations and those on low incomes.
Joe Roach, Scottish youth climate striker
Joe Roach, a Scottish Youth Climate Striker addressed the rally, stressing the need for urgent action in response to the climate emergency. We don’t have a copy of his speech, unfortunately, but you can read about  the movement here climatestrike.scot.

ATUC Executive Committee member and UNISON delegate Steve Gray attended the recent STUC Conference on Climate Change and Energy, and provided the following update to the rally…
A few weeks ago I attended the STUC Conference on Climate Change and Energy which included reps from the Just Transition Commission set up by the Scottish Parliament.

The Just Transition Commission has been established for a period of 2 years to investigate how the transition to a Carbon Neutral Scotland can be achieved in a socially, economically and environmentally just way.
Comrades, as trade union reps, activists within our communities and schools we know that transitions can be far from just.

Steve Gray, UNISON
Here in the North East of Scotland we have seen a massive transition to an economy based on fossil fuels .  A transition that was far from just as was demonstrated a few years ago when the oil price dropped and thousands of oil workers were sacked.  Since then pay, terms and conditions of the oil and gas sector works has been cut by the companies.  Health and safety is being compromised.
Despite increases in profits for the companies in recent years the economy of the North East of Scotland has not recovered.

Sadly at the STUC Conference evidence was offered by trade unions that the offshore renewable industry is behaving the same way as the offshore fossil fuels companies.  The ships in the Aberdeen Bay building the offshore wind turbines are administered by the UK Government.  Travel 1.5 miles offshore and the UK Government gives the renewables and the fossil fuel companies a de-regulation.

De-regulation means companies are free to bring in workers from elsewhere with no requirement to apply UK pay rates, or UK terms and conditions.  If you are from Africa and Asia you get $3 an hour!  If you are from Central or Southern Europe 6 Euros an hour!  12 hour shifts a day for a minimum of 6 weeks are the norm.  No shore leave.  Some workers are out there for 4 months. When you get home the agent takes a 25 % cut from your wages as their fee.
Hardly a bright hope for Scotland’s future.
Supporting the importing of skilled but poorly paid workers has allowed the renewables sector to avoid the industry’s training needs.  There are no training courses for offshore renewables construction in Scotland or the rest of the UK to develop the skills of young people and fossil fuels workers seeking to work in the so called “industry of tomorrow”. 
A Just Transition requires this to change.  Training in offshore and onshore renewables jobs is needed now.  The energy sector needs to be regulated offshore to provide Fair Work.

The offshore energy industry needs to support the needs of the onshore communities not the other way round.
The Climate Emergency is hitting the coastal communities now as sea levels rise, storms intensities and frequencies increase and “weather bombs” send torrents of rain water crashing through coastal villages like Gamrie, Pennan and Portsoy.  The 2 year lifetime for the Just Transition Commission is not enough.  The onshore communities like Aberdeen need a Just Transition Government Department to deliver the socially, environmentally and economically just transition for all members of society.  Business as usual is not an option.  We need to demand a Just Transition.

    

St Andrews Day Anti-Racism / Anti-Fascism Rally 2019

More from the St Andrews Day rally - here, Tommy Campbell from Unite...

It is important that we continue to demonstrate our commitment to fight back against racism and fascism
Tommy Campbell, Unite
especially given that the far right are on the march again.

On 27th January next year sees the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz the Nazi extermination camp by the Soviet Red Army and the eventual defeat of Hitler and Mussolini in May 1945.

However there are those in power who wish to see the Soviet Red Army’s role in the defeat of Fascism re-written and if possible completely written out of the major role they played in WWll.

Its important that Fascism is still challenged when it raises its head and a credit to young people. Trade Unionists and others who are now counter protesting when the far right hold any public meetings.

Resistance to the far right is necessary as you must the follow the footsteps and  uphold the principled stand  by others in the past who have fought Fascism in Spain and during WWll. 

No Pasaran !!!



Tommy concluded by reading the following  poems;


An excerpt from 'For the hearing of the tale, For the future of the wish – Resistance in Nazi Concentration Camps' by the late Hilda Meers…
At the cut edge of a chain of circumstance
In a prison yard, here a man risks death-by-beating
To pick a daisy for his cell mate, who can’t walk.
In the gruesome dark of the camps, sparks flare.
Shared bread, light from hope that glimmers on, undimmed
There’s one who unsuspected sprinkles petrol over the roof
At his comrades’ signal, a new bright flame
Consumes the Nazi crematorium as prisoners rebel.

The dead call us in harsh voices – Listen,
Buried tales tell of what we strove to do,
Men, children, women, to save each other
And peoples of the world… including you.

Strange Fruit by Abel Meeropol (pseudonym: Lewis Allan)

Southern trees bear a strange fruit, 
blood on the leaves and blood at the root, 
black body swinging in the Southern breeze, 
strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South, 
the bulging eyes and the twisted mouth, 
scent of magnolia, sweet and fresh, 
and the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck, 
for the rain to gather, for the wind to suck, 
for the sun to rot, for a tree to drop, 
here is a strange and bitter crop.


Granite City Heroes (about the International Brigaders, and others who continue to fight back against Fascism in Aberdeen) by Tommy Campbell


Working-class heroes, so strong; so proud

your  ideals keep us fighting, shouting aloud

whilst we campaign for justice, your hopes  see us through

in this time of peace in Aberdeen, paid for by you.



Your voices still echo, in the old Castlegate

where you challenged the fascists and  spoke out against  Hate

with your thoughts for the future and a better world yet to gain

the same dreams of freedom that took  you to Spain.



Your courage emboldened on an Aberdeen street

you determined your fate and accepted no defeat

humanity, so chiselled, seen sharp on your face

the photos now displayed  in so many a place.



Your flame, burning gentle, we will keep it alight

fighting the good fight, for right, against might

and the love for all others that’s the meaning of you

your example a guidance, a help to bring us through.



Your proud battle flag is there for all to see

it mirrors your conscience and  marks your bravery

shrouded in  blood and shrouded in pain

your memory lives on as you have not died in vain.



For  the campaign’s not over, as onwards we go

we are strong, proud and many, we want all to know

No Pasaran was their call and  it’s with us still

for we’re holding  that line and we always will.





Tuesday, 17 December 2019

St Andrews Day Anti-Racism/Anti-Fascism Rally 2019

Over the next few days, we are sharing speeches and messages from the Aberdeen's St Andrews Day rally. Today, Mel Poole from CWU...

My name is Mel Poole and for those that don't know me I am the Political officer for the Grampian and Shetland branch of the CWU. I would like to thank the ATUC for inviting me to speak today and to all the delegates from every union they represent. 

Before I start I would like to extend our branches support and admiration for the UCU in the action they are taking against their employer. We in the CWU stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with our comrades in the UCU. 



This St Andrews day march has the theme of anti-racism and anti-facism at its core. Both very important issues that are still unfortunately prevalent in 2019. It doesn't help when we have a government that's racist to its core from Johnson's 'watermelon smile' comment, Patel's immigration stance, and the rampant institutionalised Islamophobia in the Tory party. Rhetoric like this from people in high office only serves to embolden racists and fascists, from openly marching in our streets, to the torrents of abuse people receive online. 

It needs to stop!!! Wherever racism is encountered it needs to be called out !!! Direct action must be taken!!! The results of direct action was shown recently at the Royal Mail Delivery office in Bootle Liverpool. A manager made an alleged racist comment to one of our CWU members. Immediately the guys in that office went out on unofficial strike for seven days in support of their colleague, only going back when Royal Mail threatened legal action. This is the kind of thing the CWU is famous for. We won't stand for racism, sexism, bullying, harassment or any other form of discrimination. It's knowing what is right from what is wrong. The diversity in our union makes us stronger. Us posties are a community. 

I'm going to speak about our dispute breifly. This sense of community and togetherness was recently shown in our ballot for industrial action where 97% of members voted overwhelmingly to withdraw their labour from Royal Mail. This historic result was achieved by grassroots organising, and utilising all social media platforms inventively. The crux of our dispute is that Royal Mail will not honour a 5 year agreement that is only 2 years old and want to break up our company with the possible loss of over 20,000 jobs. They have already started with Parcelforce worldwide. 

We don't want industrial action, we don't want to lose money, we don't want this fight. But we have had enough, enough of the bullying culture that's much too prevalent in Royal Mail. Enough of the Royal Mail board and managements lack of honour and principle. Enough of corporate greed grasping for every last penny from working class sweat and toil. The rich, the powerful, the elite, think they can get away with everything. Well my union showed them. We stood up, we said enough is enough. We took the establishment on. But the establishment closed ranks and bashed the workers some more, ruling our ballot was illegal, on what I can only call the flimsiest of evidence. So one establishment judge has decided the will of 81,000 CWU members was unlawful. The CWU appealed this decision on Thursday and after 6 hours of legal argument it took 2 minutes - 2 minutes! - to uphold the decision of the previous hearing. Make of this what you will. 

So what now? I will tell you what. We go again, we rise up again. We are not going away, we are not going anywhere. The odds might be stacked against the CWU but we can stand proud. We count!! We all count and following the CWUs lead, together and as a community this is how we should all deal with all forms of racism, fascism or oppression. We all organise, we all Take them on, we all call it
out and we all never stop. The fight will be won and we will win it. Everyone of us . We are all a community. Support your postal workers, support the CWU and support each other! 




https://www.cwu.org/

Saturday, 14 December 2019

St Andrews Day Anti-Racism/Anti-Fascism Rally 2019

On Saturday 30th November, Aberdeen joined with thousands of others across Scotland taking part in the St Andrews Day weekend of anti-racism/ anti-fascism activity.

In Aberdeen trade union, community and political activists rallied at the Castlegate to the rousing tunes of the Grampian District Pipes and Drums
Grampian District Pipes and Drums 
ATUC President Sasha Brydon welcomed those who braved the cold, introducing a range of speakers, united in their messages of solidarity with all those facing discrimination and oppression.

Over the next few days, we will be sharing speeches and messages from the day, starting with Sasha's opening address...


Sasha Brydon, President of Aberdeen Trades Union Council.

We are gathered here today to reaffirm our commitment to fight all forms of racism and fight fascism wherever it rears its ugly head.
Aberdeen has a very proud history of resisting fascism, where we are standing is very significant. Here, in the 1930s, Bob Cooney and others organised to drive the British Union of Fascists out of the city for good. In 1936, a group of men from Aberdeen went to fight to defend democracy in Spain against Franco, who was supported by Hitler and Mussolini.

That may all seem like an awful long time ago, however all over the world we are seeing the rise or consolidation of distinctly right-wing and reactionary forces. In 2014 we saw the toppling – aided by  NATO and the European Union, of Ukrainian democracy to be replaced by a government that rehabilitates Nazi war criminals.
Sasha Brydon, ATUC President

In 2016 the election of Donald Trump in the United States, in 2018 the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, In 2019 we have seen the re-election of Narendra Modi in India, the rise of Boris Johnson, and Benjamin Netanyahu is doing his very best to cling to power in Israel.

Things may seem very bleak, however we have opportunities to fight back. Wherever racists seek to organise, we likewise organise and stop them before they grow. The labour movement will oppose racism wherever it is found, in the workplace, in the streets, or in the halls of parliament.



Monday, 25 November 2019

Join the St Andrew's Day Rally on Sat 30th Nov in Aberdeen Please note the march has been cancelled

Please come along and join Aberdeen Trades Union Council, trade unionists and community groups on Saturday 30th November for our annual St Andrew's Day  rally to show your opposition to racism and fascism and to call for a society that values equality and celebrates diversity.

Please note - the march has been cancelled so please assemble at the Castlegate at 12 noon, weather permitting, for a rally with a range of speakers from the trade union movement and civic society.

Refreshments will be provided the ATUC premises at 22a Adelphi after the event. In the event of poor weather the rally will be held in the ATUC premises.

All are welcome. This will be a family friendly event.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

ATUC Statement in support of Kate Ramsden


ATUC are shocked and angered to hear of the accusations of anti-semitism being made against ATUC delegate and former ATUC president Kate Ramsden. 

Kate is a life-long – and tireless – campaigner for children’s rights, equality, anti-racism and social justice. She is a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights – as is ATUC – and appears to be being accused under the controversial IHRA definition of anti-semitism, which some people are mis-using to equate criticism of Israeli government policies with anti-Jewish sentiment. 

Nothing could be further from the truth with Kate – a committed anti-racist, she is as critical of anti-semitism as she is of any other form of hatred and discrimination. Kate is always the first to speak out against any injustice, and ATUC stands solidly in support of Kate now. 

We must resist all attempts to silence those who advocate for Palestinian rights, and support all those falsely accused.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Tommy Campbell returns to his homeland to give talk at celebration of Fermanagh Trade Unionism



Tommy Campbell, Vice President of Aberdeen Trades Union Council was the guest speaker at the official opening of the exhibition, "A History of Fermanagh Trade Unionism" on Saturday 12th October 2019 at Fermanagh County Museum, Enniskillen Castle.

Tommy is the former secretary of Fermanagh Council of Trade Unions

The exhibition is the last in a series of the centenary events to acknowledge, remember and respect the massive contribution by our forefathers in organising workers in Fermanagh.

Many of the rights of workers today were hard fought for and it is only right that these struggles and campaigns are centre staged in this the centenary year.

There is an amazing collection of badges including a number of local ones, plus other artefacts supported by information boards on exhibition.

The exhibition was officially opened by Councillor Diana Armstrong, Vice-Chair of Fermanagh & Omagh District Council.

The exhibition continues until 25 January 2020..

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Call to action from the Kurdish community to defend against a Turkish invasion in North Syria

Aberdeen Trade Union Council is joining the STUC is supporting action in response to Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from North Eastern Syria, removing support from our Kurdish allies and leaving them exposed to a Turkish invasion and ethnic cleansing.  
Please see the call to action below and do what you can to support them.
Glasgow - Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan has organised a demonstration in solidarity with the Kurds, in response to the call for global action. The demo will take place on Saturday 12th October at 1.30pm at the Buchanan Street steps, Glasgow G1 2NG and is supported by the STUC.
Petition - Please sign the petition to the UK Government and Parliament to defend the Kurds and stop the Turkish military invasion of Northern Syria. At 100,000 signatures the petition will be considered for debate in parliament, so it’s important to share it as widely as you can.
Early Day Motion - We ask that MPs sign the Early Day Motion 2772. Please encourage your MP to support. https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/53338/united-states-withdrawal-of-suport-from-kurdish-allies

Sunday, 14 July 2019

ATUC endorses call from Palestinian civil society to reject IHRA working definition of anti-semitism



In 2018, Palestinian civil society issued a call (1) urging the UK Labour Party and trade unions to reject the IHRA working definition of antisemitism which seeks to conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel.
The examples used in this non-legally binding definition are increasingly (2) being used to silence criticism of Israeli policies that clearly violate Palestinian human rights. Accepted by the UK Government in 2016, the definition is also being adopted by an increasing number of local authorities, universities and public bodies, despite legal opinions declaring the definition not fit for purpose (3,4).

At their recent delegate meeting, ATUC delegates unanimously endorsed the call to reject the IHRA definition and examples, passing the following motion:

ATUC endorses the call by Palestinian workers for trade unions to reject the IHRA definition of anti-semitism with its ‘examples’ that act to conflate anti-semitism with criticism of Israel. This definition is being used to try to criminalise the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, and activists who campaign for Palestinian rights. The 2018 report on racial harassment commissioned by Scottish Government concluded that “hostility towards a political entity” should not be considered a hate crime and that “The right to engage in legitimate political protest is fundamental in a democratic society.” Trade unionists should act to show our Palestinian comrades that we will not be deterred from calling out the crimes of the Israeli state, and the denial of Palestinian rights.



Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Statement by Aberdeen Trades Union Council in response to article on James Duncan published in History Scotland


There are many reasons why Portlethen, Aberdeenshire, can be proud of James Duncan, who was born in nearby Hillside in 1857. After serving an apprenticeship as a granite cutter, Duncan escaped from a slump in the Scottish industry by emigrating to America. There he was to become President of the Granite Cutters National Union, from which position he promoted the eight hour day and old age pensions. He was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to serve in an American delegation to Russia in a response to the communist revolution. After the First World War, he participated in the talks in Paris which, in addition to trying to secure peace, also established the International Labour Organisation to promote workers’ rights.

However within his Granite Cutters National Union, workers’ rights were not promoted for all American workers. James Duncan focused on securing contracts and favourable employment terms and conditions for white workers only.

The Aberdeen historian, Neil McLennan, has written an article in the June 2019 edition of History Scotland about James Duncan, in which he refers to the decision of the Aberdeen Trades Union Council not to fund a memorial to James Duncan, and states: “A Labour local elected member and union leaders, it appears, got cold feet when they discovered that Duncan’s own union, the granite cutters, did not accept black workers.” The Aberdeen Trades Union Council and Portlethen’s Labour Councillor Alison Evison strongly refute this statement. The decision they took was the principled one that they could not fund a memorial to James Duncan from Trades Union Council funds, when presented with a request to do so by a local historian.

Tommy Campbell (ATUC) said: “Trades Union Council funds are there to support the aims and objectives of the ATUC. These include providing services to affiliated branches on a wide range of industrial, social and community issues, improving the economic and social conditions of all working people and promoting social, cultural, educational and sports facilities for all working people. Underpinning all of this work, are clear principles of equality and diversity and anti-racism. It would not be appropriate for ATUC funds to be used to commemorate someone who did not promote these principles, especially someone who worked so successfully for change in other areas.”

Labour Councillor Alison Evison said: “Any suggestion from Neil McLennan that the decision made by the ATUC not to fund a memorial to Duncan was due to “cold feet” is a total misrepresentation. The positive contributions made by James Duncan were in fact recorded in the ATUC’s own annual publication last year. However, the funds of the organisation must be used in a focused way to promote its own aims and objectives. We are living in increasingly challenging times, and must stand fast against all signs of racism and inequality. We see much in-work poverty and child poverty in our own communities and we need to work to address this. The priority of the ATUC must be the experience of current workers and their families, rather than a memorial to someone who did not practice equality or rights for all.” 

Note: This statement has also been published in full on the History Scotland website.

Monday, 24 June 2019

STUC research on the North East economy – please give your views

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is conducting research on the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire economies and specifically the impact of austerity and oil and gas fluctuations on those living and working in the area.

Sarah Collins, STUC policy officer, is keen to speak to union members and citizens living in the area as part of this research.

Focus groups will take place the week of 8th July. If anyone would like to take part in the focus groups being held, or be interviewed as part of this research, please email Sarah on scollins@stuc.org.uk.

If you are unable to take part in the focus group, please fill in this survey (which can be anonymous)  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/workinginaberdeenshire

The STUC wants to hear your views!

We are currently particularly missing input from the following – migrant workers, young workers, unemployed; and in sectors of energy, care, distribution, tech and digital, and hospitality – but welcome submissions from across the whole of Aberdeen(shire) society. If you are living and/or working in the north east, we want to hear from you!

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Aberdeen Trades Union Council pays tribute as union stalwart, Tommy Campbell retires

Aberdeen Trades Union Council would like to add our voices to the very many wishing trade union stalwart, Tommy Campbell, a long and happy retirement, as he leaves his role as Unite full-time officer.

Few trade unionists are "better kent" in the North East than Tommy. He has been a passionate advocate of workers' and human rights, never afraid to challenge where these are not being upheld. He has also been a long-standing member of Aberdeen Trades Union Council where he is held in affection and respect.

This Morning Star article by Conrad Landin gives the background to Tommy's trade union activism and his determination to stand up for workers' and human rights both at home and internationally.

We can only echo the sentiments expressed by Tommy's colleagues and friends, as we pay tribute to his long service to trade unionism. He will be missed by members and colleagues in Unite but we are delighted that he will be continuing as an active member of the Trades Union Council.

Best wishes Tommy,

From your friends in Aberdeen Trades Union Council.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

The Future of the North East economy – we need your views - please complete a survey

The STUC will be holding a themed focus groups in Aberdeen on 27th May as part of their research into the Aberdeen/Shire economy. 

The date and venue for the focus group is
Monday 27th May
6-8pm:  Public Sector Workers
Unite Offices, 42-44 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5TJ

Other focus groups have been CANCELLED but may be rearranged for later in June

All citizens are welcome to participate, including pensioners and trade union retired members.
 

If you would like to attend the public sector session, or would be interested in attending future sessions, please contact Sarah Collins: scollins@stuc.org.uk 

Meantime you can take part by doing a survey at
www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WorkinginAberdeenshire

Please do go on and complete the survey. It will help the research immensely. 


Friday, 17 May 2019

ATUC urges affiliates to attend Grampian Pride on 25th May

Aberdeen Trades Union Council urges all affiliates and their families to join the second annual Grampian Pride parade on the 25th May 2019 in Aberdeen.

The parade will head down Union Street from Albyn Place at 10:30am and end at the Castlegate, where there will be entertainment.

Most of our Trade Union affiliates locally are actively involved in supporting Grampian Pride, and the struggle for LGBT+ rights both here and around the world.

Sasha Brydon, ATUC President said "Grampian Pride was such an excellent and vibrant event last year, with many community groups and unions taking part, and we hope to see an even greater turnout this year."

Fiona Napier, ATUC Secretary said "The TUC have just released the results of their first major study into LGBT+ sexual harassment at work in the UK, and the findings are shocking, with 68% reporting experiencing harassment in the workplace.

"This just demonstrates why events such as Pride are necessary to challenge such prejudice and stand in solidarity with our LGBT+ community."

For more information go to the Grampian Pride website.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

May day rally calls for protection of hard won equality and human rights

The May Day rally had a focus on equalities as speakers recognised that austerity and injustice hits hardest the very people who already suffer discrimination because of difference, be it in this country or across the world.

ATUC President, Sasha Brydon chaired the rally and opened with a call for justice which must be fought for every day, not just on the 1st May.
 
"We must resolutely reject attacks on our very humanity by governments and capitalists both at home and abroad," said Sasha.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Kevin Hutchens pays May Day tribute to "Super Tommy" Campbell

Kevin Hutchens
ATUC consultative member, Kevin Hutchens spoke on behalf of Aberdeen Trades Union Council at the May Day Rally.

He began by paying tribute in a humorous poem, to long term Unite Regional Officer and ATUC stalwart as he heads into retirement at the end of May.

Kevin said, “Some of you will know that Tommy Campbell is retiring as a full time union officer this month, what you may not know is that the toffs have heard about this and are thinking of celebrating.

“So imagine the scene as they start to celebrate;-

"Let’s get out the champers, Tommy Campbell no longer a threat, bring out the staff tips we've requisitioned for the good of our good company, namely ourselves wott,wott, and let’s get a new roller.

Let’s deduct for uniforms and take wages below the national minimum wage and reward ourselves with a jolly good bonus ,wott,wott. After all us poor little rich people have had it really difficult with TC keeping an eye on us. Now’s the time to celebrate ".

But all of a sudden, a sound like a rocket fills the air. Is it a bird, is it a plane, no, it’s Super Tommy in his new role as a retired Unite delegate to Aberdeen TUC, acting as an ambassador for workers’ rights, sweeping through the air.