Saturday 27 April 2019

Aberdeen Trades Union Council delegates to the fore at STUC Congress

Kathleen Kennedy
Aberdeen Trades Union Council delegates were all in action at the 122nd STUC Congress in Dundee from 15th to 17th April.

The ATUC had submitted three motions - on meaningful disability statistics, on additional support for learning needs in schools and on climate change resilience.

Delegates also submitted two emergency motions on helicopter safety and the Kurdish hunger strikers.

Kathleen Kennedy seconded a composite motion that included the ATUC motion on disability statistics.

Kathleen told Congress it’s time to make employers accountable for their treatment of disabled workers.

“We must encourage employers in both the public and the private sector to engage with the voluntary publication of statistics.

“But that’s not good enough. We also need to lobby the government to make it compulsory for employers to publish these statistics and we need to monitor them to make sure that Scottish workplaces are fairer places for disabled people.”

Kathleen later  lent her voice to a Musicians Union call for accessible venues for artists as well as audiences.

Tyrinne Rutherford
Delegation leader, Tyrinne Rutherford seconded the composite on Additional Support for Learning needs in schools which incorporated the ATUC motion.

He called for proper funding and resources to make sure that all children can attain their potential in schools.

Earlier he had supported a call for Scottish Government action to support those with autism to contribute fully in the workplace and in society.

A number of Just Transition motions were debated at Congress on Wednesday morning, including the ATUC motion. These were then remitted in favour of a General Council Statement undertaking to take forward action against climate change at the same time as ensuring that any jobs under threat are replaced by good quality unionised jobs.

Tyrinne Rutherford moved the ATUC motion before accepting remission.

Kathleen Kennedy went to the podium to formally move the ATUC emergency motion on the Kurdish hunger strikers.

UNISON's Stephen Smellie seconded the motion and thanked Aberdeen Trades Union Council for bringing it to Congress. 

The STUC will highlight the plight of the hunger strikers to all member unions calling for solidarity action. The hunger strikers are taking action to call for an end to the isolation in a Turkish prison of the Kurdish political leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

The STUC, as a result of our motion, will also call for action against Turkey unless it addresses human rights abuses in relation to Ocalan and other political prisoners.

On the final day of Congress, Scott Sutherland moved an emergency composite, which included an emergency motion on Offshore Helicopter Safety calling for a full public enquiry into the 33 lives lost in the North Sea since April 2009. 

Scott gave a moving speech calling for justice for the lives lost and the assurance  that only a full public enquiry can give that this will not happen again.

This was a very positive Congress for the ATUC with all our motions approved apart from the Climate Change motion which was remitted and will form part of an angoing programme of work by the STUC.

Thanks to the three delegates to Congress who did ATUC proud.