Friday 30 April 2021

Come along to the ATUC May Day online rally and support workers' rights and international solidarity

Please join us at our Aberdeen Trades Union Council online May Day event on Saturday 1st May to celebrate International Workers' Day.

ATUC is joining in with Aberdeen Social Centre and our May Day online rally will take place from 12-1pm with the Social Centre's Radical Cafe continuing the May Day theme from 1-2pm.

You can join the Zoom Meeting here

The ATUC event will be chaired by Aberdeenshire UNISON's Kate Ramsden, whilst the ASC event will be hosted by Fiona Napier of SEPA UNISON. There will be a range of speakers from trade unions, focussing on international solidarity and workers' rights in a time of Covid, alongside political poetry from Tommy Campbell and music from Davy Kettyles.

Find out more here

Tuesday 27 April 2021


Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) will commemorate the annual International Workers’Memorial Day on Wednesday 28 April at 11:50 for a small, socially distanced service in Persley Walled Gardens, Bridge of Don.

A small number of representatives from affiliated unions will gather at the workers’ memorial to remember all those who have lost their lives, been injured or made ill at their work. The theme, as always, will be to ‘remember the dead, fight for the living.’

Graeme Farquhar, ATUC President said, “This will be a particularly poignant event this year
after fourteen months of the Covid pandemic where so many have lost their lives, many of them
through their work.

“Countless others have been made ill, with many suffering the effects of Long Covid which
leaves them unable to return to work for a long time. We know that our black and minority ethnic colleagues have been hit particularly hard, as have our disabled colleagues.

Friday 23 April 2021

STUC Congress 2021 - Congress condemns attacks on human rights in Turkey by Erdogan government

Fiona Napier
Supporting the motion from Aberdeen Trades Union Council, STUC Congress condemned the continuing deterioration of democracy and human rights in Turkey and called for the release from prison of elected politicians, journalists and trade union activists.

It backed calls for the restoration of negotiations with Abdullah Öcalan and the PKK for a peaceful settlement for the Kurdish question in Turkey.

Delegates also condemned the invasion of northern Syria by Turkey in October 2019 and the General Council will demand the UK government ends all arms sales to Turkey and hold them accountable for war crimes committed in Syria.

Moving the motion, ATUC’s Fiona Napier told Congress that it has been heart breaking at times to hear some of the contributions over the last few days and to hear of the struggles workers have faced over the past difficult year.

“But it’s also so inspiring see and hear the energy and determination from everyone to make a difference, and it really gives hope that maybe we will see the radical changes we all want to see.”

She added that in the challenging times ahead, we must not forget comrades around the world who are fighting their own battles, especially when they ask for our help and solidarity, and thanked the STUC for the chance to bring this important motion to this year’s Congress.

Fiona condemned Turkey under Erdogan, “where we are witnessing a vicious assault on democratic freedoms and human rights, brazenly carried out in full view. The ruthless crackdown on progressive voices and activists we’ve seen over the past years is not only continuing but is actually intensifying,” slammed Fiona. 

STUC Congress 2021 - Congress backs ATUC call to send congratulations to the Shrewsbury 24

Sasha Brydon
STUC Congress backed a call from Aberdeen Trades Union Council to send congratulations to the Shrewsbury 24 on their legal victory in getting their convictions overturned.

Delegates saluted their determination to secure the justice they deserved in clearing their good names and expressed admiration for the Shrewsbury 24 and their families in never giving up to ensure the truth of their innocence was finally established,

Moving the emergency motion, ATUC secretary and delegate, Sasha Brydon, gave the  background, to the Shrewsbury 24’s 49 year campaign for justice.

He explained that a national building workers’ strike in 1972, saw 24 pickets charged with over 200 offences, with six pickets imprisoned. As a result of this they were blacklisted from their industry. According to the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign this remains “one of the most notorious anti-trade union acts of the state in recent times.”

“The convictions of the Shrewsbury pickets were recently overturned after a successful appeal, righting decades of injustice,” said Sasha, adding that sadly, a number of the Shrewsbury pickets did not live to see their conviction overturned.

Thursday 22 April 2021

STUC Congress 2021 - COP 26 must be a focus to organise against climate crisis in solidarity with all working people

Steve Gray
With COP 26, the global summit on climate change coming to Glasgow in November, Congress recognised its key strategic importance in tackling the climate crisis.

It backed a wide ranging strategy to combat climate change and to recognise that the climate crisis is a crisis of social justice, with those who have done least to cause the crisis, and who are least able to address it, facing the worst impacts.

It supported Aberdeen Trades Union Council’s call to recognise the severity of the climate emergency and to join with other partners across the trade union movement and civil society, to support the COP26 Coalition for an international Just Transition and to campaign here in Scotland for a Climate Change Emergency Act to be brought into law by the Scottish Parliament.

In supporting the composite, ATUC delegate Steve Gray told Congress that Aberdeen Trade Union Council recognises that Climate Change and the COP26 negotiations are issues for all working people.   

“The Climate Emergency is a Health and Safety issue,” warned Steve. “Because of the accelerating Climate Change impacts, workers, their families and communities face increasingly hostile living and working conditions.”

Aberdeen Trades Union Council delegates in action at STUC Congress 2021

 Aberdeen Trades Union Council was represented at this year's STUC Annual Congress online by Sasha Brydon, Fiona Napier and Steve Gray.

They joined delegates from other trade unions and trade union councils at the STUC Congress held from 19-21 April 2021.

All three delegates spoke to ATUC motions and reports of their input will follow.

Steve Gray spoke on Composite M, Climate Change and COP 26 which included ATUC's motion.

Sasha Brydon moved ATUC's emergency motion on the Shrewsbury 24.

Fiona Napier moved the ATUC motion condemning attacks on human rights in Turkey.

Monday 19 April 2021

ATUC stands united with the people of Myanmar and in solidarity with all those resisting the military coup

On 10th April, president Graeme Farquhar on behalf of Aberdeen Trades Union Council, emailed the Myanmar Embassy in London in solidarity with trades unions and other civil and human rights organisations and demanding an end to the coup and a return to democracy and respect for trade union, civil and human rights in Myanmar.

The full text of the letter is below.

H.E. Mr Kyaw Zwar Minn
Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
19A Charles Street
10 April 2021
By email.

Your Excellency,

Aberdeen Trades Union Council Opposition to the Coup in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Aberdeen Trades Union Council at its meeting on Wednesday 7 April agreed to raise our concerns with you as we are opposed to the military coup and the resulting death and injury of innocent civilians who were peacefully protesting to demand that democracy is restored.

In solidarity with the trade unions and other civil and human rights organisations in Myanmar we demand an end to the military coup and a return to democracy and respect for trade union, civil and human rights in Myanmar.

ATUC are appalled at the seizure of power by the military in Myanmar and to inform you that our organisation will do all we can to act in solidarity with and support those resisting the military to stop the coup succeeding.

We will also work with other national and international organisations in a campaign to secure the release of all those detained and bring an end to the violence and harassment of the trade unions and their members and other citizens in Myanmar.

We stand united with the people of Myanmar to ensure that the people’s vote is respected and that all those who have been democratically elected can form a legitimate government.

Yours sincerely,

Graeme Farquhar
Aberdeen Trades Union Council

Wednesday 7 April 2021

North East Scotland election hustings 15 April 2021 at 7pm

 Aberdeen Trades Union Council and the Aberdeen Social Centre invite you to attend a  joint hustings on Thursday 15th April at 6.45pm for a 7pm start.

Come along and put questions to candidates from the different parties all hoping to be elected to represent you in the Scottish Parliament.

Zoom details:

Monday 5 April 2021

Solidarity with RMT conductors striking for workplace justice

Aberdeen Trades Union Council stands in solidarity with our RMT comrades in Scotrail Abellio in their fight for workplace equality and justice over enhanced payments for rest day working.

On 4th April 2021, their second day of strike action, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;

"Our Scotrail Conductor members are standing firm and united again this morning in a fight for fairness and equality for a group of essential workers who deserve better than the abuse and contempt that has been dished out to them by their employer.

"Abellio are determined to squeeze every last penny that they can out of the dying months of this franchise and if that means kicking staff in the teeth in the process they have shown that they are prepared to do just that.

"RMT thanks the public for their support for this campaign for basic workplace justice for Scotrail staff but it's now time for the political leadership in Scotland to get off the fence and demand that Abellio play fair by their front-line workforce on the basic issue of enhanced payments for rest day working.

"RMT remains available for serious and meaningful talks. "


Friday 2 April 2021


ATUC is supporting this important event and will be joining our SSK, STUC and Trades Council comrades on the night to hear from Fayik Yagizay of HDP. Join us!

Wednesday 14th April at 7pm

To join the Zoom discussion register here 

The meeting will also be livestreamed on:

ATUC statement: Solidarity with Turkish and Kurdish sisters and brothers

Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) notes with concern the most recent attacks in Turkey on human rights protections and democratic processes. 

In recent weeks, the chief prosecutor of Turkey’s top court of appeal opened a case to close down the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), only hours after the Erdoğan-controlled parliament improperly expelled an HDP deputy. 

Then on March 19th, President Erdogan announced he was withdrawing Turkey from the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (known as the Istanbul Convention), describing it as contrary to ‘family values’. 

Aberdeen Trades Union Council condemns these recent events in the strongest possible terms. Human Rights Watch reports that ‘The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is dismantling human rights protections and democratic norms in Turkey on a scale unprecedented in the 18 years he has been in office’, and most governments around the world have so far failed to respond in any meaningful way. 

ATUC stands in solidarity with our Turkish and Kurdish sisters and brothers as they resist the actions of Erdoğan and his reactionary regime and we urge trade unionists everywhere to join us.

Thursday 1 April 2021

Deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those killed in 2009 Super Puma crash on twelfth anniversary

 Aberdeen Trades Union Council joins with Unite the union in sending our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of those killed in the Super Puma fatal accident off the NE coastline twelve years ago today.

Unite senior offshore catering steward, Issy Sutherland laid a wreath at the Johnston Gardens memorial in memory of the 14 passengers and two crew who lost their lives when their Super Puma helicopter plummeted from the sky in April 2009.

We will not forget.