Wednesday 7 December 2022

Solidarity with Shelter workers striking for decent pay


Aberdeen Trades Union Council sent solidarity to Unite members from Shelter Scotland as delegates joined their picket line in Aberdeen. 

Shelter members were part of a national strike of Shelter members, for a decent pay rise.

Members have rejected a 3% pay offer which amounts to a huge pay cut. Shelter staff say they are struggling to afford basic necessities on their wages, with some fearful that they themselves could be made homeless without better pay.

They will take strike action over the next two weeks to force management back round the negotiating table with an improved offer.  

Monday 28 November 2022

We must stand together against racism, fascism and attempts to divide us

In her speech to the St Andrew's Day Rally, Kate Ramsden, UNISON highlights the importance of fighting racism and inequality and calls for support for UNISON's Year of Black Workers in 2023.

Greetings from UNISON Scotland and thanks so much for inviting me to speak here today.

I’m pleased to bring solidarity from my union to this St Andrew’s day rally.

Because it is so important to be constantly vigilant in the fight against racism and fascism.

And especially now, coming out of COVID and with a cost of living crisis – which is really a cost of greed crisis - when it is all too easy to demonise and blame certain groups – like migrant workers, benefits claimants, disabled people, older people and single parents.

The last couple of years have presented significant challenges for all workers.

COVID impacted on both our personal and professional lives, with many of us losing colleagues and loved ones whilst struggling to deliver services.

 All workers have experienced below inflation pay rises while prices soared. Public services continue to be underfunded and understaffed.

 Our Black colleagues have faced all of these challenges but also have to fight racism on a daily basis.

 Scotland is not immune to that sadly. But it is not just the overt racism that blights lives.

Support the Friends of St Fitticks and defend against a gross injustice

In her speech to the St Andrew's Day rally, Ishbel Shand of Friends of St Fitticks slams the threat to the last green space accessible to the poorest in the North East.

"I am here today to ask for your help in defending your fellow citizens from a gross injustice.  An unelected cabal made up of the Harbour Board, unelected officers at City Council, Scottish Enterprise and Sir Ian Wood’s ONE/ETZ company are planning to steal the last green space accessible to the poorest people in the North East.  This collusion of private interests and the political system is crony capitalism at its most sordid. 

Folk in Torry are already disadvantaged.  Their industries, fishing, ship building and repair, were lost to the oil industry.  Homes were destroyed when Shell replaced a picturesque fishing village with a major accident hazard site.  They were surrounded by landfill sites and industrial estates.  Edged by Wellington Road.  Home to two large harbours, a sewage treatment works, a gas turbine testing plant, a fishmeal factory. A 150,000 tonnes per annum incinerator is being built 500 metres from the Primary School. 

They were promised extensive environmental improvements by the Harbour Board and Aberdeen City Council in exchange for giving up Bay of Nigg.  That was in 2016.  Fast forward a few years and these two bodies were conspiring to remove Torry’s last green spaces and leave a settlement of ten and a half thousand people completely surrounded by industry.  The pandemic has shown us we need green-spaces for health and well-being.  Local health professionals have spelled out clearly what the loss of St Fittick’s Park will mean to the local community, where life expectancy is 13 years lower than in the leafier suburbs of Aberdeen, and healthy life twenty years lower.  The media has condemned the plan.  The list of organisations backing our campaign to save the park grows by the week. 

So why is this happening? 

President slams inequality and calls for fightback as he opens St Andrew's Day rally





St Andrews Day Rally - the fight against racism, fascism and discrimination and for a fairer world goes on


Trade unionists, politicians and citizens came together at this year's St Andrew's Day Rally organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council.

Held indoors in deference to the weather, those attending made the short march up the Castlegate to the Citadel to the upbeat rhythms of the Guaran Drummers, who didn't let a little North East wind and rain dampen their spirits.

ATUC President Graeme Farquhar chaired the proceedings and introduced a wide range of speakers, all highlighting the challenges ahead and recommitting to the fight against racism, fascism and discrimination in Scotland, the UK and world-wide.

Solidarity was sent to our comrades in struggle, striking for a living wage in the face of a cost-of-living crisis and climate activists recognised that the battle for just transition is part and parcel of the battle for fairness, equality and justice for all.

Click here to read Graeme's speech in full

Solidarity with striking posties

 Aberdeen TUC delegates and Unite retired members were out on the picket line at Kittybrewster depot on Friday 25 November showing their solidarity in the CWU's fight for a decent pay rise.

Royal Mail workers have had an unagreed 2% pay deal imposed on them. This is at a time when RPI inflation is running at 11.8% and when the Royal Mail has announced Group profits of £758 million and when the company is paying out many millions to private shareholders.

In a national strike ballot over pay Royal Mail CWU members voted by a 97.6% majority to take action.

ATUC stands in solidarity with the posties in their strike for fair pay and a decent pay rise.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Come along to the St Andrew's Day Rally against racism and fascism on Sat 26 November


Aberdeen Trades Union Council will hold our annual St Andrew's Day Rally against racism and fascism on Saturday 26 November.

The rally will be held from 12 noon to 1pm. It will begin in the Castlegate before moving into the Salvation Army building to hear from a packed line up of speakers, along with music and poetry.

This is a crucial year in the fight against racism and fascism. The racist UK Government immigration policy and rhetoric is only getting worse; and we face a cost of living crisis and attacks on pay that disproportionately affect Black workers. 

The continuing fight for justice for Sheku Bayoh shows us that Scotland is not immune to racism and needs our ongoing support.

Then there are the international issues. Throughout the world people are oppressed because of their race and ethnicity. We continue our fight for justice for the people of Palestine, for the Kurdish people and for the children and families in Yemen, to name but a few.

And we demand reparation for the many indigenous peoples of the Global south as part of a just transition to deal with the climate crisis.

Please join us and be part of the fight against racism and fascism and for a more just, more equal world.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Solidarity with striking posties

 Aberdeen Trades Union Council sends solidarity to the CWU in their strike action. 

ATUC delegates joined picket lines across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire today, 25 October, to stand with our brothers and sisters in struggle.

Friday 30 September 2022

Enough is Enough! Join the cost of living protest tomorrow at 11am Marischal College

Aberdeen Trades Union Council is urging all delegates, affiliates, families and friends to join the cost of living protest organised by ATUC and Peoples' Assembly on Saturday 1st October at 11am at Marischal College, Aberdeen, to demand action on the Cost of Living Crisis.

People in all parts of Aberdeen are suffering from the cost-of-living crisis - fuel poverty, food poverty, poverty pay. Families live in fear of putting heating on, and worry how much prices will have risen when they next have to go to the shops. 
Food banks have become a normal part of life. Many workers pay is falling far below rising prices. But at the same time, some major companies and individuals are seeing their wealth and profits spiral upwards.
On 1 October the energy price cap will increase again, and Aberdeen TUC, with Grampian Peoples Assembly and other organisations, is calling on people and organisations across Aberdeen to gather at 11am to 12 noon in Marischal Square. Together, we need to support each other. Together, we need to demand that politicians take action to protect people at this critical time.
There will be a few speakers from community organisations and trade unions, a little music, but also an open mic where you are invited to contribute your experiences and views.
Please come, and invite your friends, family, and members of your organisation to come too.
If you want to contact the organisers, you can email Please circulate this appeal onwards.

Monday 19 September 2022

Morning Star Conference 2 October in STUC building, Glasgow and online - please come along

The Morning Star will hold its Scottish Conference on Sunday 2nd October 2022 from 12 noon till 4pm in the STUC Building, 8 Landressy St, Bridgeton G40 1BP. You can also join online.

The Conference is entitled "The Crisis Economic, social and political. How to resolve it" with sessions on the causes of the cost of living crisis, the human consequences of the crisis and a final session on how to solve it - asserting the democratic power of the working people.

ATUC delegate, Kate Ramsden will be one of the speakers, who also include Roz Foyer, General Secretary, STUC, Ben Chacko, editor, Morning Star, Alex Gordon, President of the RMT, Mercedes Villalba, MSP and many more. The conference will be chaired by Lynn Henderson, PCS.

You can join in person or on Zoom attendance

Please come along and hear some great political debate and support the Morning Star.

Friday 19 August 2022

ATUC sends solidarity to striking rail workers

 Aberdeen trades union council sends solidarity and support to our colleagues in the RMT union, striking for better pay and for safe working practices on our railways.

RMT members took action on Thursday 18 August and will strike again tomorrow 20th August. 

There will be picket lines in Aberdeen tomorrow from 8 till 10am then again from 1 till 3pm. Please go along and support the strikers if you can.

Unite retired member and ATUC delegate, Tommy Campbell, who joined the picket line yesterday said: "No one knows better than us in the North East of Scotland the importance of safety on the railways.

"Only last week we mourned the second anniversary of the Carmont rail tragedy when two of our trade union colleagues and a passenger lost their lives as a result of failures to keep the railway safe.

"We stand in complete solidarity with out comrades in the RMT and with all other trade unions taking action for decent inflation proof pay rises and to ensure that services can be safely delivered to our citizens."

Friday 12 August 2022

ATUC joins RMT in remembering the Carmont rail tragedy

Aberdeen Trades Union Council joins RMT, in remembering Brett McCullough, Donald Dinnie, and Christopher Stuchbury
on the second anniversary of the Carmont derailment.

Our thoughts are with their families and everyone on the railway affected by this tragedy.

We do not forget.

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Hiroshima Day - join the memorial event on 6 Aug and give peace a chance

 Aberdeen will commemorate Hiroshima Day,  on 6th August from 2-4pm outside Marischal College. 

All ATUC affiliates, delegates, families and friends are invited to attend.

Click here for the Facebook event

Organised by CND North East, the event is entitled "Give Peace a Chance".

Hiroshima Day is observed yearly on August 6 in memory of the fateful day and of those who lost their lives. It is also held to promote peace politics against war.

Monday 1 August 2022

ATUC - standing in solidarity with striking workers

 Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) has continued to show solidarity with our colleagues in RMT and the CWU in their strikes for fair pay and safe working conditions.

The ATUC banner has been on every picket line in Aberdeen, standing alongside our striking comrades in RMT and CWU. 

With thanks to those ATUC delegates out on the picket line on behalf of every delegate to ATUC. 

Also see ATUC delegate and Unite retired member Tommy Campbell speaking to the media and making the case for strike action and better pay for all workers.

We stand in solidarity with you all.

Friday 15 July 2022

ATUC sends solidarity to CWU in their fight for decent pay

Delegates of Aberdeen Trades Union Council have been out on the picket line in solidarity with CWU as they took a third day of strike action over their ongoing pay dispute on Thursday 14th of July.

Alan Robertson, CWU area rep for Supply Chain said: "Since the last strike day Post Office Limited has increased its pay offer for the year 22/23, but still nothing for 21/22, which our dispute concerns. 

"Our members were key workers during the pandemic, and continued to provide a service through-out. Post Office Limited continued to make a profit, but refuses to recognise the hard work of our members during the pandemic."

ATUC sends its support and solidarity to comrades in CWU in their fight for decent pay.

Wednesday 6 July 2022

Aberdeen Trades Union Council remembers Piper Alpha

On the 34th anniversary of the Piper Alpha fatal accident, Aberdeen Trades Union Council remembers the 167 workers who died and pledges to continue our work to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again. 

ATUC President Graeme Farquhar said, "We are calling on all our affiliates and delegates to take a little time to remember those who died 34 years ago.

"We  will always share our thoughts with  the families, work colleagues  and friends of the 167 workers who were tragically killed on 6th July 1988."

Graeme continued  “The UK offshore oil and gas industry is driven  by cost reductions with the sole objective to increase the profits of the offshore oil and gas employers.

"The Trade Unions and offshore workers know full well that the Piper Alpha fatal accident could have been avoided by strict adherence to stringent Health and Safety measures. However the accident happened because of cost-driven decisions to maintain and increase profits."

Graeme warned, "When costs to the employers and profit increases for the shareholders become more important than workers safety then the Piper Alpha fatal accident shows that it's workers and their families who pay the ultimate price."

"Aberdeen Trades Union Council continues to support all the offshore based Trade Unions who organise, campaign and fightback to make sure the offshore oil and gas industry has  a safe working environment  so that all offshore workers can return home safely to their families and friends."

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Solidarity with RMT in their strike for decent pay and against cuts to the rail network


Aberdeen Trades Union Council sends our solidarity to the members of RMT in their strike action to demand a decent pay rise.

See statement from RMT below.

RMT statement on the forthcoming Rail and Tube strikes

In the past few weeks, discussions have been taking place at senior level with Network Rail, Train Operators and London Underground.

Despite the best efforts of our negotiators no viable settlements to the disputes have been created.

It has to be re-stated that the source of these disputes is the decision by the Tory Government to cut £4bn of funding from our transport systems - £2bn from national rail and £2bn from Transport for London.

As a result of this transport austerity imposed by the Government, the employing companies have taken decisions to:

  • Savage the Railway Pension Scheme and the TFL scheme, cutting benefits, making staff work longer, and poorer in retirement, while paying increased contributions.
  • Thousands of job cuts across the rail networks.
  • Attacking terms, conditions and working practices in a form of internal fire and re-hire.
  • Cutting real pay for most of our members through lengthy pay freezes and below RPI inflation pay proposals.

In the face of this massive attack on our people the RMT cannot be passive.

Sunday 19 June 2022

ATUC protests cost of living crisis and demands rich pay their fair share

Aberdeen Trades Union Council delegates were out on the streets protesting cost of living rises that are crippling working people and forcing the poorest to choose between eating and heating their homes.

Whilst president Graeme Farquhar took the ATUC banner to London and joined Kate Ramsden, Kathleen Kennedy, Andrew Burns and 100,000 other marchers on the TUC "We demand better" march and rally, other delegates were at a stall in St Nicholas Square, Aberdeen, making the arguments locally for action to deal with the crisis.

Graeme said, "It was an uplifting event and great to march with so many like minded people.

"It was also great to see so many women in the leadership of our union movement."

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Solidarity with CWU in their strike action for decent pay

Aberdeen Trades Union Council sends solidarity to our comrades in the Communications Workers' Union who are taking strike action on Monday 6th June to demand a decent pay rise.

The strike is an absolute last resort and is necessary as a consequence of Post Office’s ill-conceived policy on pay. CWU members delivered a 97.3% YES vote for strike action on a turnout of 70.2% due to the pay freeze. This means there is a clear mandate for strike action.

Post Office has a significant group of workers (Postal Assistants) earning less than £24k per annum and if they were strictly following Government’s Public Sector pay policy, these workers should have received at least a £250 pay rise – they have not.

On top of the pay freeze for 2021/22, Post Office has offered an insulting 2.5% pay increase plus a £500 one-off payment (pro-rata for part-timers) for 2022/23.

Despite repeated attempts by the Union to instigate meaningful negotiations since the YES vote was declared on 28th March, Post Office has steadfastly refused to get around the bargaining table. They are putting their heads in the sand hoping this dispute will go away.

Monday 30 May 2022

Please attend SPSC event on 4 June and hear about life in Palestine and why we must support BDS


Aberdeen Trades Union Council is delighted to sponsor Scottish Palestine Solidarity Aberdeen's event on Saturday 4th June from 11-1pm in our ATUC premises in Adelphi.

We are urging all delegates, family and friends to go along.

The event will consider life in Palestine today, under oppression and occupation, especially in light of Amnesty International's report declaring Israel to be an apartheid state, and the call from civil society and trade unions in Palestine for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in support of Palestinian freedom and justice.

Tommy Campbell, ATUC delegate and SPSC member said: "We're excited for our first in person event for over two years. We'll have three speakers, discussion and authentic Palestinian food to finish. 

It promises to be a great event. Please come along."

Online and in-person tickets are available. You can register on Eventbrite. Click HERE to book your place.

The event is free to attend, but donations towards the campaign and event running costs are welcome.

Sunday 15 May 2022

Workers march for peace and prosperity at excellent May Day event


The ATUC March and rally in Aberdeen on 7th May, celebrating international workers’ day or May Day was our first in person event since the start of the Covid pandemic.

Led by the rousing tunes of a pipe band, the marchers from trade unions, political parties and activists' groups made a colourful display with our flags, placards and banners, to the enjoyment of passers-by many of whom stopped to watch.
The Guarana Drummers with their exciting rhythms brought up the rear.
Chairing the rally at the Castlegate, ATUC President, Graeme Farquhar told those gathered that May Day is normally a day of celebration for all workers, but this year with the cost of living crisis we do not have much to celebrate.

Graeme Farquhar

This conservative government have inflicted poverty upon four million children and through criminal neglect. During Covid they have caused the deaths of over 20 000 older people by sending them back to care homes without a test.

"This is a party who have normalised poverty while enriching themselves at the expense of the working man, woman and their families," slammed Graeme.
"In just 12 years they have taken us back decades. They awarded themselves a £2000 pay rise and if it is good enough for them then it, is  good enough for every worker in the UK.

"But maybe instead of giving them the 2000 maybe we should stand at our doors on a Thursday night at 8 and clap for them," said Graeme to much applause.

Sunday 8 May 2022

STUC recognises Ron Webster's lifetime of trade union activism

Ron receives his award from Pat Rafferty

 Aberdeen Trades Union Council is delighted to report that during the STUC Congress in Aberdeen, ATUC consultative member and long-standing union member and delegate, Ron Webster, was awarded a certificate in recognition of a lifetime of trade union activism, amounting to 80 years as a trade union member of different unions.

The certificate was awarded by Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Regional Secretary and STUC president.   STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer was also on hand to congratulate Ron, as was his firnd and comrade, Tommy Campbell..

The ATUC would like to congratulate Ron on this wonderful achievement. We are delighted that it has been recognised by Ron's union, Unite and by the STUC.

Ron himself is a past president of the STUC as well as holding the post of ATUC secretary. Ron was an active member of ATUC up until very recently and is well known and held in high regard by many of the delegates.

Friday 29 April 2022

International Workers' Memorial Day service demands workplace health and safety as a fundamental right


Aberdeen Trades Union Council hosted a moving and well attended International Workers' Memorial Day service on 28th April in the beautiful Persley Memorial Gardens. 

The event was made particularly poignant after two years of COVID, when so many workers have lost their lives or been made ill as they continue to deliver vital services to our communities.

Welcoming representatives from many different unions as well as from Aberdeen City Council and political figures, ATUC President, Graeme Farquhar said that this years theme is make safe and healthy work a fundamental right.

"Every year there are more people killed at work than in wars. 

"People don’t die at work in tragic accidents, they die because their employer decided that their safety was not as important than making a profit," slammed Graeme.

Join our May Day March and Rally on Saturday 7th May and call for peace and prosperity for all






Gather at Rubislaw Terrace (just off Albyn Place) from 11.00am

March leaves at 11.30am for a Rally in the Castlegate at 12.00 noon

 All welcome,  bring your banners & placards. There will be a  pipe band, drummers , songs, speeches and poetry.


Saturday 23 April 2022

Join us to "Remember the dead, fight for the living"

Aberdeen Trades Union Council's annual International Workers' Memorial Service will be held on Thursday 28th April in the beautiful Persley Walled Garden, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen. 

Please gather at 12.30pm for a service at 1pm. 

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. 

Graeme Farquhar, ATUC President said: "Sadly the numbers of workers dying at their work, or being injured or made ill are still far too high.

"No one should go to their work and not come home. At our annual service we remember all those who did not come home and we renew our pledge to fight for more robust health and safety regulation and inspection to protect the living."

See below for all the events taking place to commemorate International Workers' Memorial 

Friday 1 April 2022

ATUC joins unveiling of commemorative stone to recognise role of key workers during Covid

 Aberdeen Trades Union Council took part in a ceremony as Aberdeen City Council unveiled a commemorative stone in recognition of the role of key workers throughout the pandemic.

The stone will be a reminder to future generations of the hard work and sacrifices made by all in the battle against Covid-19.

The ceremony took place on Sunday 27th March in the Kirk of St Nicholas churchyard, and followed a Covid-19 thanksgiving service to key workers. 

There was a gathering at the Town House afterwards, where a video premier of a piece of music specially composed by the award winning composer Paul Mealor, Professor of Composition at the University of Aberdeen, was shown. 

The composition and accompanying video gave thanks on behalf of the city to all those who had made sacrifices during the Covid-19 Pandemic and also featured key workers.

ATUC President, Graeme Farquar spoke on behalf of Aberdeen Trades Union Council. He thanked the Lord Provost and Aberdeen City Council for the three events. 

"It was an honour and a privilege to assist in the unveiling of the stone. The stone will now be a legacy for future generations to visit and reflect on," said Graeme.

Thursday 3 March 2022

Second Aberdeen protest against crippling cost of living rises at 1pm on Saturday 5 March outside Mariscal College

Aberdeen Trades Union Council is urging its delegates, affiliates and the the citizens of North East Scotland to join their second protest against spiralling cost of living rises.
It will be held this  Saturday 5th March at 1pm outside Marischal College, Aberdeen.

Click here for the Facebook event

This will be one of many protests being held across the country, as rising costs of food, fuel and other necessities already begin to bite, with local food banks experiencing significant increases in demand.

Tommy Campbell, ATUC retired union member delegate and protest organiser said: “ Yet again it is ordinary working people paying
the price, whilst the energy companies make massive profits for their rich  shareholders. Once again it is the low paid and the poorest in our communities, older people and those with disabilities, that will be hardest hit" 

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Come and join the peace and solidarity protest in Aberdeen on Sunday 6th March at 4pm

 CND NE Scotland and Aberdeen Social Centre are co-hosting a peace and solidarity protest on Sunday 6th March at 4pm in Broad Street, Aberdeen.

All ATUC delegates and affiliates, friends and families are urged to come along to show solidarity with victims of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and to call for peace in Ukraine.
Find out more at the Facebook event

Scottish CND unequivocally condemns Russia's military actions in Ukraine and the threat to use nuclear weapons. 
The international community must stand united in ensuring that we protect and support civilians, and Scotland must strongly reject the violations of international law by Russia and the disregard for Ukraine's sovereignty as an independent state. 
For the UK to apply the use of force, individually or through NATO, would escalate conflict and increase the likelihood of nuclear misadventure through weapons use or involving the 15 nuclear power stations in Ukraine. We urge respect for international humanitarian and human rights law and accession, and compliance with international treaties to reduce nuclear weapons risks, including the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 
Nuclear weapons do not deter conflict but make the world more dangerous, elevating the risk of a massive humanitarian catastrophe. We ask people in Scotland to help find ways of providing humanitarian support to the people of Ukraine and of enhancing dialogue with people in the Ukraine and Russia.

Sunday 27 February 2022

Morning Star Scottish Readers and Supporters Conference 6 March 11am - It has never been more important to support the people's paper

The Aberdeen Trades Union Council is urging all our delegates and affiliates to attend the Morning Star Scottish Readers and Supporters conference taking place online on Sunday 6 March at 11am.

It has never been more important to support the Morning Star, the newspaper of trade unions and the left.

This is a practical conference for all supporters  of  the Morning Star to discuss how to improve the paper's impact, extend readership and build its finances in Scotland.

The Conference will be hels on zoom and will last a little over two hours. It will be chaired bu UNISON NEC member and ATUC ex-president, Kate Ramsden and will hear from Unite's Steve Dillon, a previous member of ATUC.

Click on the Zoom link to join

Kate said, "At a time when workers are under attack from poor wages, insecure work and the cost of living crisis; at a time when the poorest face stark choices between eating and heating whils the richest continue to amass more wealth; it has never been more important to back the newspaper of the workers, the Morning Star. 

"As the Star says, "You can’t buy a revolution, but you can support the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one."

"Please come along and give us your ideas and find out what you can do to increase circulation in Scotland."

Saturday 26 February 2022

Maggie Cooper speaking at the Cost of Living Crisis protest slams child poverty as "unacceptable" and demands oil and gas companies repay "obscene profits"

Maggie Cooper
Maggie Cooper, retired social worker speaking at the Cost of Living Crisis protest about the impact of poverty on people’s lives, and demanding that the oil and gas giants pay for this crisis, not ordinary people. Time to reverse Thatcher’s attacks on working folk.   

We’ve gathered today to express concern about the current economic crisis . Apparently ‘ we’re all in this together’. Aye right!      

While I believe inflation is currently running at an all-time high this is effecting poorer people disproportionately.

Food and fuel account for a greater proportion of poorer people’s income. Most supermarket budget brand staple foods have risen by a higher percentage of original cost. Fuel supplied by card meter costs significantly more.

There has been a dramatic increase in food bank usage , where incidentally not all beneficiaries are unemployed. The so called ‘gig economy’ with zero hours contracts resulting in insecure earnings means workers can’t rely on a fixed income. Debts spiral while awaiting payment of benefit. 

While company bosses and shareholders net huge profits and misuse furlough schemes … many having paid staff off during the pandemic. By the way  if you’re going for a drink after this please give Archie’s a body swerve!

We are swiftly returning to an era when workers were without rights at the mercy of unscrupulous employers. Don’t let this happen to you . Join a union!    

Thursday 24 February 2022

We need an economy that acts for all of us, not a privileged clique, demands ATUC's Doug Haywood

Doug Haywood
Doug Haywood spoke at the Cost of Living Crisis Protest on 12th February on behalf of Aberdeen Trade Union Council. He gave a passionate speech, urging people to "Use your rage. Together we are powerful."

"Hello everybody, thanks for coming on such a cold Saturday afternoon.

We’re here again.

It’s a, grim, grinding pattern. Prices rise, rents rise, bills rise. Wages stay the same, or hours are cut, often to the insidious zero hour’s contract.

People are forced to choose between heating and eating. Between shoes for the bairn or decent food on their plate.  In one of the richest countries in the world.

And let’s not forget those new to Aberdeen, refugees fleeing persecution, terror and war, now housed with a corporate landlord (on Crown Street), patronised with £7 a week pocket money. With no shoes, and barely adequate clothing for an Aberdeen winter.

Meanwhile, the privileged blithely expand their exploitation.

The consequence-free corporate pleasure-cruise carries on. To take just one example, BP recently reported its highest profits since 2013. A $12.8bn windfall annual profit. $12.8bn. That is simply obscene.

Monday 21 February 2022

"Trickle down capitalism isn't working. It's time for a change" Ross Cassie addresses the protest

Ross Cassie
Here, Ross Cassie, SNP councillor and ATUC Consultative member addresses the Cost Of LIving protest.

"This cost-of-living crisis has been in the making for more than a decade now. This is the year it hits.

We must also not forget that the route to this goes back even further. Scotland has not voted for a Tory Government since 1955. That’s 6 years before I was born. All of us are paying for their repugnant policies now.  Well almost all, more of which later.

2010 brought us the Tory Lib Dem coalition and a decade of austerity. Add to that the effects of a hard Brexit brought about by the far-right ideologists that now run the tory party.

Food prices are increasing, and the boss of Tesco’s says we have not seen the worst of it yet.

Ofgem have just announced the price cap on our household energy will increase by 54%. That’s almost £700 per year. No one can absorb that hike in prices given that inflation is running at over 5% and pay awards are generally below that. In effect pay cuts.

There will be further fuel bill rises announced in October on top of what you are being expected to pay from April.

So what has the UK Government offered to help with these fuel bill rises?They offer us a loan. £200 woopy do the cost went up £700. Next year you start to pay back that loan at £40 per year. 

"Cost of living crisis affects everyone but those who are hard up suffer most." Protest speech by Simon Watson

Simon Watson
Here is Simon Watson's inspiring speech for the Cost of Living Crisis protest on 12 Feb 2022

"Hi, I’m Simon Watson, Regional Organiser for UNISON 


It’s great to see you’ve turned out at short notice in the changeable Aberdeen weather to make a statement about this huge issue for union members, and working people generally.  This is the only the start of what needs to be done. 


We’ve been through two years of a pandemic which has demonstrated that the real critical workers in our society are the cleaners, the carers, the health, schools, and other public service workers. 


They have put themselves, their health and the health of their families on the line to keep us all going.  But now fuel bills are rocketing £700 a year, National Insurance going up by 10%, Inflation hitting 7% - and real inflation for those on lower incomes is much more than that. 


Even the punitive social security system benefits are being cut in real terms, and that’s without the £20 being removed from Universal credit.  Let’s not forget that most households claiming benefits have people who are working. 


The distant memory of Boris Johnson asking people to clap for our carers now seems like very cold comfort. 

Cost of Living protest in Aberdeen on 12th Feb 2022 - the first of many

 ATUC's protest on the spiralling cost of living attracted around 50 people, angry at the soarings costs of food, fuel and other basics and the impact that will have on all of us but especially low paid workers and thos on benefits.

We had some excellent speakers and will post their speeches on this blog.

The event was chaired by ATUC member and previous president, Kate Ramsden. Welcoming participants to the event, on such a cold, wet afternoon, Kate spoke of the importance of coming together to give a clear message that ordinary workers must not be left paying the price of  the cost of living crisis in the fifth richest country in the world. 

"There is no less money that there always was," slammed Kate. "It's just in the wrong hands." 

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Please join our cost of living protest in Marischal Square, Aberdeen at 12.30pm on Saturday 12 Feb

 Aberdeen Trades Union Council has organised an Aberdeen protest on Saturday 12th Feb at 12.30pm  against the cost of living rises that will cripple already beleaguered working people and our most vulnerable citizens.

This is one of a large number of protests taking place around the UK against soaring hikes in the cost of gas, electricity and food. 

Graeme Farquhar, ATUC President said: "We are urging all ATUC delegates and affiliates and citizens of the North East to come together and give a clear message that these cost of living rises are totally unacceptable.

"Once again these rises will hit the poorest in our society and with below inflation pay increases, working people will find themselves less and less able to cope. Poverty will rise and families will be forced to choose between eating and heating. In the north of Scotland that is a really stark choice," slammed Graeme.

"The measures proposed by the Tory government will do nothing to mitigate the impact of these cost of living rises on ordinary people. Despite massive profits by the energy companies, calls for a windfall tax have fallen on deaf ears."

Energy regulator Ofgem has announced a dramatic rise in the energy price cap by 54% to £1,971 a year from this April in the UK - meaning that energy companies can now charge households across the UK around £2,000 a year for their gas and electricity use.

Other protests in Scotland have been organised by the People's Assembly along with DPAC and Fuel Poverty Action. ATUC is proud to stand alongside them at our Aberdeen protest and shares their condemnation of increased costs at a time when the gap between rich and poor is widening exponentially. 

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