Tuesday 28 November 2023

ATUC pays tribute to the life and activism of Gerry McCabe

The Aberdeen TUC is very saddened at the death of Gerry McCabe on 3rd November 2023.

Gerry was a long serving UNISON delegate to the ATUC and all delegates who knew him have very fond memories of campaigning alongside Gerry over many years and especially when he was a UNISON representative at Aberdeen City Council fighting back against Council cuts.

Gerry was an excellent Trade Union representative who spoke his mind and clearly expressed his point of view on matters affecting the lives of UNISON members working for Aberdeen City Council.

He would regularly challenge Council Officers and local Councillors, especially when opposing job losses and cuts in Council services.

Gerry’s involvement with Aberdeen TUC meant he could be found standing on picket lines and marching down Union Street on the ATUC May Day and St. Andrew’s Day marches. He could also be very regularly seen in St Nicholas Square at the  Socialist Workers Party stall with his Socialist  Worker paper on sale.

Given Gerry’s support for the Palestinian people there was a warm salute of gratitude and respect recorded in his honour by all those in attendance at the Palestine Solidarity rally at Union Terrace Gardens on Saturday 18th November.

Gerry is a good example of a principled socialist and a true working-class hero who supported the working-class in their struggle for a better life in a world of peace, free from hatred and war.

In his honour and memory the Aberdeen TUC will continue to organise to improve the lives of working-class people and their families whether at the workplace or within the wider community here in Aberdeen and elsewhere around our world.

When we are on picket lines or demonstrating on our streets we will always remember Gerry, as we follow in his footsteps, honouring his memory and lifetime commitment to Trade Unionism, International Solidarity and Socialism.

Our deepest condolences go to Gerry's wife and family and his many, many friends.


Sunday 19 November 2023

Come along to the St Andrew's Day rally on 25 November and join the fight against racism and fascism

Please join us at our St Andrew's Day rally against racism and fascism on Saturday 25 November from 12 noon.

Organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council, it will begin in the Castlegate before moving into the Anatomy Rooms, depending on the weather. The rally will hear from a packed line up of speakers, along with music and poetry.

This is another crucial year in the fight against racism and fascism. The racist UK Government immigration policy and rhetoric is going from bad to worse. On top of that we face a cost of living crisis and attacks on pay that disproportionately affect equalities groups including Black workers and disabled people. 

We also stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, as Israel continues its bombardment of Gaza, with the massacre of over 11,000 civilians, including almost 5,000 children. Alongside Israel's denial of food, water, fuel and medicines, this collective punishment constitutes a war crime and Israel must be held to account.

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

Saturday 4 November 2023

Report from STUC Women’s Conference 2023

Kathleen Kennedy, Vice president and Kate Ramsden were the ATUC delegates to the 96th Annual STUC Women’s Conference in Glasgow, on 30 and 31 October 2023.

Conference backs ATUC emergency motion on Gaza

ATUC submitted an emergency motion on Gaza to the Conference, entitled “End the Genocide in Gaza”. Initially this was to be composited with emergency motions from the STUC Women’s Committee and the National College of Midwives, but were then heard as individual motions with the NCM withdrawing theirs.

Our motion called on the STUC Women’s Committee to continue to work with the General Council to highlight the terrible impact of this war on innocent women, children and men and to call for a ceasefire; to lobby our Scottish politicians of all parties to condemn unequivocally the bombardment of Gaza, to condemn the loss of all human life equally and to demand an immediate ceasefire and the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza; to call on all affiliates to support the demonstrations in cities across Scotland and to add their voices to these calls.

It was approved and is now STUC Women’s Conference policy.

Moving the motion, Kate Ramsden told conference that we are witnessing genocide as the world looks on in horror. She condemned the UK’s cowardice at refusing to back a humanitarian ceasefire, when we are seeing the massacre of over 8000 Gazan civilians including over 3000 children.

Kate said: “These are not statistics. They are real people like you and me. Children with hopes and dreams and plans for their future. Now gone and everything they dreamed off and would have contributed to the world gone with them.”

Saturday 14 October 2023

Join us for "Everything Must Change" - film and discussion about what we can all do


Join us on 9 November at 7.30pm at the ATUC office at 2A Adelphi for a screening of the film "Everything Must Change".

The cost of living, climate change, food, housing, land: the multiple crises we face are deeply interlinked, which means the solutions are too. 

"Everything Must Change" explains how all these crises - and the accompanying spiralling price rises - have come about, and shows how a just transition away from a free market extractive system based on exploitation to a renewable energy system based on people's needs can solve all of them. 

Drawing on the experience of numerous inspiring social movements, the film shows how climate change, driven by profiteering by our global systems has destroyed our planet and increased inequality.

We need to transform global infrastructure and services to be people oriented, by building a mass workers' and peasants' movement to enact a just transition. For the people, by the people, and never for profit. Because government and big business aren't going to do it for us.

Stay after the film to take part in a practical discussion about concrete steps to work together as one movement in making that just transition.

Thursday 28 September 2023

A Very British Conspiracy - The Shrewsbury 24 and the Campaign for Justice

Our Class Our Culture Series 

You are invited to a meeting at 7pm in the Salvation Army Citadel, Castlegate, Aberdeen on Friday 29th September 2023 Sandwiches and light refreshments will be available from 6.30pm 

You will have an opportunity to hear directly from those involved in the Shrewsbury 24 construction workers successful campaign for justice. 

  • Speakers - Eileen Turnbull and Terry Renshaw 
  • Chair: Graeme Farquhar, President of Aberdeen TUC 

There will be a social event next door in the Carlton bar from 9pm until midnight with live music provided by singer/guitarist Ray Moore. 

This meeting has been arranged by the Aberdeen & District Unite Retired Members Branch and supported by Unite Aberdeen Area Activists Committee, Unite Scotland Construction Sector Branches with the support of the Aberdeen TUC and Aberdeen Morning Star Supporters Group.

Monday 18 September 2023

March calls for halt to fossil fuels and just transition

 ATUC Exec member and Aberdeenshire UNISON Green Champion, Steve Gray joined climate campaigners who marched through Edinburgh on Saturday 16 Sept to demand the UK and Scottish Governments develop a plan for a fair and fast transition away from fossil fuels. 

The march was one of 650 actions taking place around the world with millions of people involved this weekend ahead of a UN Climate Ambition Summit of world leaders in New York next week. 

Steve said, "It was very encouraging to hear and see so many campaigners speaking out with empathy and energy in support of the workers in the fossil fuel industries who need the Government support for a just transition now. Also to see the Save Saint Fitticks Park Campaign at the front of the march."

The protestors demanded action to phase out oil and gas in the UK including a halt to controversial projects like the Rosebank oil field and a new gas-fired power station in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. 

They called for a fair and fast transition for the workers and the communities most affected by the move away from fossil fuels and these people should be at the heart of planning this transition to ensure it meets their needs.  

Steve Gray addresses climate rally in Edinburgh and calls for action on climate change

Photo by Neil Hanna, Friends of the Earth
ATUC Exec member and Aberdeenshire UNISON Green Champion, Steve Gray joined climate campaigners who marched through Edinburgh on Saturday 16 Sept to demand the UK and Scottish Governments develop a plan for a fair and fast transition away from fossil fuels. 

Here is the text of the speech he made at the event:

"Thank you for the opportunity to march with you in solidarity for a Just Transition for the Fossil Workers and their communities.

Since its founding in 1868 the ATUC has organised and participated in many social justice and workplace campaigns at local, national and international levels.

The Scottish Government are conducting another consultation and its on the North East Scotland Transition Fund. The people of the North East Scotland need in person visits and meetings from the Scottish and UK Governments not online consultations which most people are not even aware. These meetings need be with a range of communities from Elgin to Fraserburgh to Aberdeen to Dundee.

The people of Scotland need deeds not words. The cost of living crisis cuts deeply here and failing to fairly fund Local Government is making the crisis worse.

When Local Government workers go on strike in the coming weeks they are fighting not just to pay their bills and feed their families but to save the services we all rely on. Please support these workers!

Wednesday 30 August 2023

ATUC welcomes new consultation on libraries and pool closures and commends campaigners on this victory

Kirsty Fraser of Save
Bucksburn Swimming
Pool at the May Day Rally
Aberdeen TUC has applauded the victory of the Campaign Groups against the libraries and swimming pools closures in Aberdeen in their legal claim against the City Council. 

Aberdeen City Council’s decision to launch a fresh public consultation on the closures, follows legal negotiations in four petitions for judicial review in the Court of Session.

The consultation is expected to run from early September until Tuesday, 31 October 2023 and campaigners have urged Aberdeen residents to engage with the process to make their views known.

Libraries in Cornhill, Cults, Ferryhill, Garthdee (Kaimhill), Northfield, and Woodside, and Bucksburn Swimming Pool, run by Sport Aberdeen, were closed this Spring as part of moves by the council to make savings of £47 million.

At the time, there was no consultation by the council ahead of the closures, and Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessments were not published on the local authority’s website. This is despite several of the libraries being in some of the city’s most deprived areas, and Bucksburn Swimming Pool served residents from across the north-east of Scotland with additional support needs and mobility issues.

Graeme Farquhar, Aberdeen TUC President, said: "The Aberdeen City Councillors who voted through cuts and closures based on advice and guidance from the Council’s Chief Executive and senior Officers must now hold them to account for this failure to properly and meaningfully consult with the citizens of Aberdeen."

Monday 31 July 2023

Tribute to Ron Webster's 80 years of trade union activism as he is laid to rest

Tommy Campbell, Chair of Aberdeen and District Unite Retired Members' Branch and a delegate to the ATUC, made the following moving tribute to ATUC member and stalwart trade unionist, Ron Webster at his funeral today.

"At the young age of 14 Ron joined the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers in 1941 when he started his joinery apprenticeship. He was an integral part of the Second World War effort during his apprenticeship working on parts for the RAF’s Wellington bombers.

His apprenticeship was stalled when he enlisted with the Gordon Highlanders in 1945. After Ron completed his National Service, he returned to his apprenticeship working on the Trams in Aberdeen.

He continued working on the Trams until they were decommissioned in 1958 by the Aberdeen bus corporation. 

His membership of the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers then transferred to the National Union of Vehicle Builders and Ron continued in his role as   an elected shop steward and a Union branch official of the National Union of Vehicle Builders.

He continued in these roles following the merger of the National Union of Vehicle Builders with the Transport and General Workers Union in 1972. 

Ron also served as the local NUVB delegate on the TGWU Grampian and Northern Isles District Committee, the TGWU Scottish Regional Automotive Trade Group. The District Committee also elected him to the Scottish Regional Committee representing Union members interests from all over Scotland.

In addition to his T&G positions Ron was elected as the Secretary of Aberdeen Trades Council and in turn elected as the representative of all Scottish Trades Councils onto the Executive Council of the STUC. 

Sunday 23 July 2023

Protesters demand an end to austerity - enough is enough

Aberdeen Trades Union Council delegates joined trade unionists, community groups and citizens to protest the cost of living crisis and cuts to public services on the back of the Tory government's austerity agenda.

They joined protests all over the country by the People's Assembly to condemn its disproportionate impact on the poorest in our communities, including our children, to protest the growth in poverty, the rise in foodbanks and the erosion of wages and conditions for all workers whilst the wealthiest in society amass more and more wealth.

Organised by Aberdeen is Scunnered and ATUC, and chaired by UNISON's Laura McDonald, speakers came from all parts of our communities in the North East, protesting cuts and injustice. 

Laura welcomed the protesters saying, "We are becoming increasingly concerned about how this cost-of-living crisis is continuing to affect people living in Aberdeen.

"We are proud to be here today along with hundreds of thousands of people right across the UK as part of the People's Assembly National Day of Action.

"We stand together to say loudly that enough is enough."

Thursday 20 July 2023

ATUC pays tribute to trade union stalwart Ron Webster

Ron receives his award from STUC
General Secretary Roz Foyer
Photos by Ryan Tobias
Aberdeen Trades Union Council was deeply saddened by the death of one of its longest serving members and activists, Ron Webster, who died on 13 July at the age of 96.

Our deepest condolences go to Ron’s family and friends. Ron was a truly remarkable individual who made significant contributions as a trade unionist and as a Labour city councillor.

He is survived by his children, Rona, Andrew and Heather and by his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Ron's funeral service will be held at Aberdeen Crematorium, Hazlehead, (West chapel) on Monday July 31 at 1.15PM. All friends respectfully invited, family flowers only please. 

Ron leaves a lasting legacy in the trade union and Labour movement. He will be remembered fondly by all his friends and comrades on Aberdeen Trades Union Council.

Sunday 25 June 2023

Mass protest in Elgin sends fascists packing

 ATUC members joined a mass protest in Elgin on Saturday 17 June to send packing Hitler wannabe Alek Yerbury and the fascist Highland division.

Organised by Moray Trade Union Council and Stand up to Racism, the fascists were well outnumbered by anti-racist activists and members of the public, including ATUC members. All had a clear message - "Refugees are welcome here - fascists are not!"

ATUC's Tommy Campbell spoke powerfully at the rally and you can hear his words on the video below.

This blog from one of those who attended, describes the uplifting event.

Cos-play and Contempt

Hard to believe that these people are serious. That bloke over there is openly spouting hate and appears to have come dressed as an off-brand Hitler.

Saturday 17th of June saw hundreds of anti-fascists, trade unionists and concerned citizens counter protest a “rally” called by the local far right group. The “rally” peaked at 9 people and was hopelessly outnumbered by the counter protest. As one chant went, “There are many, many more of us than you.”

Saturday 6 May 2023

May day march demands services not cuts for our children's future

Over 100 trade unionists, politicians and community representatives joined the ATUC organised May Day March and Rally on Sat 29 April in Aberdeen.

Community groups out were out in force standing up against closures of libraries and pools in Aberdeen, against the loss of green space and to save Insch community hospital. Marching alongside trade unions on International Workers’ Day.

As always the march along Union St with a pipe band at its head, turned the heads of shoppers and passers-by, who stopped to clap or cheer as the marchers passed by. It was a colourful and lively procession as the marchers called out chants and the uplifting beats of the Guarana Drummers brought up the rear.

Graeme Farquhar
Chairing the rally in the Castlegate, ATUC President, Graeme Farquhar said, "We have see so many disgraceful attacks on the lives and livelihoods of workers, citizens, on the poorest and most vulnerable and on our children. We are here saying, Enough is enough."

He commended that community campaigns and pledged, "We stand with you in solidarity."
There were passionate speeches from all the speakers, pledging to stand together for “services not cuts for our children’s future.”

Speakers from all the groups fighting against closures, for green spaces and for living rents and adequate housing all gave great speeches on their cause, but also the wider aim of protecting our children's future.

Friday 5 May 2023

Moving workers memorial day service remembers dead and pledges to fight on for living

Photo by Norman Adams
Aberdeen Trades Union Council hosted a very moving Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony at the beautiful Persley Walled Garden in Aberdeen on Friday 28 April 2023.

Chaired by President, Graham Farquhar, those gathered laid wreaths to remember all those killed, injured or made ill at their work. Wreaths were laid by many trades unions and community groups as well as by ATUC and Aberdeen City Council.

Trade union speakers and politicians all spoke powerfully of the importance of keeping up the fight for proper health and safety legislation and regulation and called on us to "remember the dead, fight for the living."

Joyce Davies
We were joined by Joyce Davies whose father was killed when she was 8 in the James Watt Street fire in Glasgow in 1968 when 22 people died in a furniture factory. Joyce spoke poignantly on the huge impact it has had on her life, highlighting that a death at work has a wide-reaching effect on family and friends and across generations.
It brought powerfully home the importance of keeping up the fight for decent health and safety laws and regulation and the need to hold employers to account here and across the world.

There followed a minute's silence to remember and mourn the workers who went to their work and never came home, and to reflect on the impact on families and communities.

More photos below

Monday 1 May 2023

Aberdeen Trades Union Council delegates at the STUC Congress

 This year's STUC Congress was held in Dundee from 17-19 April. ATUC delegates were Scott Sutherland, Morag Lawrence and Mike Martin.

ATUC submitted three motions all with an international theme. These were: "War in Ukraine", "AUKUS pact" and "FIFA World Cup". They also had an emergency motion admitted to the agenda "Campaign for a Climate Emergency Resilient Just Transition."

All three delegates spoke to ATUC motions and Morag also spoke to a NASUWT motion highlighting the disgraceful decision by Aberdeen City Council to close six libraries. Reports of their input will follow:

Morag Lawrence highlighted that in Aberdeen, campaign groups are fighting to stop and reverse library closures. 

Morag Lawrence told delegates that the recent information brought to us by the United Nations Climate Scientists warn us that the urgency to reach a true net zero is far more imminent than first thought

Scott Sutherland told Congress that ATUC's motion sought to consolidate the Qatar resolution adopted at last year's STUC Conference in Aberdeen.

Mike Martin told Congress we oppose the unilateral use of force against any sovereign state in contravention of the United Nations Charter and international law.

Mike Martin said that the AUKUS pact is being justified on the basis of upholding the ‘rules-based order’, yet the treaty undermines the rules of international law

AUKUS pact makes world more dangerous

Congress backed ATUC’s call to condemn the Tory government’s 2022 AUKUS pact for the provision of nuclear submarines for Australia and mandating an increased military presence by Britain and the US in disputed waters.

The motion from Aberdeen Trades Union Council was opposed by some unions concerned with the employment of their members. However it was supported by the STUC General Council and was passed on a card vote.

Moving the motion, ATUC delegate Mike Martin explained that AUKUS is a military partnership between the UK, the US and Australia, that was signed in September 2021. Billed as ‘a landmark defence and security partnership’, its key military focus centres on ‘the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing’, deeper integration of security and defence-related science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains.

Congress supports Ukraine but votes down composite motion

ATUC’s motion on Ukraine was merged into a Composite with motions from other affiliates. It called for an end to the supply of weaponry and for peace negotiations. However it was opposed by the STUC General Council who issued a counterposed  “Statement on Ukraine”.

The statement agreed the need for peace talks but did not believe that these could effectively take place if support for Ukraine was withdrawn as “implied by Composite Q”

On a show of hands the Composite was defeated, albeit with a substantial minority in favour.

Moving the composite, ATUC’s Mike Martin reminded delegates that on 24 February 2022, the Russian Federation launched a military intervention into Ukraine, marking a serious escalation of the civil war in Eastern Ukraine which broke out in early 2014.

“We oppose the unilateral use of force against any sovereign state in contravention of the United Nations Charter and international law.

Qatar legacy must not forget workers killed and their families

Congress was warned that although the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is over, the impact continues on the families of those who died in the construction of the stadiums or those who were injured.

Aberdeen Trade Union Council’s motion called for a high profile campaign to keep up the pressure on the Qatari government to pay compensation to these workers and their families.

Moving the motion, ATUC delegate, Scott Sutherland told Congress that the motion seeks to consolidate the Qatar resolution adopted at last year's STUC Conference in Aberdeen.

“The football World Cup is over, but its legacy remains.” He warned that FIFA and the Qatari Authorities want us to remember a major sporting event to be proud of.

“However,we remember their legacy for different reasons. Are they proud of an atrocious human rights record? Homophobia? Transphobia? Sexism? Lack of Democracy?

“To all these questions and more, we still have no answers.

Urgent action needed on climate crisis

Congress overwhelmingly backed an emergency motion from ATUC which highlighted the need for urgent action on the climate crisis.

It heard that UN climate scientists have delivered a final warning on the climate crisis to act now before it’s too late, after a flurry of recent reports showed the urgency of taking action to reach real zero by 2035 not 2050, the UK Government target.

Moving the motion, ATUC’s Morag Lawrence told delegates that the recent information brought to us by the United Nations Climate Scientists warn us that the urgency to reach a true net zero is far more imminent than first thought.

“This means that the government and others with target dates of 2050 now clearly need to be aiming for 2035,” warned Morag.

She pointed to a report by the Uk governments own Climate Agency, which states ‘There has been a lost decade failing to deliver any progress towards a climate resilient infrastructure'.

“This is due to their own inaction,” slammed Morag.

STUC demands councils save our libraries

Congress slammed attacks on library provision, recognising the key importance of libraries for our children and our communities.

It recognised the importance of library provision especially for already disadvantaged children and communities, and backed a campaign for investment to ensure that every school in Scotland has access to good quality school library services. The STUC will also support broader campaigns to increase funding for public library services.

Supporting the NASUWT motion on behalf of Aberdeen Trades Union Council, Morag Lawrence highlighted that at this very moment, in Aberdeen campaign groups are fighting to stop and reverse library closures. 

“A total of 6 libraries have been closed in the last month in Aberdeen alone,” she said pointing out that “this situation makes it even more vital that our children have access to a good quality school library service.

 Morag added, “In the case of Woodside Library in Aberdeen. local councillors should learn from John Anderson who wrote to Woodside Library Trust in 1883 on the occasion of his gift of the library.

“He said 'This library needs to be protected from ruthless hands, to upset my good intentions.'  Unfortunately this letter has not stopped them,” warned Morag, urging support, which delegates gave overwhelmingly.

Sunday 23 April 2023

Standing on the shoulders of giants - the women who stormed the Grill Bar

The Grill Bar in Union Street commemorated the day 50 years ago when women delegates attending the STUC Congress in Aberdeen stormed the bar - then a men only pub - demanding their right to be served.

Police were called to the pub and the incident made national headlines. Two years later, a law banning pubs from refusing to serve women was passed. However, it wasn't until 1998, following further protests, that The Grill installed a ladies' toilet.

The event, organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council, took place on Wednesday 19 April when ATUC delegates Laura McDonald and Kathleen Kennedy unveiled a picture frame of the three Daily Record photographs of the 1973 protest by women attending the STUC Congress in Aberdeen.

The unveiling took place in the presence of trade unionists, the proprietor, staff and patrons of The Grill Bar.

Although unable to attend, STUC General Secretary, Roz Foyer sent the following message:

"My apologies for not being able to attend in person this evening as you all commemorate the brave stand taken by female STUC delegates to be treated as equals in the Grill Bar on this day 50 years ago.

"I would like to extend my warm wishes and solidarity on this 50th anniversary of the storming of the Grill Bar in Aberdeen.

Sunday 9 April 2023

Come along to the May Day march for "services not cuts, for our children's future!"

Please join us at our Aberdeen Trades Union Council May Day march and rally on Saturday 29th April to celebrate International Workers' Day.

Marchers will gather at Rubislaw Terrace at 11.00am, to march off at 11.30am down Union Street, led by the uplifting strains of a pipe band and the beats of the Guarana Drummers. A rally will be held in the Castlegate from 12 noon. 

Our theme this year is "Services not cuts, for our children's future."

ATUC president, Graeme Farquhar said, "Our march and rally this year comes at a time when communities in Aberdeen are fighting to protect against libraries and pools closures, facilities that are critical to the wellbeing of children and our most vulnerable, and essential for a decent society.

"We will hear from representatives of these community groups spearheading the campaigns to protect these services, calling on the council to re-open libraries and save pools. 

"We will also hear from the trade unions making their own stands to protect their members pay and conditions as the cost of living rises, plunging more and more working people into poverty."

Graeme called on Trade Unions, Community Groups, friends and families to come and join us with banners and placards, to give a clear message, "No to cuts!"

Thursday 6 April 2023

Join us at International Workers' Memorial Day and "remember the dead, fight for the living"

Representatives from the affiliated Trade Union branches of Aberdeen Trades Union Council, Action on Asbestos, Thompsons Solicitors and Aberdeen City Council will commemorate International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) on Friday 28th April at the locations listed below.

The International Workers’ Memorial Day theme is to " remember the dead, fight for the living."

Graeme Farquhar, Aberdeen TUC President said, "On International Workers Memorial Day we pay our respects and remember all those who have lost their lives through a workplace accident or an industrial related disease.“

"Whilst we will always remember the dead, we reiterate our fundamental right to fight for the living by ensuring that all workplaces are safe and healthier to work in."

IWMD Events

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Civic reception to celebrate Year of Disabled Workers

Following a request from Aberdeen Trades Union Council, Aberdeen City Council held a special event at the Beach Ballroom on Tuesday 28th March to mark 2022 - The Year of Disabled Workers.

The event was due to be held back in December 2022 but had to be postponed due to bad weather.

Photos by Norman Adam

Employers and workers were invited to celebrate disabled workers at the special free event, with the aim of gaining practical insights into recruiting, retaining and including disabled people at work, and to learn about the advice and support available to employers and employees to help organisations become more inclusive.
As the Lord Provost of Aberdeen said: "An inclusive workplace brings benefits across the board – for employees, customers, the organisation, and across the wider city."

ATUC Vice-president, Kathleen Kennedy, spoke at the event and thanked Aberdeen City Council for hosting the event at the request of ATUC.

Sunday 26 February 2023

Aberdeen TUC calls for public protest against proposed City Council budget cuts

Aberdeen Trades Union Council has called for a public protest against cuts proposed by Aberdeen City Council which 
includes ending the financial support of £1.5 million to the Fairer Aberdeen Fund.

This proposal along with all the financial cuts proposed will have a detrimental and catastrophic effect on many community organisations in Aberdeen, who are giving critical support to people hardship and poverty due to the cost of living crisis.

The council is meeting this Wednesday 1st March at 10.30am to set its annual budget. Councillors are considering cuts of £40 million.

Graeme Farquhar, President of Aberdeen TUC, said today: “We are calling on all trade unionists, community organisations and members of the public to join us for a public protest at 10am on Wednesday 1st March outside the Town House on Broad Street." 

Sunday 19 February 2023

Vigil for Brianna

 ATUC members joined many Aberdeen citizens at a vigil for Brianna Ghey, the teenager tragically stabbed to death in a park in Cheshire last weekend. 

Organised by Grampian Pride, the event was one of many held up and down the country to honour Brianna's memory and the memory of all those lost to bigotry, hate and violence.

Mourners pledged to stand in solidarity with our trans brothers and sisters and to combat bigotry and prejudice wherever it raises its ugly head.

We send our deepest condolences to Brianna's family and friends.

More pictures below. Thank you to Tommy Campbell for the photography.

Saturday 4 February 2023

Enough is enough - standing up for the right to strike

Over 100 trade unionists, community activists and members of the public joined the Aberdeen “Protect the Right to Strike” Rally on 1st Feb – part of massive UK wide protests against the latest anti-trade union legislation passed by this government.

Organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) the event was chaired by Kathleen Kennedy,  vice president of ATUC. Speakers came from a range of unions in struggle, including EIS, PCS and UCU, whose members had been on strike that day.

Jacob Campbell brought greetings from Unite. he had led a successful strike in Shelter which saw a wage rise for his members. 

Speaking on behalf of UNISON, branch co-chair, Kate Ramsden brought solidarity from our union to all workers in struggle, “our own members, south of the border and all our sister unions taking action locally and across Scotland.

“Because a victory for one is a victory for us all,” said Kate. “That’s the beauty of collective action – of standing together in solidarity and comradeship.

Friday 3 February 2023

Enough is enough

Speech from Dod Ross, CWU for Protect the Right to Strike Rally

Good evening and I bring solidarity from the Communication Workers Union, a Union that has already taken 18 days Industrial Action and is in the process of re-balloting our members due to anti-trade union laws.

This is a campaign that shouldn’t be needed.

This is a campaign that shouldn’t need to exist.

However, we are now part of a working world where suppression of pay, terms & conditions seem to be requirements we all must be expected to adhere and surrender to by business & government alike.

Food poverty, child poverty, in-work poverty in the 5th richest country in the world is abhorrent.

We are in a real time crisis, not only working people but for all people, families & communities across the country.

We aren’t looking for huge sums of money, we aren’t looking for massive dividend payments to stick away in the Cayman Islands accounts, we aren’t looking for employers to break the bank to pay us.

What we are looking for is fairness, equality, a share in the billions and billions of pounds of profits & dividends paid to the nameless few who control the wealth in this country.

A victory for one is a victory for us all

Kate Ramsden's speech for "Protect the Right to Strike Rally"

Kate Ramsden, UNISON proud to bring solidarity to all trade union members in struggle

Because a victory for one is a victory for us all

That’s the beauty of collective action – of standing together in solidarity and comradeship

That’s what the Tories and the capitalists fear

That’s why they are attacking our employment rights and our right to strike

They know that when we stand together we are strong

And that is why we are standing together now

Saying enough is enough

Our right to strike is a fundamental human right

It is essential to balance the power between worker and boss

Tuesday 31 January 2023

Protect the Right to Strike rally 1st Feb – please join us

Aberdeen Trades Union Council is calling urgently on all our affiliates and associate members to join a rally at St Nicholas Square, Aberdeen at 5.30pm on 1st Feb to protect our right to strike. 

The rally is organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council and will be part of a nationwide day of action against the bill which was passed in the Commons last night.

Kathleen Kennedy, Vice President said: “This is the biggest legislative attack on workers’ and human rights that we have seen so far and is just the latest in a long list of such attacks by this Tory government.

“We are calling on everyone who can to come and join this protest.

"We appreciate that this is short notice but the passing of this bill last night in the Commons makes it imperative that we have a visible and vocal response. 

"We urge you to share this widely and encourage you members, families and friends to join the protest. Please bring placards and banners."

Monday 9 January 2023

Affiliations due for 2023

▶ ATUC Trade Union Affiliations

ATUC Affiliations

Thanks to your support the ATUC continued its work throughout 2022 with a large number of events, demos and attendance to support striking workers!  We very much hope your trade union will support us once again by affiliating for 2023.

We can only exist because trade union branches support us, and whether your branch has been a long time affiliate, or you wish to join us for the first time this year, we’d be very happy for your support.

Affiliating/Renewing is simple and easy to do online – just click the link and complete the form. We will then send an invoice to the branch contact you nominate. http://bit.ly/ATUCAffiliate

If your branch already affiliates, but you know of other branches or unions who don’t then please send this email on to them – spread the word!

▶ Book your Annual Report Adverts!

It's that time of year again, and the ATUC are looking for organisations to help sponsor our 2022 annual report, to be published in the new year, by taking out adverts to be included in the publication. You can view last year’s report as well.

Organisations taking adverts in this way allow us to produce the well-respected Annual Report each year which is distributed to trade union and other organisations, as well as being made available at the annual STUC conference. It's a great way to get your branch or organisation noticed, as well as helping us to cover the costs of producing the report.

Annual Report advert costs are as follows (please note we are now basing advert costs on page size, as all are now available in colour due to the new printing process we use):
Full-page - £200.00
Half-page - £100.00
Quarter-page - £50.00

To make it even easier you can now submit your annual report advert request online, including uploading your copy ready artwork/poster. We'll then invoice you for the selected amount. If you don’t have your artwork ready yet, you can still book and then send the artwork in later.

To book your advert please ensure you complete our online form as that allows us to track invoices appropriately!

To book your advert in the annual report just complete our online form.

▶ Send us your Annual Report Articles!

As we say goodbye to 2022, this year's annual report will show the huge groudswell of industrial action taken by union members in defence of their pay and conditions. We would like to encourage all our affiliates and associate organisations to provide a report on your work over this year. We usually ask for an A4 page of type in Arial 12pt but we would be happy with just a couple of paragraphs on your branch's/organisations' experience to ensure we can include as many affiliates as possible in this Annual Report.

Articles can be submitted to atucreports@gmail.com and we would be grateful to receive them as soon as possible, and ideally by 31st January 2022.

Saturday 7 January 2023

ATUC pledges continued solidarity action with striking workers - please sign the right to strike petition

Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) is continuing our solidarity with striking workers in all unions taking action for decent pay and safe working conditions for staff and the public.

Tommy Campbell, Unite, on behalf of ATUC, and ATUC delegate and Labour councillor, Simon Watson, joined the RMT picket line today at Aberdeen Rail station, to show our support for RMT strikers across the UK.

Wishing everyone a happy new year on behalf of ATUC, President, Graeme Farquhar pledged, "We will continue to join picket lines of striking workers as long as it takes to make sure that working people are paid decent wages for the work they do.

"That is not only morally right, but it also makes economic sense. We are still the sixth richest country in the world. We can afford decent wages if we end extortionate profits to the wealthiest and make sure everyone pays their fair share.

"Giving decent, inflation busting pay rises to workers is good for them as it means they are not dependent on foodbanks or excessive debt, but is also good for the economy, as we are the people who spend in our local shops and businesses, keeping them afloat. The richest don't even spend in this country, never mind our local communities."

He slammed the Tory government's attacks on workers' rights to strike and called on all our delegates, affiliates, friends, families and the public to sign this petition to protect the right to strike.

Graeme urged, "As the cost-of-living crisis continues to hurt workers everywhere, we need to be able to stand together and choose to strike when we must. These laws will do nothing to fix this crisis - they will make it even harder for working people to get pay rises.

"Every working person is under attack from these new laws. Add your name and join the campaign. 

"We must defend the right to strike."