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.