Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Trade Union Leader to Address SNP Conference in 'Historic' First


The SNP has today announced that the General Secretary of the STUC will address the party’s conference in a historic first – as the SNP and Scotland’s trade union movement ‘stand shoulder to shoulder’ against Tory attacks on workers’ rights.

STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith has been invited to speak during the Conference debate on the UK Government’s Trade Union Bill this Saturday – the first time a representative of the STUC has addressed SNP Conference in the party’s 81 year history.

Mr Smith will speak on the Conference resolution condemning the Tory government’s ‘ideological attack’ against trade unions – which encourages every SNP parliamentarian and member to play their part in the opposition to the Trade Union Bill going through Westminster.

The First Minister has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the STUC to oppose Tory austerity and demand further powers for Scotland and the SNP Trade Union Group now has over 16,000 members.

Commenting, General Secretary of the STUC Grahame Smith said:

“I am absolutely delighted to have this historic opportunity to speak at SNP conference. It has never happened before and demonstrates the very constructive relationship with both the Scottish Government and the SNP as a political party.

“The fact that I am speaking on the debate on the Trade Union Bill demonstrates that a key aspect of that relationship is the Scottish Government’s work to take forward the Fair Work agenda, champion good workplace relations and support the role of trade unions. This is in stark contrast to the approach of the UK Government.”

Welcoming the move, SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay said:

“That the STUC will address SNP conference for the first time is a welcome and historic development. This highlights the strong partnership between the SNP and the trade union movement in Scotland as we fight against the regressive actions of the UK government.

“A positive relationship between the SNP and Scotland’s trade unions will be crucial in leading the real opposition to this out of touch Tory government – and the opportunity for the STUC to address SNP conference this week is a further chance to strengthen the bonds of solidarity between the party and Scotland’s trade unions.

“With Scotland’s party of government and our trade union movement united in common cause against the Tories’ Victorian attitude towards trade unions, the strength of feeling in Scotland against the UK Government’s transparent attack on our unions could not be clearer.

“By acting together, the SNP and the trade union movement in Scotland can ensure that the voices of working people are heard more loudly and more clearly than ever before – and it’s about time David Cameron and George Osborne sat up and took notice and abandoned their regressive plans.”
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