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TRADE unionists from across Scotland gathered online today as 2021’s STUC Congress kicked off with calls for a “supermajority of workers” to come together as part of a people’s recovery.
The STUC’s 124th annual congress began today with calls for government action to ensure a future for jobs in Scotland, highlighting the efforts of key workers throughout the coronavirus crisis.
STUC general secretary Roz Foyer expressed her gratitude to front-line staff, predominantly low-paid women, who have “risked their own health to keep us safe.”
But she said it is important to continue to push decision-makers to ensure we do not allow “further attacks planned by the Tories and their greedy, greedy corporate friends.”
Ms Foyer said: “We can now see very clearly that the current systems have failed, and it’s not good enough: we deserve better.
“The people that have kept our society going over the last year are not the hedge-fund managers or the millionaires.
“To build workers’ power we need to organise in our workplaces, organise those working at home and organise within our communities.
“As the politicians and policy-makers tiptoe around these issues, the STUC is clear: the only supermajority we are interested in building is a supermajority of workers collectively demanding action on pay, action on care and action for jobs,” she said, a dig at the nationalists’ current electioneering buzzword.
Delegates also received a message of solidarity from TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, who warned that pressure on staff is going to “get sharper” as the return to work grows.
Debates were held to discuss moves to back a zero-Covid strategy for Scotland and the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on minorities in Scotland and tributes were also paid to the work of STUC president Mary Senior, who chaired today’s sessions, which focused on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the effect this has had on Scotland’s workforce.
Ms Senior said there needs to be “wholesale upheaval” in Scotland’s politics and economics on the scale of the post-war era.
“‘Building back better’ cannot be empty rhetoric from the architects of austerity. It has to embrace the STUC’s people’s recovery: a bold, radical plan to increase pay, create good jobs and a national care service in which we can be proud — real investment in people and in clean economic growth,” she said.
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