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by Niall Christie
SCOTLAND’S most senior trade unionist has laid out workers’ demands ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament elections, including demands for a national care service and a sustainable recovery from coronavirus.
STUC general secretary Roz Foyer reiterated the trade union movement’s calls for transformative policies from Holyrood’s next government, laying out the need for a national recovery after the pandemic.
The calls came after speeches by both SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar during the second day of the STUC conference today.
The First Minister claimed that the SNP would publish a 10-year strategy for “economic transformation” within six months of the election.
This would set out the steps “to deliver a green economic recovery and support new green jobs.”
Ms Sturgeon also said that her government would push Westminster on the use of fire-and-rehire tactics and for full control of employment rights.
Mr Sarwar backed trade union demands for increased pay for public-sector workers, pledging a national job creation scheme.
He also committed to a national care service built on quality of service and reward for social care staff, not profit.
Ms Foyer welcomed commitments from both parties on key-worker pay, the care sector, and on tackling fire-and-rehire policies by bosses, but said that politicians must do more to improve the lives of working people.
“We know the economic recovery will be challenging, we need new ideas that will make a real difference to working people, will give them job security and a future,” she said.
“We expect the next government of Scotland to deliver urgent reform of care, take action on pay and to match the promise of a green recovery with the scale of investment we need.
“Trade unions have shifted the conversation on social care, making sure it is now top of the political agenda. We know that a radical overhaul of the sector is needed and only collective bargaining, pay and trade union representation will drive profiteers from the sector.
“A national recovery needs to be based on support for working people across Scotland, and our people’s recovery provides the framework to change our economy, to redistribute wealth and tackle the inequalities in our society.
“We will continue to demand that our elected representatives deliver for working people.”
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