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STUC ’21 Trade unionists affirm support for Scotland’s right to self-determination

TRADE unionists affirmed their support for Scotland’s right to self-determination today — but stressed that a people’s recovery should be Holyrood’s priority in the coming years. 

Delegates at this week’s STUC Congress backed a motion saying that the Scottish Parliament is entitled hold a referendum on the country’s future without the consent of Westminster. 

The motion, put forward by the Public & Commercial Services (PCS) Union, stated that the British government should not resist a second vote if a majority of pro-independence MSPs are elected and there is a clear preference among the Scottish people.

PCS called on delegates to give their backing to concerns over the “SNP’s commitment to the Growth Commission’s austerity vision for an independent Scotland,” appealing for the trade-union movement to “carve out a space for the vision of working people” that is “neither Growth Commission nationalism nor Tory status quo.” 

With the May 6 election looming, the motion also confirmed the STUC view that any question on Scotland’s constitutional future need not be a binary choice.

Speaking during the debate, Cat Boyd of PCS said: “This is not a pro-independence composite, it is not an anti-independence composite: it is a composite about democracy, about our movement’s demands for the future. 

“The reality is it is ordinary people who end up stuck in the middle of this political failure across the board. So when it comes to any debate about a second referendum on Scotland’s future, it will be our movement that has to place demands on elected politicians. We need to put forward our vision for Scotland.”

The STUC also rejected the pursuit of a “supermajority” for independence in the next parliament through tactical manoeuvring, warning that this would undermine the sovereignty of the Scottish people, who remain broadly divided on the question of independence.

The STUC general council reaffirmed its support for Scotland’s right to self-determination, with general secretary Roz Foyer saying the vote “asserted that economic and social recovery is our priority and that radical policy is needed to achieve that in a way that redresses current imbalances of power and wealth.

“We have resolved today to actively consult with our members and to play a leading role within Scottish civil society in this crucial debate,” she added.

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