What did the politicians have to say at STUC Congress 2023?

The Scottish TUC held their annual Congress in Dundee earlier this week.

21 Apr 2023| News

Amongst the debates and policy motions at STUC in Dundee this week, Scottish politicians spoke  to delegates in the conference hall.

Scottish First Minister, Humza Yousaf commented on the Tories’ Strike (Minimum Service Levels) Bill, declaring:

“The Scottish government is utterly opposed to this Bill. If the UK government aren’t willing to withdraw it, then we have made the case — and I will, as first minister, make the case — very forcefully, that this should not apply in Scotland.

“However, if the UK government is hell-bent on applying this anti-strike legislation to Scotland, then my position could not be clearer. Be in no doubt, the Scottish government will never issue or enforce a single work notice. We will continue to do everything we can to oppose this disgraceful, abhorrent legislation. It has no place here in Scotland.

The key difference here is that we see our trade unions, not as opponents, but as essential partners.”

Labour’s Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner. focused on the ‘scourge’ of zero hours contracts, saying:

“Scotland has seen an explosion of zero-hours contracts, leaving working people with insecure hours and no guarantee when their next pay cheque will arrive. This disgraceful surge in insecure work risks a race to the bottom.

Zero-hours working practices often go hand-in-hand with low pay, and working women are disproportionately affected by the scourge of insecure work. One in 10 young working Scots is now on a zero-hours contract. Scotland deserves better.

While the Tories and the SNP have failed to deliver the crackdown they promised, the next Labour government will ban zero-hours contracts, safeguard rights at work and raise standards for all. With our New Deal for Working People, Labour has a plan to ensure people have access to fair and secure work. Labour will make Scotland work for working people.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar put clear red water between the Scotland and Britain-wide parties today by saying he would stand with workers “from the picket line to Parliament. Mr Sarwar said:

“I expect my shadow cabinet, my MSPs and many MPs to join the front line, to join picket lines.”