Monday, 20 April 2015

Pledge for collective bargaining as Fair Work Convention welcomed

#stuc15 The STUC Congress in Ayr gave its full backing to the Mather Commission “Working Together” report which “sets out a new blueprint for industrial relations in Scotland.”

Welcoming the Scottish Government’s commitment to establish a Fair Work Convention to take forward its recommendations, the STUC pledged to ensure a robust industrial relations framework is established, based on collective bargaining at workplace and industry level.

Congress also backed an RMT amendment and agreed that the Fair Work Convention should be used to bring an end to the Scottish Government’s practice of indemnifying losses incurred by private train operators as a result of industrial action.

Moving the motion on behalf of the STUC General Council, Scottish Convener Lilian Macer, who was part of the Mather Commission, and who will sit on the Fair Work Convention, warned that many of the problems which affect the economy and society ultimately stem from a lack of worker bargaining power.

“Scotland’s increasingly low wage and insecure labour market is an inevitable consequence of falling trade union density and collective bargaining coverage.

“Workplaces will not become more welcoming places, nor society less unequal without more workers benefitting from the protection and security provided by trade unions and collective agreements,” said Lilian, pledging that the STUC will continue to press for the repeal of anti-trade union laws and for laws to support positive individual and collective workers’ rights, based on international standards, with rights to organise, to bargain and to strike.

Lilian commended the Scottish Government’s commitment to the Fair Work Convention which “provides an opportunity to genuinely progress this work.”

She called on the Scottish Government to properly resource this, “to support the development and effective dissemination of a new industrial relations framework that puts trade unions at the heart of decision making.”

“We need to take the workers’ and trade union voice into the boardrooms and senior management decision making forums. And we need that voice to be loud and effective,” said Lilian.

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