STUC Fringe: Trade Union Freedoms and Workers’ Rights

Scottish TUC Lunchtime Fringe Meeting Tuesday 21st April 2009 Perth Studio Theatre Refreshments provided thanks to UNITE the Union

21st April 2009 – 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Scottish TUC

Lunchtime Fringe Meeting

Tuesday 21st April 2009
Perth Studio Theatre
Refreshments provided thanks to UNITE the Union

Recent disputes including those at East Lindsey Oil Refinery and Prisme Packaging in Dundee reflect the frustration and anger felt by workers. Unofficial action to protect jobs and conditions at work are increasing. And it’s no surprise. Workers are suffering under the toxic mix of weak labour laws and economic recession. They’ve been denied the improved collective rights proposed by the Trade Union Freedom Bill just at a time when those freedoms are needed to resist cuts in living standards.

They face threats from a European Commission determined to open up markets and from a European Court determined to close down unions. Recent cases in the European Court of Justice threaten to reduce the pay and conditions of workers to a minimum whilst threatening unions with unlimited damages if they fight back.

So what can be done to protect workers? The legal and political routes have delivered little. The industrial route – through organisation and action – is the only alternative. This year will see the 60th anniversary of ILO Convention 98 on the right to organise and to collective bargaining – an ideal opportunity to put the collective power of trade unions and workers back where it belongs – centre stage.

Speakers:

  • Katy Clark MP
    1. Bob Crow, General Secretary of RMT and Chair of the United Campaign
    2. Jackson Cullinane, Deputy Regional Secretary at T&G Section of UNITE
    3. John Haylett, Political Editor of the Morning Star
    4. John Hendy QC, Chair of the IER and National Secretary of the United Campaign

Chair:

  1. Carolyn Jones, Director of the IER