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Tuesday 21st
posted by Malcolm Burns in Britain

THE Scottish TUC renewed its call for the abolition of anti-trade union laws yesterday as employment rights took centre stage at its national congress.

Delegates called for “positive individual and collective workers’ rights to organise, to strike and to bargain” and many contrasted attacks on union rights by Westminster with a measure of engagement from the Scottish government.

The STUC also reaffirmed support for a living wage for all workers and a campaign to achieve a minimum wage of £10 per hour.

“It is impossible to construct a stable and prosperous economy and society when too many workers do not receive enough money to meet the basic needs of their families,” said communications union CWU delegate Pauline Rourke.

Launching the STUC’s new Better Than Zero campaign against work insecurity for young people, Unite activist Suki Sangha said: “We are on the side of the unorganised, the precarious and the young, because Scotland’s young workers are better than zero.”

But there was some criticism of the Scottish government over employment rights.

Rail union RMT delegate Andrew Elliot criticised the Scottish government’s decision to continue indemnifying private train operators for revenues lost as a result of industrial action.

“If someone was paying our members’ wages to go on strike we could we keep it going forever,” he said.

Construction union Ucatt Scottish secretary Harry Frew warned that blacklisting companies that had failed to “own up, pay up and clean up” were still being awarded public contracts by the Scottish government.

“If Boris Johnson can manage to end that in London surely it can be done in Scotland,” he said.