Responding to the launch of the Scottish government white paper on independence, ‘Scotland’s Future’, Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said:
“Unite has consistently said throughout this process ‘let the people decide’ and, while many people are probably no nearer to deciding whether Scotland should be an independent country or not, this morning’s white paper launch is nonetheless an important development.
“The Scottish government has offered some welcome proposals that will contribute towards the wider debate, not least keeping public services in public hands, improved childcare provision that would significantly help hard-working families and the abolition of the coalition’s Bedroom Tax which is punishing the most vulnerable in our society.
“Greater detail will be required on important issues such as pension protections and the pursuit of a fairer system of taxation (including the role of corporation tax). We also believe there is a case for the creation of a Scottish defence diversification agency to help offset the employment impact on the proposed removal of Trident.
“As the country’s most industrially diverse trade union we also note with interest proposals for the establishment of a National Convention on Employment and Labour Relations which we hope reflects a long-term desire for a more pluralistic approach to employment relations from the Scottish government, irrespective of the referendum result. However, Unite will be pursuing more detail on proposals for wider trade union-related legislation and the role of collective bargaining in re-balancing the future Scottish economy.
“The White Paper will contribute towards the growing ranks of worthy publications, such as the Common Weal and Red Paper Collective, to help people debate and decide our constitutional future. And while there will be no panacea for every question in this debate more people will now feel able to make an informed decision.
“Unite will help our members to do just that. Over the coming weeks and months we will create as many opportunities as possible for our membership to engage in that debate in order to make that all important and informed choice on September 18th 2014.”
Notes to Editors: For further information please contact Peter Welsh 07810157931.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.42 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.