Unite’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty will tell the ‘Scotland United Against Austerity’ rally tomorrow (Saturday 20 June) that trade union power can defeat the injustice of the UK government’s economic and trade union policies - and they will break new trade union laws, if they have to.
The rally organised by the STUC and the People’s Assembly takes place at George Square in Glasgow from 12 noon until 16:00, with thousands of people expected to attend alongside representatives and speakers from across the Scottish left.
Unite will reach out to the new generation of Scottish social justice activists to help organise the non-union sectors of the economy blighted by low-pay and precarious employment standards.
It will also call on the Scottish government to work with trade unions to advance the growth of collective agreements as a means of driving-up pay and employment standards across the economy, demonstrating a better way than the Tories ‘race to the bottom’.
Speaking ahead of the rally, Pat Rafferty said, “My message to Scotland’s new generation of anti-austerity campaigners is this: There is power in a union and if necessary we will resist the anti-democratic Tory trade union laws by breaking them.
“If you are driven by the ideal of social justice then you have a natural home with the trade union movement and we need a concerted effort across the Scottish left, now more than ever, to defeat the Tory austerity agenda.
“We need to organise the unorganised in those areas of the economy that have grown without trade unions over the last generation, where in-work poverty, precarious and exploitative employment is most prevalent.
“We also need to increase the coverage of workers under collective agreements because that is the fulcrum of any economy where there is greater equality and shared prosperity.
"The stakes are so high because this generation must not only resist austerity, it must also succeed in delivering the alternative vision we all share for Scotland – a fair, just and prosperous country.”
For further information please contact Peter Welsh in Unite Scotland Communications on 07810157931.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.