Saturday, 17 March 2018

Please come along to a public talk this Thursday 22nd March on child prisoners as part of our 150th Anniversary events

Please join us for a public talk on Thursday 22nd March at 7pm on Palestinian child prisoners to be held in the Unite the Union office, 42-44 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5TJ.

This event is co-hosted by Aberdeen Trades Union Council and Scottish Palestine Solidarity Aberdeen and is part of a year of activities to mark the 150th anniversary of ATUC in 2018.

Kate Ramsden, UNISON NEC member and a member of the ATUC Executive has dedicated her career to defending children’s rights, and will be introducing a discussion on what we can do from Scotland to stand up for the rights of Palestinian children.  

Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) has submitted a motion to this year's STUC Congress condemning the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli courts and prisons and calling for action to end the detention and mis-treatment of Palestinian minors by Israel.

The text includes the phrase below.

‘The arrest of 16 year old Ahed Tamimi has shone a spotlight on Israel’s systematic abuse of minors through the process of military detention. The treatment of Ahed rightly generated a global response, but her situation is far from unique. Each year, the Israeli military arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. Palestinian children encounter ill-treatment and a denial of their basic rights. This is in clear breach of their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory.’

Please join us for this important event.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Solidarity to Unite members in First Bus taking action against cuts in pay and conditions

Aberdeen Trades Union Council sends support and solidarity to Unite members in First Aberdeen who will begin an overtime ban from Friday 16th March followed by a series of one day strikes, culminating in a week-long strike from 26th March.
ATUC is calling on all affiliates and supporters not to use First Aberdeen buses on strike days, in solidarity with striking workers.

The dispute is a result of imposed changes to terms and condition in pay, overtime rates, sick pay, removal of paid breaks and longer working days with split shifts.

The imposed changes will lead to cuts in pay for workers ranging from 10% to 23% depending on the level of overtime worked.

The vote for action was overwhelming. Unite members voted 95% in favour of action and action short of strike in an 81% turnout.

Unite regional officer, Willie Wallace said: “First Bus is arguing that they need  these changes to stem the decline in their financial performance, but when Unite put alternative suggestions for making the savings to the company, these were rejected.

"Our members have shown by the high vote for industrial action, how angry they are with First Bus around the imposition of these cuts and have been forced, reluctantly, to withdraw their labour.

“We have a situation where a two-tier workforce has meant new starts are employed on lesser terms and conditions than those on older contracts. This needs to stop and our members have made this clear with this result.

“First Aberdeen should reconsider Unite’s proposals which would halt this action.”

ATUC sends another message of solidarity and support to UCU Aberdeen

Aberdeen Trades Union Council has sent a further message of solidarity to our colleagues in our affiliated union, the UCU who tomorrow will conclude 14 days of strike action to defend their pensions.

President Kathleen Kennedy, elected at the AGM on 14th March sent an email of support to Aberdeen UCU. Delegates at the AGM also pledged a donation of £100 to the UCU Aberdeen hardship fund.

The UCU Aberdeen website reports that more than 50% of Aberdeen UCU members responded to an informal consultation regarding the output of the ACAS talks between UCU and Universities UK.

Dr David Watts represented Aberdeen at the UCU HQ meeting which took place in London on Tuesday.

The branch had to react quickly and made every effort, given the deadline, to engage all members in forming a collective response. The position of the branch is that Aberdeen UCU rejects the proposal brokered via the Acas-mediated talks.

It should be noted this position is in keeping with that made public by many other branches.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Come along to the Aberdeen Trades Union Council AGM on Wed 14th March

Delegates and associates are urged to come along to the ATUC AGM on Wednesday 14th March at  22a Adelphi, Aberdeen at 7.30pm.

This is a very important meeting where new officers are elected for the coming year, the accounts for 2017 are approved and plans made for the forthcoming events in our 150th anniversary year.

We have important events coming up including International Workers' Memorial Day and our May Day March and Rally as well as the STUC Congress in April.

We really hope that as many delegates as possible will attend and look forward to seeing you then.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

ATUC - we must organise to win for our members

Joint-President Tyrinne Rutherford used his speech at the Aberdeen City Civic Reception launching the 150th anniversary celebrations of the ATUC, to highlight the challenges facing trade unions now and to call on us to organise to win for our members.
Tyrinne Rutherford

“BROTHERS SISTERS COMRADES; If you look at the history of employers’ treatment of worker through history their goal hasn’t changed, but their tactics have.

They still want to pay us peanuts to maximise profit and they’ll do that to any that they see fits.

For instance zero hour contracts, and the fact they want contracts to be a bit of paper that say you'll work when we want you to work, go home when we want you to go home and this is your pay.

Remember what you were taught about the Victorian era of men turning up to the factory each morning with no guarantee of work or pay. That’s what the gig economy is like. Ask those workers at Deliveroo racing each other to get people’s order of food.

A Brief History of the ATUC

Vice President, Kathleen Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy Vice President gave a very brief account of the history of Aberdeen Trades Union Council at the Aberdeen City Council's Civic Reception

ATUC began obviously in 1868 given we are celebrating our 150th year this year and the launch of our anniversary celebrations being this Aberdeen City Council's civic reception  
When preparing for this talk Kathleen discovered the foundations were being laid before that - in fact in 1846 as there was an 'agreement' between different trades to support each other as the textile industry collapsed and the service sector began inhibited the development of trade unionism - well nothing changed there? But they haven't yet and they won't!

In 1868 during a 10 weeks Stone Mason's strike in the Granite City saw the coming together of 13 societies of masons and branches under  the leadership of John Jessiman  chairmanship to form the Trades Council - which we know as ATUC.
Morag Lawrence's (Assistant secretary) Great Gran was affected by this strike, in fact she was going to a wedding and couldn't afford new clothes for the wedding! So she and others went into a shop here in Aberdeen. Tried on new clothes and then putting on their own clothes on top and left without paying! They did get caught and Morag's Great Gran was imprisoned - this shows the impact of the strike and the hardship it meant for people - it's good to see Morag as part of the ATUC today and illustrates just how much her family has been in trade unionism over the years.

Aberdeen Trades Union Council launches its 150th Anniversary year in style

Kevin Hutchens, Kathleen Kennedy, Satnam Ner,
Barney Crockett, Tyrinne Rutherford and
Grahame Smith
Aberdeen Trades Union Council's 150th Anniversary celebrations got off to a high profile start this week with three excellent events formally launching our anniversary year and recognising the work of the ATUC locally.

Our thanks go to the STUC and Aberdeen City Council for hosting receptions to mark this important year.

STUC reception and launch of research proposal
The events began with a reception on Wednesday afternoon, 7th March hosted by the STUC in the Town House, Aberdeen to mark our150th anniversary. We were delighted that the General Council held their meeting in Aberdeen before this event.