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Call for new PM to honour fair work principles

Published: 12 Jul 2016 16:27
Part of:
Public sector

Reassurance to all EU citizens working in Scotland.

The UK Government must reassure workers they will not lose out after the EU referendum outcome, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said today.

The STUC also supported the call to give all EU citizens currently resident in the UK reassurance they can continue to live, work and study here without restriction.

Ms Sturgeon was meeting the STUC General Council to discuss fair work and progressive workplace practices in light of the immediate and long-term implications for the Scottish economy of the referendum result. She also reiterated her message that her government will pursue all options to protect Scotland's position in Europe.

She said:

"I welcome today's discussions with the STUC General Council. I want to stress that this government will work with STUC and trade unions to share information, listen and understand priorities and concerns, and make clear, here and further afield, that Scotland remains a stable, attractive and fair place to do business.

"Scotland has a fundamentally strong economy and we will continue to work with employers and trade unions to boost productivity, innovative workplaces and inclusive growth. We will pursue every option to protect Scotland's position in Europe and, by extension, the interests of EU citizens who live and work here.

"I call on the new Prime Minister, Theresa May to give an immediate guarantee that the existing rights of the 173,000 EU nationals in Scotland will be protected.

"In Scotland we have fostered a distinctive and a positive approach to fair work focusing on economic and social benefits for all.

"The European Union has been instrumental in strengthening and protecting workers' rights and enshrining key employment rights relating to pay, safe working conditions and the right to unionise. I firmly believe that EU membership delivers many social, economic and cultural benefits for individuals, business and communities across Scotland.

"We will pursue every option to protect Scotland's position in Europe, and all the many benefits which that brings in terms of workers' rights and social protections. That includes our place in the single market and the free movement of people."

Grahame Smith, General Secretary STUC said:

"We share the view of the First Minister that the best place for Scotland is firmly within the European Union. We are further assured that the FM is exploring every available option to retain Scotland's membership within the European Union and is moving to positively address some of the challenges that have arisen in respect of the attitude of the Westminster Government. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the SG to ensure that our shared commitments to inclusive sustainable economic growth continues."