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Stronger trade union relations

Published: 10 Nov 2015 00:01

Westminster Bill will “damage economic growth”.

The key role played by trade unions in developing the economy and improving equality been highlighted ahead of a Scottish Parliament debate on Westminster's Trade Union Bill.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham will tell the annual Scottish Union Learning Conference that trade unions should be celebrated, not attacked, and that Scotland should be exempt from Westminster's Trade Union Bill.

She said:

"The Scottish Government has actively sought to promote the very constructive role trade unions play in the workplace, in the wider economy and civil society in reducing both inequality and building our economic success.

"A shining example of this is the establishment of a Fair Work Convention, which brings together trade unions and employers across the public, private and third sectors to define fair working practices in a Framework for Scotland.

"Trade union learning has also long been a tradition in Scottish workplaces, and one that the Scottish Government is very pleased to continue supporting. During this financial year, the Learning Fund will support around 3,000 learners throughout Scotland on courses ranging from Women in Leadership to Social Media and Social Networking.

"The system allows members to access learning and training opportunities at a time that suits their needs and is critical to enhance skill levels in the workforce. To damage trade union relations in Scotland, which is exactly what Westminster's ill-thought out Bill will do, will affect union learning and therefore damage economic growth.

"The Bill as it stands is not a constructive platform upon which we can pursue our ambitions for Scottish workers. The Scottish Government continues to oppose the Trade Union Bill and I hope to receive widespread support for this position as part of today's Scottish Parliament debate."