The agreement signed today highlights serious concerns over the Tory government’s commitment to austerity, £12bn welfare cuts and the further erosion of employment and trade union rights.
Nicola Sturgeon and the STUC also agreed that the UK Government should devolve powers over the minimum wage and employment law, equalities legislation and trade union and health and safety law – as well as further devolution of powers over social security.
Commenting, Christina McKelvie MSP – Convener of the SNP Parliamentary Trade Union Group – said:
“A positive working relationship between the SNP and Scotland’s trade unions will be crucial in leading the opposition to this out of touch Tory government and its ideological commitment to cuts – and today’s agreement with the First Minister is a very welcome step in fighting the Tories’ austerity agenda.
“The STUC’s commitment to working with the First Minister for the early devolution of powers over employment law, the minimum wage and social security is also very welcome – reflecting the clear view of the people of Scotland that these powers should be in Scotland’s hands rather than in the hands of George Osborne and David Cameron.
“There is clearly an emerging consensus in Scotland building behind the early delivery of these powers – every party in Scotland should now back the STUC’s calls today.
“In the last Parliament, Labour joined hands with the Tories to back billions of pounds of cuts - and this will never be forgotten by people in Scotland. It is now time for Labour to do the right thing and join with us to call for a strengthened package of powers for the Scottish Parliament.
“Last week the SNP received an unprecedented democratic mandate with ending austerity at its heart – and today’s agreement will make sure that Scotland’s opposition to cuts and our demands for more powers to make our country wealthier and fairer are heard loud and clear.”