Last week the MU’s Regional Officer for Scotland & Northern Ireland Region, Louise Stanners Pow, attended Scotland’s Cost of Living Summit.
During the summit of trade union leaders and community groups in Glasgow, a cost-of-living emergency was declared.
The STUC and the Poverty Alliance, alongside trade union (including the MU), civic and community groups from across Scotland declared the nationwide cost of living emergency, announcing key demands of the Scottish Government. The move followed a day of crisis talks with community leaders pledging to bring forward a formal declaration on the emergency.
Key demands included convening a national food summit following the Scottish Government’s decision to reject universal free school meals throughout primary and secondary schools.
Further demands included a national lobby of the Scottish Parliament on endemic low pay with recent statistics showing that real-term pay has fallen by 10% since the start of the year. Other pledges included a national rent freeze and key reform of public transport, focusing on people over profit.
The summit also called for Scotland’s social security system to be renewed in order to tackle poverty and low incomes.
STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“Our summit, representative of Scotland’s trade union and civic movement against this crisis, has declared a cost-of-living emergency. This is just the beginning. We’re building a nationwide movement that is seeking action on low pay, housing, transport and poverty.
“It’s no longer tolerable to wait on decisions from our political class. We’ve made it simple for them and our summit was clear. This is an emergency situation that requires an emergency response.
“Inaction is not an excuse. Whether something is devolved or reserved doesn’t matter to workers across Scotland; they just need decisive action from our political leaders which, until now, has been decisively lacking”.