Watch Frances O’Grady’s lecture ‘A Future after Brexit?…’

Frances O’Grady, the General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), gave the sixth annual Jimmy Reid memorial lecture on Thursday 27 September. 180 attendees filled Glasgow’s City Chambers to hear her lecture: A Future after Brexit? Unions and the Scandinavian model of social democracy. 

You can now watch it below or read the transcript, courtesy of the Jimmy Reid Foundation.

Jimmy Reid memorial lecture on 27 September

Frances O’ Grady, the General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), will give the sixth annual Jimmy Reid memorial lecture in Glasgow’s City Chambers on Thursday 27 September. Doors open at 6pm with the lecture beginning at 7pm. The lecture is titled A Future after Brexit? Unions and the Scandinavian model of social democracy.

Read more and book a place

Trade unions can make block bookings, so please register your interest by commenting below.

Scottish Affairs Select Committee report on the future of work

In March, the Scottish Affairs Select Committee published The future of working practices in Scotland. This report reflects on the Taylor review on modern working practices, which covered the gig economy and precarious work, and looks at changes in the traditional workplace, and the particular impact of these developments on Scotland.

The report contains recommendations for the UK Government:

  • Extend a written statement of terms and conditions to all workers.
  • Clarify employment status in primary legislation.
  • Give workers who have been on zero hours contracts for 12 months the right to request a contract which reflects actual hours worked.
  • Consider a higher minimum wage for hours which are not guaranteed.
  • Assess the extent of unfair and illegal employment practices in Scotland.
  • Stronger penalties, including fines, for repeat or serious breaches of employment legislation, and expand “naming and shaming” to all non-accidental breaches of employment rights.
  • Work with unions to establish the extent of blacklisting and stop it.

The report was informed by evidence given by Robin McAlpine, Director of the Common Weal, and Professor Mike Danson of the Jimmy Reid Foundation.

WhatDoTheyKnow — getting answers from public sector bodies for 10 years! celebrates its tenth birthday on 25 February 2018. The website is an invaluable tool for trade unionists and citizens that have questions for public sector bodies.

The site

  • catalogues responses to freedom of information (FOI) requests from across public sector bodies
  • makes it easy to submit FOI requests

so if there’s something that you’ve been wondering about at the council, you can

  • check if someone has asked it before
  • read up on related matters
  • submit your own request all in one place.

WhatDoTheyKnow is great for

Visit WhatDoTheyKnow 

Radical Options for Scotland and Europe conference & AGM on 18 November

Dangers of a Neo-Liberal EU Settlement is the title of this year’s Radical Options for Scotland and Europe (ROSE) conference on Saturday 18 November 2017 at the Unite Conference Room in Glasgow.

The conference is open to all and starts at 11am.

The AGM for ROSE members begins at 1pm.


  • Pauline Bryan — Red Paper Collective
  • Gordon Martin — Scottish Organiser Rail, Maritime and Transport Union
  • Alex Neil — MSP Airdrie and Shotts
  • Chair Ian Davidson


Unite Conference Room
145 West Regent Street
Glasgow, G2 4RZ

New edition of the Scottish Left Review

The 101st edition of Scottish Left Review (SLR) was recently published and you can read it online. Inside there are interesting articles on

  • Scottish economic reform and worker-owned business by Richard Leonard MSP, Unite’s favoured candidate for the Scottish Labour leadership
  • the opportunities for Britain to enshrine worker rights and forge new European alliances with Brexit by Neil Findlay MSP
  • how to organise effectively in the face of the Trade Union Act 2016 by UNISON’s Stephen Smellie.

Read these articles and more in latest SLR.

Magazine and book borrowing

If you prefer a paper copy of the SLR, get in touch to see if we have one to borrow. There are a number of magazines to which members have subscriptions that they are happy to share with Unite comrades.

Other magazines to borrow include Socialist Review and Strike! There are also a range of books that may be of interest, including

  • Nick Srnicek and Alex William’s excellent manifesto for a post-work world and analysis of the rise of neo-liberal capitalism Post-Capitalism and a World Without Work
  • Jane McAlevey’s account of her decade as a trade union organiser, Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell)
  • Razmig Keucheyan’s essential overview of modern anti-capitalist thought The Left Hemisphere. 

To find out what else is available – or to lend your own to the branch lending library – contact Graeme Smith. For more learning opportunities, contact our Learning Rep Amanda Cunningham.

Edinburgh World Justice Festival

The Edinburgh World Justice Festival is hosting a variety of interesting events across the city from 30 September to 16 October.

Check out the programme on their website. Events cover topics such as equality, refugees in Scotland, Grenfell, the global arms trade and Palestine.

Unite members will be along to a few events, so comment below if you’re going and would like to meet up.