Some 200 trade unionists met in Glasgow last Saturday at a Scottish TUC conference organised to discuss the independence referendum, expected in 2014.
The STUC stressed that there would be debate but “no decision taking or votes” on an STUC position. STUC national secretary Graeme Smith said delegates should think about how to achieve a “socially just Scotland”.
One Unison union member argued that “independence is not the core question—how do we help ordinary people?” The debate developed in workshops on equality, war, tax justice, the welfare state, education and the environment.
Jane, a Unison activist, told Socialist Worker, “I don’t believe independence will make any difference. The fight against the cuts is far more significant.”
One Unite activist said that the Scottish National Party leadership’s recent move to stay in Nato showed that “independence guarantees nothing”. But he added that an independence vote could have a “significant political impact, striking a blow to an already weak coalition government”.
Many raised the need to fight back now, not wait for the outcome of the referendum. They stressed the importance of building the STUC national demo on 20 October in Glasgow.