Trade union leaders declare cost-of-living emergency at a crisis summit
Trade union leaders have declared a cost-of-living emergency at a crisis summit in Glasgow today.
The STUC and the Poverty Alliance, alongside trade unions and civic and community groups from across Scotland laid out key demands of the Scottish Government. Crisis talks went on between community leaders who pledged to bring forward a formal declaration on the cost-of-living emergency.
This comes after inflation is set to rise to over 10 per cent, while worry is mounting that the price of food supplies such as meat, dairy and fresh produce will soar due to Brexit, supply chain issues and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The demands include convening a national food summit after the Scottish Government rejected universal free school meals throughout primary and secondary schools on Tuesday.
Trade union leaders are also demanding a national lobby of the Scottish Parliament on low pay, which has fallen by 10 per cent since the start of the year. They also want to see rent frozen along with reforms made to public transport and putting people before profit.
The summit also called for Scotland's social security system to be renewed 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.”
Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: "The only way we will get through this crisis is by showing solidarity and compassion.
"Today's conference was about putting those values into action. We look forward to building on today's demands to create a movement to tackle the injustice of poverty and low incomes in Scotland.