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Workers are the 'real wealth creators', says Richard Leonard

Holyrood

Workers are the 'real wealth creators', says Richard Leonard

Scotland’s workers are "the real wealth creators”, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard will tell delegates at the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) tomorrow.

Speaking via video, Leonard will warn of a growing concern that the pandemic could see workers being exploited through attacks on pay and conditions, along with the prospect of the disruption caused by restrictions leading to rising unemployment.

Official figures, released last week, suggest unemployment remains steady, at 4.5 per cent, but both the Scottish and UK governments have warned that the most recent data does not take account of the economic damage done by coronavirus.

Meanwhile Andrew McRae, FSB Scotland’s policy chairman, has suggested that without stability there is a risk of “a wave of job losses in the future”.

Speaking to delegates, the Scottish Labour leader will warn of “exploitative bosses who will take advantage of circumstances like these to attack hard won pay, terms and conditions”.

He is expected to say: “Across Scotland, there is a very real sense of fear right now. Yes, fear of the virus. Fear that it may take more loved ones from us, and fear that it will continue to keep us apart from our families and friends  

“But there is a fear too of the economic devastation that it has unleashed, the joblessness it has created, and the jobs that could still be lost. 

“There is a fear too of exploitative bosses who will take advantage of circumstances like these to attack hard won pay, terms and conditions. 

“But it is the role of our movement to offer hope over fear. To organise to save those jobs, and to fight back against those exploitative bosses and remind them that it is Scotland’s workers who are the real wealth creators in this country.”

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