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Workers’ rights – who cares?

Thursday 10 August 2023 1:15 PM


With a wave of strike actions across all sectors seeking better wages, pensions and conditions, how relevant are trade unions to a post-Covid, flexible-working workforce that may be self-employed or part of a globalized gig economy?  Is it up to unions, or do we need better employers in uncertain times, to protect workers’ rights, and does a younger workforce really care? Chair Claire Baker MSP, Convener, Economy and Fair Work Committee Panellists Catherine McWilliam joined Institute of Directors Scotland in 2021 after 6 years supporting community-led enterprise activity with Development Trusts Association Scotland. She took over as Nations Director of IoD Scotland in September 2022 and is passionate about promoting good governance and diverse leadership. Catherine has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and relationship building across the third, private and public sector. Dr Rafael Peels works for the Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) of the International Labour Organization in Geneva. Before joining ACTRAV, he worked in the ILO’s Research Department, the Industrial Relations Branch and the Social and Solidarity Economy Unit. Before joining the ILO, Rafael worked for the Research Institute of Work and Society at Leuven University. He holds a Masters in economics, an MPhil in Latin American Studies and a PhD in political economy. Roz Foyer has been General Secretary of the STUC since March 2020 and is the first woman to hold this leadership role at a key time for trade unions and working people in Scotland. Roz has been an active trade unionist for over 30 years starting out as a PCS shop steward. Since becoming General Secretary, she has campaigned and called out both Scottish and UK governments for their failure to build an economy that works for working class people. Professor Patricia Findlay, Professor of Work and Employment Relations, University of Strathclyde and Co-chair Fair Work Convention

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