Richard Leonard: Time To Reforge The Alliance Between Labour And Trade Unions

In a speech later today to the STUC Congress, Richard Leonard will say that the Labour Party and the trade union movement need to work together to build a new economy that works for the many.


Speaking mid-afternoon at the Scottish Trade Union Conference’s annual meeting in Aviemore, he will lay out his platform for trade union members from all over Scotland. A former trade union organiser himself, Leonard has deep ties to the trade union movement, who largely backed his campaign to become Scottish Labour leader last year.

Leonard is expected to say:

“As far as the Scottish Labour Party is concerned trade unions have a big role to play in the new economy, not just defending your members, but using your members’ knowledge, skills and capacities to plan for the future.

“We need to look afresh at who owns the Scottish economy, why we are so vulnerable to external shocks, and why so much wealth leaks out from our country. 

"And we need a Scottish industrial strategy because we cannot carry on with business as usual, lurching from one defensive rescue to the next.  We need forward planning, economic planning and also environmental planning, to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge - climate change.

"We need democracy in our economy, not just when things go wrong, but to help things go right in the first place.

“We are at a turning point, both for the Labour Party and the labour movement in Scotland.

“We can re-forge the alliance between the industrial and political wings to start winning support for real change, to challenge once and for all austerity which is a political not an economic choice, to make the case again for public ownership and an end to PFI, PPP and NPDs and to secure a lasting redistribution of wealth and power into the hands of the many, not the few.”

“So I appeal to anyone in this hall today, and anyone across Scotland, who shares our vision of new hope, to come and join us.”

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