Saturday, 7 July 2018

Piper's Tune by Henry Cairney in memory of Piper Alpha and all those lost


With thanks to Willie Gibson and the STUC for sending us this very powerful and brave poem, written by Henry Cairney, President of the Calgary Burns Club, and like Willie, an offshore worker in the 1980s. Henry lost friends in the Piper Alpha disaster and has penned this in memory of that tragedy and so that we never forget.

Piper's Tune

The  morning  air  was  crisp  and  clear,  todays  shift  change  was   drawing  near,  Some  worked  below,  some  rose  on  high,  both  shall  meet  soon  eye  to  eye, One  thinking  ofthe  day  ahead,  another  thinks  of going  to  bed, 
Yes  here  they  are,  men  one  and  all,  soon  some  will  live  and  some  will  fall.   


All  quiet  at  the  breakfast  table,  some  wonder  one  day  if they're  able,  To  leave  this  way  of life  for  good,  and  elevate  above  this  mood,   
Of sometimes  joy,  and  sometimes   pain,  walking  out  in  freezing  rain,   
To  trudge  down  steps  and  start  the  toil,  and  raise  this  nations  bloody  oil.   


The  day  has  past,   he  thinks  with  pride,  and  climbs  once  more  the  monsters  side,  To  mingle  with  the  off-shift  crew,  relax,  before  it  starts  anew.   
He  feeds,  showers,  and  settles  down,  to  another  night  in  this  little  town,  
If  only  he  could  see  through  time,  he'd  know,  he'll  never  reach  his  prime.   


He's   heard  the  rumble  from  below,  the  flickering  lights   give  an  eerie  glow,  And  stumbling  forward  to  the  door,  with  fear  that  strikes  him  to  the  core,  
His  cries  that  join  a  chorus  loud,  came  from  a  man  once  tall  and  proud,  
His  fate  decided,  a  final  story,  of a  life  which  could  have  reaped  more  glory.   

ATUC remembers Piper Alpha

As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, the thoughts of Aberdeen Trades Union Council are with the families and friends of the 167 people who lost their lives and with those who survived that most terrible and avoidable tragedy.

We echo the words of Unite's Pat Rafferty and his concerns that 30 years on we still have an industry that is driven increasingly by cost reductions, with corners and jobs being cut to save money.

 “We must never forget the lessons of Piper Alpha.

“But 30 years on, we should have learned something and it doesn’t look like offshore employers have.

“The Workers’ Memorial Day has a strapline: remember the dead, fight for the living. We do remember; we will never forget.

“But we must also continue the fight to make sure the industry is as safe as it can possibly be to ensure workers can return home at the end of their shift.”

We pledge, as we do every year at our Workers' Memorial Day service, to continue the fight for proper health and safety regulation and oversight, to make sure that no worker dies or is made ill at their work.

Click here to read Pat Rafferty's full piece in the P&J

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Join the "Trump's a Chump" carnival of resistance on 14th July

Aberdeen Trades Union Council has joined with a number of local organisations to organise a protest against Donald Trump at his golf course on the Menie Estate during his forthcoming visit to the UK.

This event, entitled, "Trump's a Chump" will be held on 14th July as part of a "carnival of resistance" across the UK, when tens of thousands are expected to demonstrate against Trump's racist and mysogynistic policies.

Protesters will gather at Trump International Golf Links, on the Menie Estate, Balmedie at 11am until 3pm on Saturday 14th July. Please join us if you can.

Kathleen Kennedy, ATUC President said that she expected thousands to turn out across the UK "to make our voices heard."

She added, “Since Trump became president we've seen a worrying roll back of human rights, most recently in the separation of young children from their parents on the Mexico border. This comes on top of the discriminatory travel ban, his reckless announcement on Jerusalem, and harmful policies on refugees, women's rights and climate change."


“His visit to Britain will be an important opportunity to underline the importance of free speech and the right to protest, freedoms which he seems to have little time for,” added Kathleen, calling for as many people as possible to come along to add their voices to the protest.

"Bring your friends and banners and let's make some noise," urged Kathleen.

Join us for an evening of ATUC history in our 150th year, with Jurgen Thomanek

During our 150th anniversary year, ATUC is holding a number of celebratory events. This talk is one in a series looking back over ATUC’s history.

We are delighted to announce that long-time ATUC member and now consultative member, Jürgen Thomanek will present his postponed talk, An Evening of Aberdeen Trade Union Council History on Tuesday 10th July from 7-9pm in the ATUC Premises at John Londragan House, 22a Adelphi, Aberdeen.

Jürgen Thomanek (J.P. , M.Ed. , Dr. Phil. ,FRSA) is a former President of ATUC (1982-2000), and a current member of ATUC’s executive committee.

After studying at the universities of Kiel and Tübingen in Germany, Jürgen came to Aberdeen in 1966, completing a doctorate and later obtaining an M.Ed. at the University of Aberdeen, where he spent the rest of his academic career, becoming Professor of German in 1992. 

He was the first Aberdeen Association of University Teachers (AUT) delegate to Aberdeen Trades Council, and the first Aberdeen University AUT Secretary and President. He was also heavily involved in National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Union of Seamen (NUS) and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) disputes.

Join us for a fascinating evening of trade union history!