Young workers to campaign for safe transport home after shifts

STUC are set to relaunch their Safe Home campaign this weekend at their annual youth conference in Glasgow.

Young workers to join STUC campaign for safe transport home after shifts in Glasgow rally iStock

Young trade unionists will gather to demand transport home after their shifts as the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) call for ‘Safe Home’ policies to be rolled out.

STUC – Scotland’s largest trade union body – are set to relaunch their Safe Home campaign at their annual youth conference in Glasgow this weekend.

The campaign, which aims to ensure workplaces – particularly employers whose staff are expected to work unsociable hours – provide safe transport home for workers at the end of their shift. 

Delegates will launch a survey at the conference aiming to highlight the experiences of workers travelling to and from work late at night.

Trade unions throughout Scotland have been lobbying local authorities to embed safe home policies as a licensing condition for business premises opening and operating throughout their council region and have made significant wins within the hospitality sector.

Concerns had been raised by Unite the union’s ‘Get Me Home Safely’ campaign following a young hospitality worker being attacked late at night at the end of their shift. 

The STUC ‘Safe Home’ campaign seeks to build upon this work, expanding the demand to include social, transport and logistic workers, putting demands on the Scottish Government to include Safe Home policies within their Fair Work agenda.

The union’s general secretary Roz Foyer said: “What we’re seeing throughout Scotland is young people becoming empowered to demand better from their employers. Quite simply, they are demanding to be treated with dignity and not have to be out of pocket or potentially put in danger when travelling to or from their work.

“Unions across Scotland have driven this campaign forward and our STUC Youth Committee will build on that momentum, seeking buy-in from every local authority and the Scottish Government.

“In a cost of living crisis, with endemic low pay for young people, it cannot be right that they are spending fortunes of their wages on taxis home at the end of their shift or, worse still, finding no way home with inadequate public transport. This is an immediate demand from our young workers and we need local authorities, the Scottish Government and all politicians across the country to hear their voices loud and clear.

The union’s youth committee chair Fred Bayer added: “Young trade unionists are gathering in Glasgow this week to call time on workplaces forcing their staff into potentially dangerous and costly situations when seeking just to get to or from their work.

“Late night economy workers face a grim choice. They either fork out an unaffordable amount of their nightly wages on a taxi or, inexplicably, face walking home at night due to the inadequacy of our public transport.

“Employers have a duty of care and we’re calling on all local authorities and the Scottish Government to stand by workers, ensuring they get safe home from their work.”

Rosie Hampton, vice chair of the STUC youth committee, said: “There’s been great work that has gone on in the hospitality sector but we know insecure work is happening over all sectors. The Safe Home campaign has been built out of cross union work ensuring workers get home safely anytime it’s dark, when working in places without public transport links, or starting their shift early in the morning.”

Speaking about the importance of the campaign to women, she said: “I don’t know a single woman in my life who has not experienced intimidation or gender-based violence on public transport.

“If you’re a worker taking those routes regularly, it is frightening and if you’re facing the prospect of travelling five times a week, it can have a huge impact on your own health and safety.”

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