TRADE unions have pledged to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the Scottish Government to defend devolution, including supporting its legal challenge to Westminster’s blocking of gender reform legislation.

However Roz Foyer, general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), also warned Humza Yousaf that his government must use the powers it has to ensure “real delivery on the ground” for workers.

In a speech to the STUC congress in Dundee, she praised employees across Scotland who have taken part in strike action, saying it shows that “power lies with the workers”.

She also highlighted action being taken by local trade unionists and anti-racism campaigners to stand up to “hatred, lies and fear” being provoked by the far right and fuelled by the UK Government’s “shameless and immoral scapegoating” of refugees.

READ MORE: Trade union bosses call on Scottish politicians to fight strikes bill

But she called on the Scottish Government to take “real and urgent action” on issues such as taxing the rich, creating a national care service and setting up a publicly owned energy company.

She told delegates: “We need the Scottish Government to use the powers it has. And we will stand shoulder to shoulder with them in defence of devolution.

“That means standing against Westminster’s interference in our democracy, whether through supporting the Scottish Government’s Section 35 challenge on the Gender Recognition Act, or resisting the imposition of the UK Government’s anti-strike bill on public services here in Scotland.

“So, while we will absolutely engage constructively with the new First Minister and work closely with his government on behalf of you our members, we need them to understand that talk is cheap, that our people’s patience is running out.

“And there will come a point where only real deeds and real delivery on the ground will be welcomed at the ballot box, by Scotland’s people. And that point is fast approaching.”

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Foyer said she believed a “reawakening of the working class” was now taking place and said there was a need to “keep up our fightback”.

“One thing is clear, how we respond to today’s economic challenges will determine the course of economic policy for generations to come,” she added.

“Ordinary working people didn’t ask for the fight we are in at the moment and we didn’t start it, but now that we are in it we need to ensure that every single worker who takes action gets the win they deserve and, more broadly, we need to ensure that our class gets a fairer share of the wealth in our economy.”