FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has stressed his commitment to protecting workers’ rights after meeting with trade union chiefs.  

The SNP leader spoke out after meeting leaders of the Scottish Trades Union Congress on Tuesday for what he described as being “useful discussions”.

The talks focused on areas such as changing Scotland’s tax system to make it more “progressive” as well as workers’ rights.

The meeting, the first this year in a regular series of talks between the First Minister and the STUC, took place the day after Yousaf had outlined how a written constitution in an independent Scotland could protect workers rights.

And he also voiced his opposition to UK Government proposals to bring in “anti-strike laws”.

The First Minister insisted: “I am committed to protecting workers’ rights and vehemently opposed to UK Government plans to bring in anti-strike laws.

“The Scottish Government will continue to do all we can to oppose the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill. Indeed, our Building a New Scotland paper published yesterday details how the protection of workers’ rights, including the right to withdraw labour, could be embedded in the constitution of an independent Scotland.”

He added that the meeting had also discussed “a range of important issues, including how we can continue to work together to develop a wellbeing economy, with a progressive tax system to help build strong, sustainable public services”.

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STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said it was “vitally important” for the government to hear workers’ concerns, as she said that issues such as the cost-of-living crisis and protecting the right to strike “must be front and centre of the Scottish Government’s agenda”.

Foyer added: “It’s clear this is a shared endeavour and all parties agree we can leave no stone unturned in safeguarding workers from the worst impacts of the UK Conservative government’s unrelenting attacks on workers throughout the country.

“As such, we will continue to work with the Scottish Government wherever possible to build a progressive Scotland; one that values trade unions as a key partner in the campaign for social change in our communities and to ensure fair work is a reality for all workers.”