Trade Union Annual Congress: trade union congress. Sample containing about 8886 words speech recorded in business context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C339

PS2DU X m (Dick, age unknown, president of trade union) unspecified
PS2DV X m (Jim, age unknown, deputy lord mayor) unspecified
PS2DW X m (John, age unknown, general secretary of trade union) unspecified
PS2DX X m (Steve, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2DY X m (John, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2E0 X m (Hughie, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2E1 X f (Peggy, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2E2 X m (Eric, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2E3 X m (Giles, age unknown, member of parliament) unspecified
HDNPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HDNPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100901 recorded on 1993-06-06. LocationHampshire: Portsmouth ( The Guildhall ) Activity: trade union congress speech

Undivided text

Dick (PS2DU) [1] Conference, could you be upstanding and welcome on to the platform, Catherine and [...] , delegates from the Lancashire region ... where last year's congress was held, to unveil the G M B banner. [music for approximately two minutes]
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [2] Congress, it gives me great pleasure to declare congress open.
[3] This in fact is the first time that the G M B has held its conference in Portsmouth.
[4] We're absolutely delighted to be here ... not least because we have membership throughout the spread of Portsmouth in the various different industries which we as a union represent ... the naval dockyards ... the utilities, energy, water, gas, electricity and many other industries including the [...] .
[5] So we're delighted to bring our conference to support our members in Portsmouth.
[6] Equally colleagues, we're delighted to be here not least because the Labour Party has made significant inroads into Portsmouth.
[7] And with now fourteen Labour councillors as opposed to seventeen Tories and a few Lib Dems ... the Labour Party in Manchester, in, sorry, in Portsmouth ...
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping] ...
Dick (PS2DU) [8] well in Manchester as well
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping] ...
Dick (PS2DU) [9] will soon join their colleagues on the south coast in Southampton and gain power in Portsmouth.
[10] So it's my great pleasure to declare congress open and to welcome everybody to Portsmouth.
[11] Colleagues, for the benefit of first-time delegates ... this is going to be the running order of business for the week ... the final agenda, this includes the rule amendment motions ... the general motions ... the standing orders committee guideline for congress business ... and the standing orders committee first report which we will come to later this mor this morning.
[12] And then in addition there are the thirty one composite motions that regions have agreed since the pre-congress delegates' meetings ... and finally an index to the general motions ... so that's very much an explanation for the benefit of first-time delegates to congress.
[13] Can we now proceed to welcome the Deputy Mayor ... to ask him to give us a civic welcome.
[14] Can I introduce and welcome the Deputy Lord Mayor of the city of Portsmouth ... Councillor Jim .
[15] Jim was born in Buttleberry Berkshire ... and comes from a farming stroke dairy background.
[16] [...] a short time in farming Councillor worked for Fosters Electrical Engineers, Basingstoke ... as an electrician's mate.
[17] He joined the Royal Navy in nineteen fifty one as a cook ... being demobbed in nineteen fifty eight.
[18] In the same year he joined British Gas Southern as a driver in the transport section ... he has now nearly completed thirty four years' service with British Gas and has been a member of this trade union for nearly thirty four years.
[19] Jim was elected to Portsmouth city council in nineteen seventy six as a member for [...] where I understand he tried to play football occasionally ... until nineteen eighty six.
[20] After a year off he then returned as a member to the [...] in nineteen eighty seven.
[21] During his term as councillor Jim has served as chairman of the transportation committee and also on numerous committees.
[22] Outside council business Mr is a representative of the Langstone Harbour Board ... [...] activities ... the Lord Chancellor's advisory committee and has been governor of five local schools.
[23] Jim is married to Joy who has lived in Portsmouth all her life ... they have one daughter Julie who still lives with them in [...] .
[24] Jim's hobbies include philately ... an interest in most sporting events ... walking his dog in the countryside and do-it-yourself.
[25] Can I thank Jim very much indeed for attending our conference this morning and ask him to give us a civic welcome.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Jim (PS2DV) [26] Mr President ... brothers, sisters, and friends ... I know I'm amongst many friends here.
[27] I am delighted to be here today to open the G M B congress for nineteen ninety three as Deputy M Mayor of this great city of Portsmouth, and not Manchester.
[28] [clapping] Mr Chairman, er, I'd like to thank you for those nice words of introduction ... but I am particularly delighted as I am a lifelong member of the G M B, of almost thirty five years' standing, due to my employment with British Gas and my long membership with the Labour Party.
[29] The G M B annual conference is the supreme policy making body within the union ... all members ... branches ... officers and sections ... national committees and conferences ... are subject to its authority.
[30] I know the congress considers and determines all questions of policy affecting the general ... industry, political or social welfare of membership ... and attracts around two thousand five hundred delegates, visitors and guests.
[31] This includes leading British and European politicians ... representatives of foreign embassies in the United Kingdom ... international trade union leaders ... senior industrialists and employers.
[32] The G M B is widely hailed to be the most progressive British trade union and is regarded as a key opinion former of all matters of industrial and economic and social policies.
[33] The G M B's influence in the British labour movement and congress also provides a sounding board for the views of the political nature which can have a significant impact on the direction of the Labour Party.
[34] Mr President ... Portsmouth is a thriving maritime city with much to be proud of ... we have many supreme attractions ... Victory ... Mary Rose and Warrior amongst others ... which I hope you will have a chance to visit some time during your stay here in Portsmouth.
[35] Our ferry port which opened in nineteen seventy six is now the second largest ferry port on the south coast and it is city-owned ... yielding profit ... they are reinvested back into our city.
[36] We are very proud to be the home of the Royal Navy even though we have suffered tremendously from the defence cuts.
[37] We are confident that we can overcome these difficulties by encouraging diversification within our local industries.
[38] We are delighted to have you here ... you are most welcome ... we do hope you will enjoy yourself so much you will return as soo as soon as you can, to perhaps take advantage of our ferry port links with Normandy, and now Bilbao in Spain.
[39] It now leaves me with only the very pleasant duty to declare the congress open and to wish it great success.
[40] I hope my duties will allow me to spend some time with you, but I will be attending this evening's Red Rose Rally and I look forward to seeing you there.
[41] Thank you all very much.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [42] Colleagues, to ... to mark the event on the occasion of Councillor 's, er ... civic address and welcome to conference, it's my great pleasure to present [...] by John and a suitably inscribed tankard made by our members in Sheffield.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [43] Colleagues, can I extend a very warm welcome to a number of special guests who are attending conference ... Ryan , head of the international department of [...] ... and John , U S Embassy's councillor for labour affairs ... I'm not sure exactly where our colleagues are ... yes John ...
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [44] and an omnibus vote of, er, an omnibus welcome for a very large number of colleagues who are attending, er ... conference this year, Kevin , Birmingham regional president ... Jack , retired Lancashire regional secretary ... John , retired Liverpool regional secretary ... John , retired London regional secretary ... Cyril , retired Midland regional secretary, hang on, it goes on ... Andrew , retired Northern regional secretary ... Jim , Scottish retired regional secretary ... Derek , retired Southern regional secretary ... it's a good job we've got a good pension fund
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping] ...
Dick (PS2DU) [45] but one that's gonna top all that without any shadow of a doubt, he must be the youngest pensioner this side of the Mississippi ... and that's Alan , retired executive officer ... who's on a busman's holiday this week ... Roger union solicitor ... Bill retired N I O, hopefully won't be having any accidents this week ... [...] retired education and training manager.
[46] A warm welcome colleagues to all our colleagues.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [47] The general member auditors, er, I'm told that they, they look after the money ... they've not been able to find themselves seats I understand this morning, so hopefully everything's in order ... but somewhere around ... Eric ... George and Arthur ... are they around?
[48] Oh they're there, ah they're at the front, that's the best place for them.
[49] A warm welcome colleagues.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [50] And trusty Jim
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [51] Now, we've got quite a long list, colleagues, of, er, members of the European Parliament and members of Parliament who will be with us during the course of the week for ... for short stays ... er Euro European MPs first, er Linden , Cheshire West ... secretary of the European P L P ... Steven , Durham, deputy leader of the European P L P ... Hugh , Strathclyde West ... Barry , Yorkshire West ... and from the G M B parliamentary group, er, these MPs may only be present for short periods ... Nicholas , Newcastle-upon-Tyne East ... Doug , Newcastle-upon-Tyne North ... Gerald , [...] ... George , Hamilton ... Clive Hammersmith ... and Giles who's drawn the short straw, who's going to give us an address this morning.
[52] Colleagues, a warm welcome to all our parliamentary colleagues.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [53] And the official verbatim writers ... couple of people who work very hard indeed ... er, during the course of the week ... Mavis and Michael ... Mavis , sorry, and Michael ... warm welcome colleagues.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [54] And colleagues, a couple of colleagues that, er, few of us appear to appreciate from time to time, and those are the signers who do a very important job for some delegates who are here this week.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [55] That's Margot and Brenda ... our colleague on the platform and our colleague sat there ... welcome.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [56] Can I now ask the general secretary to do the roll call ... John.
John (PS2DW) [57] John calling the roll ... Birmingham and West Midlands ... [response can be heard in background] ... Lancashire region ... [response] ... Liverpool, North Wales and Irish ... [response] London ... [response] Midland and East Coast ... [response] Northern ... [response] G M B Scotland ... [response] Southern ... [response] South Western ... [response] er Yorkshire and North Derbyshire ... [response] er, those, er, changes that haven't already been notified, could they be notified to the congress office.
[58] Thanks President.
Dick (PS2DU) [59] Thank you very much John, and could I ask the General Secretary to deal with the appointment of [...] .
John (PS2DW) [60] Er, Birmingham region, Brian , who will count G M B Scotland ... Lancashire region, John who will count Southern ... Liverpool region, Alan who will count South Western ... London, Bill who will count Yorkshire ... Midland, Colin who will count Birmingham ... Northern, Derek who will count Lancashire ... G M B Scotland, Mary , who will count Liverpool ... Southern, Jack who will count London ... South Western, John , the other John , who will count Midland ... Yorkshire, Ray who will count Northern ... er, and now the pep talk ... it should be emphasized that tellers must remain in the congress hall while congress is in session ... and of course that delegates must be in their allotted seats when a vote is taken.
[61] Colleagues, can I now take, er, a moment of your time and it gives me very great pleasure to call upon the President to deliver his address to congress.
[62] Your President, Dick .
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [63] Thank you very much, er, conference, and indeed it gives me great pleasure to address you this morning.
[64] You may recall delegates who were at congress last year, that I spoke about governments having the moral support of the people.
[65] Not just having a majority in parliament to govern you ... and that was being described at that particular time by the Tory government that their majority would be adequate ... they had a majority of twenty one.
[66] But much has happened in that short fourteen months since the general election.
[67] And we said that people would realize the mistake in voting Tory ... and haven't they?
[68] Manufacture industry barely surviving ... thousands of job losses ... a public service borrowing requirement at a staggering fifty billion pounds ... Black Wednesday devaluation ... government climb-downs, U-turns, defeats on Maastricht, the mines, education, railway privatization ... V A T on heating bills.
[69] The country effectively run by fourteen Tory backbenchers ... a Prime Minister who was told by his Party and has been told by his, by the country consistently to get rid of a chancellor who is totally and utterly incompetent.
[70] And after losing all but one of the shire counties and a major by-election defeat ... sacks his chancellor and then effectively promotes to number two in the government the person who wants his job!
[71] And the right wing of the Tory Party in open rebellion.
[72] A government clearly that is split both politically and is totally incompetent ... the government's majority is now down to eighteen and all the predictions are that within a few weeks it will be down to seventeen.
[73] It will be amazing if this government runs the full course ... and as we saw in nineteen nineties ... the Tories just love leadership elections ... putting the knife in.
[74] What they don't like is turning up at the House of Commons and having to do some work, because they can't stand the pressure.
[75] The Economist ... that bastion of left wing thinking ... commissioned an actuary to estimate the likely number of vacancies during a parliament ... ten point seven three ... sorry to be precise about this colleagues ... Tory MPs can be expected to die over a full five year term, I'm sorry for being morbid.
[76] Rebellion is now a habit that could become institutionalized.
[77] I suppose on both there is such a thing as divine providence ... there is as much chance of Major holding the Tories together as Manchester City winning the Premier League!
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [78] In Britain, unlike many parliamentary democracies in the world, we have an opposition that is actually paid to oppose the government of the day ... I think.
[79] Last year, this union held a ballot ... and a hundred and forty thousand members took part in that ballot for the leader of the Labour Party ... and they made it absolutely clear to the executive that as far as they were concerned they wanted a part and a say in who was the leader of the Labour Party, and they di decided dem democratically.
[80] For the last six months the momentum has grown ... we've been lectured to by ex-leaders of the Party ... by ex-parliamentary stars ... by Give-us-a-Meal Roy ... by budding prima donnas by the wagon-load, [shouting] telling us how we should be gagged [] !
[81] And how they should be no longer answerable to ordinary working people ... they know best, they will decide ... their political record is far from impressive ... lost four general elections ... the last one was on their agenda!
[82] You remember it ... the razzmatazz ... no trade union involvement, [...] involved ... keep out of it boys, we'll deal with it.
[83] On the doorsteps in Rochdale, in Newcastle, in Birmingham, in Nottingham, there wasn't a mention by, of the trade union movement.
[84] It was not a trade union agenda.
[85] And there was no public outcry.
[86] We do indeed have the right to ask ... who really are our friends?
[87] Amongst the activists in branch, at branch and constituency level there is much speculation about the parliamentary leadership's desire to br bring in one member one vote.
[88] O M O V ... you can't buy it at the chemist ... it isn't a new type of bread for some religious festival ... it's not a new cleaning detergent ... O M O V ... what is O M O V?
[89] It narrows the franchise of those entitled to vote in the Labour Party because the fact of the matter is the Labour Party membership is declining.
[90] So all these people who lecture to us about democracy should really examine the situation ... it's got nothing to do with democracy whatsoever ... when less people are entitled to have a say.
[91] Do they want to float free ... answerable to no one and free to [...] trade with other political parties ... of political power in exchange for new voting systems, which have absolutely no credibility with us and absolutely have no credibility with the British people, cos they don't want it!
[92] We stand for a de democratic party ... but we will not allow a bunch of politicians to hijack this party!
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [93] The fundamental issue is this ... that if the Labour Party is to remain a party of labour ... it must have as an integral part the trade union movement, [shouting] it's as simple as that, colleagues [] !
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [94] And for those who want to propose alternative tenuous links for the good of their own egos ... whether they be members of Parliament or full-time officers of other trade unions ... they do this movement no credit or good whatsoever.
[95] For those who cannot maintain, who cannot support the maintenance of the links of the trade union movement [...] Party, we say this ... [shouting] start packing your bags ... there's the door, we'll stick around [] !
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [96] Instead of shooting ourselves in the foot our people are asking, where does the fi fight start?
[97] Against the worst and most incompetent government in living memory.
[98] The Timex workers in Dundee ... left without any legal protection whatsoever, and is this a forerunner for what other unscrupulous employers will use?
[99] The attack on the trade union movement ... check-off our, our existence ... the existence of the trade union movement is under attack ... union membership and others ... the shipyard workers at Swan Hunter ... the thousands of local authority workers who have lost their jobs ... [shouting] those are the issues in which our parliamentary party should be addressing now on behalf of our people [] !
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [100] Last year congress carried a motion on racism and fascism ... expressing its alarm at the rise of fascism and racism in Germany and France ... this has always been a trade union issue.
[101] We were the first union in nineteen seventy six to come out with our policy on the then Race Relations Act ... it's always been a trade union issue ... whether it was the trade unions in Germany in the twenties and thirties ... fighting Hitlerism and Nazi-ism ... or whether it was the trade unions fighting Moseley and his black shirts in Britain ... it has always been part of our ideals and principles.
[102] We stand for solidarity between workers of all races and colours and we are opposed and must stop unscrupulous politicians and racist groups using the race issue to divide working people!
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [103] We thought that last year ... we hoped that last year, the murder of migrant workers in [...] and the demonstrations of fascist thugs was clearly not isolated.
[104] We are appalled at the attack and murder of the migrant Turkish workers and their families in Germany.
[105] And in Britain between nineteen eighty eight and nineteen ninety one there has been a doubling of racist attacks ... in large areas of London it is now commonplace for such attacks to take place.
[106] The facts are there ... there has been a staggering rise in attacks and murders ... this union must take the lead ... we call for the British government to bring in legislation to ban the evil nationalist and fascist political parties, and insist that government strengthens legal protection for third country nationals.
[107] We want the E E C to do the same ... we don't want pious statements ... we don't want words ... we need action and deeds now, colleagues.
[108] Colleagues, we have much work to do and many challenges to face.
[109] Trade union congress will shortly have a new general secretary ... a new leader.
[110] The G M B has argued for change in how the T U C operates.
[111] We believe the T U C's role should be one of more services to its affiliates ... to direct membership ... with greater emphasis on health and safety and recruitment.
[112] New unions have now emerged which we have not faced before ... we must not dodge these challenges because they may appear difficult or hard ... and we must be prepared to learn off anybody who has something to show us ... to close our minds would be a mistake.
[113] Colleagues, eight years ago our union, along with other organizations in the trade union movement, balloted for a political fund.
[114] Five hundred thousand of our members took part in that particular ballot ... four hundred and fifty thousand of our members decided that they would support a political fund ... it was the first awakening, in my opinion, since nineteen forty five of the political views of ordinary trade union members.
[115] Shortly congress ... this union will be required to ballot again on this politically motivated move.
[116] I believe again that our members will support the call and in so doing call for a general election to dismiss this totally incompetent government!
[117] Thank you very much indeed.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [118] I would like to now to call on Steve , Dick's namesake, regional secretary of Midland region, to move the vote of thanks.
Steve (PS2DX) [119] President, colleagues, Steve , on behalf of the central executive council Midland and East Coast region, and can I assure delegates today that this is not an outbreak of nepotism.
[120] Whilst it might be unusual for, probably unique in fact, for a to thank a , can I reassure all delegates we are not related ... so rumour has it.
[121] President ... [...] just spelt out ... very clearly ... why in fact we're in the G M B ... and three words came to my mind ... three very simple words ... compassion ... care ... and change.
[122] Compassion for the victims of this sick Tory society ... compassion for the millions of people who have no work ... compassion for the victims of racists and racisms ... compassion for the victims of the public service cuts, whether it be the miserable one and a half percent pay offers ... compulsory competitive tendering ... job cuts, low pay, the pensioners, the elderly, the sick, the child, the list is never ending.
[123] And who picks up many of these victims?
[124] Well the G M B does.
[125] When this government talks about safety nets for those in need, I tend to look six inches below ground level to find it ... often the G M B is the only safety net above the ground ... which leads me to my second word ... we do this because we care ... we care about our country ... our economy, and our people.
[126] We care about the old age pensioners ... the poor ... the single parents ... and all those people who in a winter's time are going to struggle and some are tragically going to fail to pay seventeen and a half percent V A T on fuel and heating bills.
[127] We care about low pay and low incomes ... and it's estimated that in this country ... this so-called wealthy country ... that we have about eleven million people now on or just below E C poverty standards.
[128] Twenty percent of our population ... one in five ... what a disgrace.
[129] Which actually then brings me to my third and last point ... President ... care needs change.
[130] Now we need change to benefit our people ... our members ... your families and your friends.
[131] And we need a political voice to do that, President ... a political voice and influence through a Labour Party that's committed to strive for our goals ... by working with us and through us ... and we're not ashamed of our links with the Labour Party.
[132] I just wondered, colleagues if Azil Nadir of Polly Peck fame ... currently I understand sunbathing in Northern Cyprus ... would be prepared to say how proud he is to be associated with the Tories ... of course in saying that I do include Michael Mates, and I just wondered whether or not this watch he sent was in fact a Timex watch.
[133] We have no hidden gifts and no hidden donations to the Labour Party ... we have an open and upfront relationship with them and we intend to carry that through.
[134] You referred to the ex-parliamentary stars, President ... the budding prima donnas well I should, I would suggest that they ought to go away and look at their roots.
[135] We in the G M B know about our roots and we always will because of a very, another important word ... we're accountable ... we're accountable in the real world to real people with real issues and real problems ... not the hothouse world of some sections of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
[136] We need to get on with the real tasks ... working closely together ... the G M B and the Labour Party ... because working together will achieve the objectives of change for the good.
[137] Now cousin, oh er ah, I'm sorry, erm, President, because you know you get all sorts of distortions on this don't you ... can I say, President, er, cos [...] call him brother ... at times ... colleagues, on behalf of congress, can I thank you President, very very much for the very positive and very strong challenges that you've put before us, and the theme that I believe will carry us through the rest of the week.
[138] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [139] Thanks very much indeed, Steve.
[140] Can I now, er, ask congress to stand as a mark of respect for departed colleagues ...
John (PS2DW) [141] [speaking very quietly] Colleagues, while we're standing, can I remind you of a number of colleagues of ours who have died in the past year ... George , national office ... Dick from Scotland ... [...] of South Western region ... Lord from Southern region ... Julie from Southern region ... William from national office ... [...] from Northern region ... [...] from Birmingham ... Harry , London regional secretary ... Grace from London region ... [...] from Yorkshire region ... and many many others not mentioned here that have given their energy and their commitment on behalf of the G M B members, we remember them all ...
Dick (PS2DU) [142] Thank you very much colleagues ... Colleagues, can I ask the general secretary to report on the constitution of the standing orders committee.
John (PS2DW) [143] The standing orders committee is made up as follows ... Birmingham region, John ... Lancashire region, Noel ... Liverpool, Les , London John , Midland Paddy , Northern Jerry ... G M B Scotland John ... Southern Peter , South Western Keith , Yorkshire Kevin ... and I am delighted to tell you that the standing orders committee have elected as chairman this year, John .
Dick (PS2DU) [144] Thanks very much.
[145] Will conference confirm the appointment of standing orders committee?
[146] ... [general sounds of approval] Thanks very much.
[147] And could I now call upon the Chair of the standing orders committee, John , to move standing orders committee report number one.
John (PS2DY) [148] President, congress ... on behalf of the standing orders committee, I move standing orders committee report number one, which you will find on pages one four six to one four eight of the final agenda.
[149] On behalf of the committee I wish to thank all of those delegates and their regional secretaries who cooperated so well in agreeing thirty one composite motions.
[150] The composites are printed on pages one four one to one seven six of the final agenda.
[151] Since the report was printed the committee has given permission for a bucket collection to be taken at the end of this afternoon's session for our colleagues involved in the [...] dispute.
[152] The committee has also ruled that an emergency motion from the Southern region on the Crawley disp Crawley dispute is in order and will be emergency motion number one.
[153] The committee has given permission for a bucket collection to be taken at the end of congress on Monday to help these colleagues as well.
[154] Would the officers from Southern and Birmingham regions who'll be, who will be responsible for these collections, please come to the S O C immediately on completion of this report.
[155] The standing orders committee has been involved ... I'm sorry, the standing orders committee has been informed that the central executive council has withdrawn motion two.
[156] The standing orders committee has also been informed that the central executive council will submit to congress a special motion on Swan Hunter ... a special motion on a proposed transfer of engagement from the Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union.
[157] The central executive council will also submit to congress a motion, number one O six A, amending rule sixty seven.
[158] President, congress, I move S O C report number one.
Dick (PS2DU) [159] Thank you very much, John.
[160] Conference accept er conference arrangement report ... thanks very much.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2DU) [161] Yes.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [...]
Hughie (PS2E0) [162] Chair, I'd like to challenge standing orders on motion three O one ... [...] , an example being in the part-time workers' qualification into [...] ... it was done by a recommendation of [...] and we therefore request that it stays on the agenda.
Dick (PS2DU) [163] That was motion three O one, colleague ... that three O one?
[164] Three O one ... anybody else on the S O C reports?
[165] ... John.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [166] Thank you [...]
Dick (PS2DU) [167] Yes.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [...]
Peggy (PS2E1) [168] Well it seems that, er, motion [...]
Dick (PS2DU) [169] Could you give your name please, colleague?
Peggy (PS2E1) [170] Oh yes, Hughie , London region.
[171] Motion one O nine ... it states here, this motion seeks to amend rule T twenty one [...] .
[172] Now, I've gone right through all the bloody rules to this and I can't see where this has been expired.
[173] If it has, it should be printed.
[174] [...] concerned ... this rule still stands ... and it has not expired.
[175] So ...
Dick (PS2DU) [176] Okay
Peggy (PS2E1) [177] Could we have clarification of that, [...]
Dick (PS2DU) [178] Okay ... John.
John (PS2DW) [179] Thank you President.
[180] Motion three O one ... motion three O one specifically calls for changes to the local government superannuation scheme through the steering committee.
[181] That committee is in effect a negotiating body.
[182] This motion should therefore be dealt with by the committee itself ... but before it is, it should be considered by the relevant local authority industrial conference.
[183] It is a pure term of, and conditions motion.
[184] The mover of the motion might want to take part in the debate on motion three seven one, pensions.
[185] ... Motion one O nine seeks to amend rule T twenty one, paragraph six.
[186] That rule is part of the rule governing the transition from the B M S section to the technical crafts section.
[187] It opens with the words ... for the period ending the third of December nineteen ninety one.
[188] The technical crafts section national committee shall consist of ... congress will appreciate that the clause ceased to have any relevance on the fourth of December nineteen ninety one ... it would be quite illogical to seek to make a respect retrospective amendment to this rule.
[189] President and congress, I move.
Dick (PS2DU) [190] Thanks very much, John.
[191] Do our two colleagues wish to press the reference back?
[192] ... Colleague!
[193] [whistles to gain attention] Do you, do you wish to, hang on a minute Hughie.
[194] Colleague!
[195] Do you wish to continue with the reference back?
[196] No ... Hughie?
[197] Do you wish to press the reference?
[198] No, don't come back again Hughie ... do you wish to press the reference back?
[199] You do.
[200] Reference back has been moved, colleagues, is that seconded?
[201] ... Yes, it's seconded.
[202] All those in favour of the reference back of S O C report number one ... against ... that's lots.
[203] All those in favour of the S O C report ... against ... that's carried.
[204] Thanks very much John.
John (PS2DW) [205] Thank you.
Dick (PS2DU) [206] Colleagues, we now to come to a, an item on the agenda ... which is always very pleasurable at our annual conference ... and I refer of course to the presentation of the G M B gold badge.
[207] And this morning we're presenting two activists with the gold badge ... the women and the men's ... and during the course of the week, we'll be presenting the youth award to one of our young members.
[208] If I could first of all deal with the presentation of the women's gold badge ... and the executive has decided that the award should go this year to Peggy from the Midland and East Coast region.
[209] Peggy has been a member of the union for twenty three years ... been a shop steward for eleven years ... the last nine at K P Foods ... and also branch quality officer, been a branch committee member and a member of the Midland and East Coast regional council ... member of the regional Labour women's conference and she's been to G M B congress, congress on a number of occasions.
[210] And Peggy's represented the G M B at the international women's ... er, food conference in Gene Geneva.
[211] Peggy's held numerous positions in [...] ... [tape change] and trades councils.
[212] She's been a school governor ... a Labour councillor ... T L P executive member ... member of the Social Security and industrial tribunals.
[213] And, quite frankly, colleagues, the list is endless.
[214] But it's not a question of holding office for the sake of holding office.
[215] Whenever Peggy has been asked to serve, she's willingly and gladly undertaken the duties.
[216] She was the first woman delegate to the Humberside County Association of Trades Councillors ... and the first woman on the executive ... and has had an enormous impact on the Association's efforts on women's issues.
[217] But I think that the greatest tribute of all that can be paid to Peggy, and I feel sure it would come from her members ... and it's this, and it's basically what the trade union movement is all about ... and it's about representing ordinary people at the shop floor ... because whenever anybody asks Peggy to do anything for them, to represent them, she's always the first one there.
[218] Colleagues, an excellent record and a worthy winner of the G M B's gold badge ... Peggy .
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping] ... [long pause with background noise with talking and people moving about]
Peggy (PS2E1) [219] President, colleagues, I am so proud and honoured to receive this gold badge, more so because this is the award given to me by you [...] President, I do want to thank a number of people [...] I also want to thank the regional secretary, Steve , who [...] thank you, Steven, for your support and guidance.
[220] Next, I would like to thank John for his support and encouragement [...] I'd like to mention Carole who has always been there when I've needed [...] At this point [...] who again has always been very supportive [...] I also want to thank members of the regional [...] both past and present, but particularly [...] I'd like to thank all the regional officers and staff for their assistance and particularly George , Hugh and the officer [...] I would also like to thank [...] regional political officer for the Midlands and East Coast ... [...] we now hold all the major positions of the Labour Party with [...] I would also like to thank the national food and leisure committee for their help and support [...] and particularly to David , Nick and [...] ... To conclude, President, I'd like to express my sincere thanks and love to those important people around me, my family.
[221] I pay a great tribute to my dad, who as a trade unionist on the railway would have been so proud to see me receive this very great honour.
[222] To my mum who along with my dad helped me [...] my daughter [...] , who I'm very proud of as now she's started taking greater interest in G M B. To my mum who at the moment doesn't enjoy the best of health, who over the years has had to endure a daughter who, er, on some occasions has not been a very great help to her, has guided me through very difficult times, as mums always do.
[223] Finally, to the one person who throughout my life has been a great friend and now my husband, [...] .
[224] I don't know how to put into words the very great depth of gratitude that I owe [...] for his patience, for his advice, and for his friendship, but most of all the love and respect that I, as I have for him [...] .
[225] Conference, I accept this award on behalf of all women activists within my union because, sisters, we know it's not always easy for women, however, I'm here to prove that we can achieve, but we need the encouragement and support of our male colleagues [...] .
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [226] [shouting] Thanks very much Peggy [] .
[227] Colleagues, I now come to the presentation of the G M B gold award for men.
[228] Erm ... I can personally testify that the, the award winner that this year is somebody that I've known for something like twenty six, twenty seven years.
[229] Again another colleague with a really outstanding record of service ... not only to the trade union movement and the Party but more so to the G M B ... and I refer to Eric from the Lancashire region.
[230] Erm ... Eric in, in Manchester from where he comes is extremely well known ... obviously within the G M B ... but his record he's one of the individuals in the trade union movement that I think are becoming somewhat of a rarity these days ... I know that many of us when we first started in the movement were very easily able, and, and very relaxed about combining trade union and political activities together ... but of course as time goes on and, you do tend to become more involved in the one and the other, because of course it's all time-consuming ... but I can honestly say that in Eric's case ... he's never deviated one iota from his commitment both to the trade union, this union in particular, [laughing] and [] to the Party ... never deviated at all .
[231] He spent a great deal of time in his efforts certainly for this trade union ... and in recruitment where he works, he's made it not hundred percent, hundred and ten percent ... and is constantly, er, recruiting ... constantly recruiting.
[232] Politically ... well yes he's involved at every level as indeed many comrades are ... but if, the sign of his political influence, I think is as follows ... that if there are any ... anything major going down ... in his territory ... any major political problems coming up, then the leader of the council, one of the first people he contacts is Eric .
[233] Er, what goes on behind those closed doors, even I don't know.
[234] [clapping] But that's a measure of his influence.
[235] The other thing I would say is this ... that ... the management, whilst they very rarely agree with what Eric has got to say ... I've never met a member of management at any level, at any level ... that doesn't respect what he's got to say ... and that's a tremendous, er ... psychological blow before they even get round the table, because he's completely disarming ... and his record in terms as vic er for, of victories, for individual members and groups of mem er, members, er, is legendary and I think apart from his ability it's the respect in which he's held by, by everybody, by everybody.
[236] So I could go on at great length, colleagues, to tell you that he's on this committee and that committee well er and that would take me a good half hour because he's, he's on, he's involved in everything ... in everything in the Party ... in the union ... erm, and his commitment is absolutely second to none.
[237] I was absolutely delighted, colleagues, when the, er, recommendation came through that Eric should be awarded the gold badge because I could personally testify that there can be no better winner or holder of the G M gold badge.
[238] Eric colleagues.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Eric (PS2E2) [239] Thank you.
[240] Well I think I heard the violins then, you know.
[241] [clapping] I really did.
[242] Ah, what I'm going to say today, this is not me swan song ... don't anybody think it's me swan song.
[243] Though I've retired, I'm still active for the G M B in my city ... and six to eight weeks of retirement nearly did for me trolley ... so before anybody jumps for it, think about it, because it's boring.
[244] Now down to business ... I would like to thank the executive for awarding me this gold badge.
[245] Many times I have sat down there ... amongst you the, the delegates, and seen the acti activists receive this, this award.
[246] I never thought that I would join their ranks ... for me being the steward and the convenor was always enough.
[247] It was what I wanted, to receive the gold badge is pure bonus ... thank you, thank you executive committee.
[248] Many people own a share of this gold badge ... with me, my wife and family, who have helped and supported me in whatever I have been involved in ... especially Betty.
[249] Over the years the G M B has been a major part of our family life ... the night meetings ... sometimes being away from home ... the disputes I have been involved in ... you have shared them with me and listened to me, and because of my involvement you have always supported me.
[250] Thank you Betty ... for helping me to win this award.
[251] [...] and sweepers who I always represented, and though I am now retired, I cannot do without them.
[252] Also the other men and women I represented when I became convenor ... they made me what I am and I thank them.
[253] My region I thank for nominating me ... the region I am so proud to belong to.
[254] To my regional secretary, Ernie ... Ernie, remember when we occupied the Manchester City Council chamber on council day?
[255] You kept saying we'll all be locked up, [clapping] yet you stayed with us.
[256] I was hoping we would get locked up, [laughing] to have shared a cell with you, it would have been hilarious, really [] !
[257] I have laughed at that thought many times ... these are the things to remember.
[258] Ernie, I thank you.
[259] Nearly thirty years ago now, as an honorary member, I organized a thir first strike in my depot.
[260] Our then new young branch secretary came in to sort out our grievance ... before he left the yard, our grievance was sorted, and I was the new collection steward.
[261] Oh ... just been a collection steward, the new young secretary said.
[262] I said, just a collection steward, that is the agreement.
[263] Yes, said [...] , so the agreement between us was made ... signed in blood I thought ... then I shook hands with him ... the signature faded before he left the yard.
[264] When I remind him of our agreement now he tells me to get lost.
[265] On the handshake ... it was only when I got notified that I'd been awarded the gold badge, I realized I never got my hand back that day.
[266] It was a fair price to pay, Richard ... I made a good and trusted friend that day.
[267] Life for me has never been dull around you ... what more could I ask?
[268] Thank you, Richard.
[269] Richard, our enemies were always the Tories and the bosses and we have fought them for everything we got.
[270] We still have our two traditional enemies, but now a third looms ... an enemy in the Labour Party ... an enemy supporting the now ancient cry of the Tories and the Tory national press, for one man one vote replacing the [...] vote in the trade unions ... a distancing of the Labour Party from the unions ... if we let them get away with this, it would mean none of the established political parties represent the interests of ordinary working people ... the people who I've always represented, that's what I think about, just them!
[271] Business and employers organizations are well represented in parliament ... their secret funding of the Tory Party buys them influence and Tory Party policies, and nothing is said.
[272] We need to be in the Labour Party ... it is only there that we the unions can take part in making policy about the future of our industries and services, and taking care of our members.
[273] Better that we get rid of these people ... in the Labour Party if they do not want our involvement ... let them go and form their own party, as a trade union ordinarily formed [shouting] originally formed the Labour Party [] !
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Eric (PS2E2) [274] And that must be the cry ... tell them, go and join your own party.
[275] Let us remind the Labour Party that they should be attacking this useless Tory government, not supporting them, not voting with them, not supporting them by abstaining when necessary ... we'll never get power that way!
[276] We must organize against them in the wards and in the constituencies to drive this menace out! [...]
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping] ... [long applause and background talking]
Dick (PS2DU) [277] Well, we've now got a member of the parliamentary panel to follow that colleagues.
[278] [clapping] [laughing] I can see him coming as well
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [279] Settle down President.
Dick (PS2DU) [280] Er, colleagues ... it's now my great pleasure to ask Giles , MP for Durham North, to address congress on behalf of the G M B parliamentary panel.
Giles (PS2E3) [...]
Dick (PS2DU) [281] Giles is a longstanding me I must finish my speech
Giles (PS2E3) [282] Sorry
Dick (PS2DU) [283] Gi
Giles (PS2E3) [284] I'm so eager to get to my
Dick (PS2DU) [285] Yes I know , I know.
[286] I'll be watching very very carefully.
[287] Erm ... Giles is a longstanding member of this union, colleagues, and ... er, many colleagues may not realize it, but was formerly the res the national research officer of the union for many years before he, he entered parliament ... and of course, from time to time , enters into the script of things ... and many colleagues will know that er ... one of the great biographers of the trade union movement is of course , Constructive Militant ... you know, a must for all G M B new stewards and new convenors and branch secretaries ... a must to be read.
[288] Giles is the author of that particular work.
[289] Colleagues, it's my pleasure to call upon Giles to address congress this morning.
[290] Giles.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Giles (PS2E3) [291] Dick, thank you for those kind words, er, specially about er my book, and I think I am considering appointing you as my agent ... er, you also said er that I'd dr drawn the short straw ... indeed you er whispered to me that I was the sacrificial lamb this morning ... well we'll see about that ... but I do know that I have the great honour to be invited to speak to congress this morning on behalf of the G M B parliamentary group.
[292] Now the G M B parliamentary group is a powerful and influential organization ... it's well balanced between front-benchers and back-benchers, between men and women ... and between the youthful and, how shall I put it, the more experienced ... and as you would expect, its members are prominent in the attack on this weak, incompetent, and rudderless Conservative government.
[293] But I want to begin this morning by thanking you on behalf of the group, because all of us owe the G M B an enormous debt of gratitude ... none more than myself.
[294] It's no exaggeration to say that I owe my start in politics to the G M B ... because after having worked, as Dick said, for the G M B for a number of years ... it was the support of the G M B which helped me win the nomination for Chesterly Street ... and in the early eighties I can remember when er the Labour Party was going through a difficult period ... it was officials and members of the G M B who were a steadying influence in my constituency, as they have been ever since.
[295] And when, as shadow education spokesman, I was a frontline campaigner in the nineteen eighty seven election, it was the G M B which provided me with the necessary facilities to carry out that role, and I thank them for it.
[296] Throughout my political life, I've received restain sustained help from the G M B. In a very real sense, the union has been my political family.
[297] Now I've dwelt for a moment on my own experience because I think it epitomizes that of the Labour Party as a whole ... from [...] to John , the G M B has been a tower of strength ... always there to assist ... not only with money and resources, but also with advice and support ... and on behalf of my parliamentary colleagues, I want to thank the union for all it is, it has done for the Labour Party.
[298] And I want to stress this morning how essential it is that the link between the Labour Party and the unions be maintained.
[299] Now there have been some allegations flying around that there are people in the parliamentary Labour Party who want to get rid of that link ... and I want to categorically say that there is no serious figure in the Labour Party who shares that opinion ... there's no one in the G M B group who takes that view ... there's no one in the Shadow Cabinet ... and what is more, I know from my own personal experience, and my dealings with him over thirty years, that there is no greater supporter of the trades union link than John Smith himself!
[300] ... It was Ernest who said that the Labour Party grew out of the bowels of the trades union movement.
[301] But it isn't just a matter of history.
[302] There are strong, practical arguments for the link today ... for the trades unions ... trades union involvement in the Party ensures that trades union interests are represented in parliament.
[303] In addition unions have wider social and political concerns and objectives beyond collective bargaining which are best represented through the Labour Party.
[304] For their part ... for the, for the part of the Labour Party, trades unionists provide a solid and substantial electoral base which, which, which will hopefully increase during the nineteen nineties.
[305] And there is also the crucial issue of political financing which we've heard about already this morning, and which is such a vexed question in French ... Spanish, and Italian politics ... now everybody wants to see more money coming from an expanded, er, political membership.
[306] There is also the case for state financing, which is the position of the Party ... but for the foreseeable future the Labour Party will need trades union money, and as Steve said ... even our fiercest critics have to admit that the money the union gives to the Party is open and above board ... and that's more than can be said of the money that's used to finance the Conservative Party.
[307] The Tories don't publish proper accounts.
[308] There are sinister stories of donations from dubious sources including Communist China and Azil Nadir.
[309] Indeed ... arguably ... the only reliable evidence of who has given money to the Tory Party is the honours list which is published twice a year!
[310] But ... as important as our joint interests are our shared values and I think a very good example of this is our common approach, er er, to the question of the Social Chapter for which the Labour opposition ... led, I may say, by two leading G M B spokesmen ... Jack and George ... the Labour opposition has fought long and hard for this in parliament, indeed, we have secured a vote on the question ... er, after the Queen's ascent, and last month, I myself, as a guest of the Danish social democrats, took the argument to the continent in the Danish referendum, in the second Danish ref referendum, which I'm very glad to say was won!
[311] All of us in the European socialist movement ... in the European trades union movement ... insists that employees are not just units of production, but are entitled to rights at work across the European community.
[312] So the real question facing us at the moment is not whether there should be a relationship, or whether there should be a link ... but in what way we should modernize it and arrange it today.
[313] Our constitutional arrangements were established as long ago as nineteen eighteen ... though it's true, of course, that they were amended in nineteen eighty, eighty one.
[314] But I think it's fair to say that the changes in the n nine, early nineteen eighties ... particularly those which gave the unions a predominant position in choosing the leader, were not of the unions' making, certainly not of the G M B's making, as I know from personal experience at the time.
[315] I think that in the nineteen nineties, there is agreement that some reform is need is needed ... that there should be a better balance between the different groups at conference, and that decision making in the parties should be seen to be democratic ... open and based on one person one vote.
[316] But it's no secret, however ... and er we've heard echoes of that this morning ... that there is a lively debate as to the pre precise details of what a reform package should be.
[317] John Smith ... the leader of our Party ... has put forward his own personal preference for one member one vote for the selection of candidates, with a special cut rate for trades unionists who pay the political levy.
[318] Now his view obviously has to be seriously considered ... put forward, as it is, by a leader who has the support, when he was elected, of ninety percent of the Party, including ninety percent of the unions.
[319] So we will have to consider it.
[320] Now ... speaking to you, as chairman of the G M B parliamentary group ... I can tell you that we have met twice over the last few weeks on this issue of modernization ... and we are agreed on the need to avoid a damaging public row from which everybody ... yes including the unions, will lose.
[321] What is clearly required is a constructive solution which provides a proper basis for modernizing our joint relationships.
[322] And I think it is, we would all agree, that it is essential that an agreement which is acceptable to all sides is reached, and I'm sure that it's going to be ... because let us not forget that we're not in business to remain in perpetual opposition ... if we are to achieve proper rights for employees, which have been so reduced by the Conservatives ... if we are to save the welfare state, which is now so under threat ... if we are to obtain decent health and education services, which are also under threat ... if we are to create a strong economy and a strong recovery which provides the jobs which we so desperately need ... then we must win power!
[323] And with your help, a modernized Labour Party will be in a very strong position to turn out this disastrous government ... working together, we shall win, we can win ... and we shall!
[324] Thank you very much indeed.
Unknown speaker (HDNPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2DU) [325] Thank you very much indeed, Giles, for that address.
[326] Er, colleagues, before we turn to a period of, er, rule amendments and general motions, could I just advise congress that a pair of spectacles have been handed in ... er, Vision Express, look like, well they could be ladies or gents, multi-sexual these days, colleagues.
[327] Very nice pair and a very nice brown case.
[328] I understand they were, they're better than the general secretary's anyway.
[329] Yours colleague.