Trade Union Annual Congress: trade union congress. Sample containing about 8040 words speech recorded in business context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C340

PS2E4 X m (Dick, age unknown, president of trade union) unspecified
PS2E5 X m (Ken, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2E6 X f (Mary, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2E7 X m (Ed, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2E8 X m (John, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2E9 X m (Bernie, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2EA X m (Bill, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2EB X m (Charlie, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2EC X m (Dennis, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
HDPPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HDPPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100902 recorded on 1993-06-06. LocationHampshire: Portsmouth ( The Guildhall ) Activity: trade union congress speech

Undivided text

Dick (PS2E4) [1] Okay, thanks.
[2] Right colleagues, could we turn to a period of rule amendments and er general motions now.
[3] Rule thirty seven on branches, er motion seventy seven, rule amendment to be moved by the Midland and East Coast region.
[4] [cough] And colleagues, could I start and remind delegates that if there are seconders or additional speakers on this side, if they would use this rostrum to my right, if they would use this rostrum.
[5] Now there are chairs available for additional speakers so if they would come down it would certainly expedite the business of congress.
Ken (PS2E5) [6] Thanks President.
[7] President, conference, Ken Midlands and East Coast region moving motion seventy seven, otherwise known as go-lightly.
[8] Conference, this particular motion calls for an increase of members required to form a branch or be allowed to continue as a branch should it lose members.
[9] An increase from fifty to a hundred members would allow greater flexibility for our regional committees in the regions to decide whether they allow the branch to continue or to amalgamate with another branch.
[10] Therefore the increase in numbers to a hundred, for this particular rule, seems to be a logical move, as a branch with less than fifty would be unrepresentative of the G M B both from a democracy point of view and an administration point of view where cost plays an enormo important role.
[11] With the [...] document being debated this week, we should beware of making branches accountable to its members, and increasing the numbers to one hundred gives us a greater base to work from than fifty.
[12] Therefore conference, please support, I move.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [13] Thanks very much colleagues.
[14] Is that formally seconded?
[15] Formally seconded.
[16] [...] are recommending you to accept motion seventy seven colleagues, all those in favour ... against, that's carried.
[17] Thanks very much.
[18] Pensions and social security benefits, I call composite motion twenty six, women and state pensions.
[19] G M B Scotland to move and London region to second, priority in debates [...] Northern region.
[20] Okay, if the seconder and additional speakers would come down to the front, please. ... [pause while people take their places, background talking]
Mary (PS2E6) [21] Conference, chair, Mary , Falkirk [...] , G M B Scotland.
[22] We have argued for many years that the present discrimination on the grounds of sex and state pensions and retirement age is unjustifiable.
[23] A much wider consultation process must be initiated, before far-reaching changes can be agreed.
[24] The whole question of an adequate income in retirement can be achieved, and changes necessary to enable them must be worked at.
[25] Few, if any, of the media commentators nowadays [...] for the status quo.
[26] The need for equalization of state pension ages seems to be all but agreed.
[27] The main focus has centred round the age at which the basic state pension and SERPS are available and whether some flexibility is desirable.
[28] For this reason we will argue for current level basic state pensions and SERPS from the age of sixty, to both sexes.
[29] The present sixty, sixty five regime is discriminating against men, but when in reality it is the women who are in the much inferior position.
[30] The fact that families when one woman in six retires with an entitlement to a full basic pension, based on her own level of payments, speaks volumes.
[31] Even when members of occupational schemes, women's length of membership generally means that the level of benefit payable will be inferior to men.
[32] Many people are unaware of that fact.
[33] The fact that the basic state pension is not a universal benefit, but is based on the level of payment, [...] .
[34] You have to earn enough for long enough, ninety percent of your working life, to qualify.
[35] Consequently we will argue that for the very least we need current levels of basic state pension and SERPS, and see that they are available to both men and women from the age of sixty.
[36] The conclusions are, discrimination must end at the earliest opportunity for both men and women ... changes should include a full and p proper consultation exercise.
[37] For those in occupational schemes there should be a provision that if a person so wishes, they should be allowed to work to sixty five without any loss of pension rights.
[38] I move.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Ed (PS2E7) [39] Congress, president, Ed , Westminster trade union political staff's branch of the London region, seconding the composite.
[40] Congress, this composite is about a deceit, a deceit by the Tory government, of men and women, over their working lives ... women in particular who have been contributing their stamp all their working lives and are now being told that there is a danger that they will not get their state pensions at sixty.
[41] Conference, it is absolutely vital that those people are protected.
[42] We must ensure that we campaign as hard as possible, that sixty becomes the state pension age for all our members, men and women.
[43] Congress, if as a trade union, and if as a labour movement, you stop going forward in campaigning, there's only one thing that happens ... you start to go backwards, because this government will always try and take from working class people, all the time.
[44] We must campaign strongly to ensure that men and women still have a state pension that isn't just a pittance at sixty.
[45] I second.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
John (PS2E8) [46] President, congress, John , supporting composite twenty six.
[47] We trust the C E C to campaign vigorously against the Tory Party proposal of increasing women's pension age to sixty five.
[48] This Tory proposal must be seen by [...] one of the most unacceptable, and unprincipled acts of this [...] government.
[49] Look at what they've done ... given nine billion to their wealthy friends to move them into private pensions ... supported pension holiday because company funds are so big ... increased national insurance so we're all paying more, [...] even though we get less ... and compare this with the disadvantage, women first.
[50] Very few enjoy a personal pension ... very few enjoy an occupational scheme ... the greater majority gain nothing from SERPS ... only one in six receive a full state pension.
[51] So you have on the one hand, handouts to the rich ... on the other hand, money taken from the poor.
[52] A typical underhand, unprincipled Tory policy, wouldn't you say?
[53] A policy supported by their backing group, the C B I ... both in the game of using frightening tactics in attempt to prove their case, saying whilst they would like to equalize pensions to sixty, it simply can't be afforded, claiming it would cost upwards of forty billion, and adding the usual, this cost will damage the economy.
[54] Whilst we all agree, they know how to damage the economy ... we also know that the cost of equalizing at sixty would be no more than ten billion.
[55] Now it's funny, but [...] same amount as they have spent on persuading their wealthy friends to take out private pensions.
[56] Congress, we are bound to come to only one conclusion ... that equalizing pensions to sixty will be of benefit to all people, and the Tories are definitely not supporting that approach.
[57] [...] and those in advantageous positions, the rest of us just don't count.
[58] Support our motion, don't let this unprincipled lot get away with this policy.
[59] Let's tell the people and do this with an effective national campaign.
[60] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [61] Colleagues, could I just advise congress at this stage what we're, we've gotta do ... erm, and I think this will form the basis of what we're trying to do to expedite business during the course of the week.
[62] We're gonna take groups of motions together, and in this particular section, the next one will be motion three six nine which will have movement seconded, motion three seventy, three seven one, three seven two and then composite twenty seven.
[63] Now there are several of those that will require a statement being accepted by the executive but there'll be a statement on behalf of the C E C, and there's at least one where there'll be a qualification.
[64] So, at the end of the debate I'm gonna ask the C E C speaker, in this case it will be the general secretary, John , to repl reply to the whole of the er, the debate.
[65] So, not saying that will be the situation in every case, but certainly there will be a number of occasions during the week, er when that kind of arrangement will apply, and hopefully it will help us to get through the business a little bit, er, quicker.
[66] I now call the mover of motion three six nine, standing charges to be moved by the Lancashire region ... and if there is a seconder, if he or she could come down.
Bernie (PS2E9) [67] President, conference ... with the introduction of V A T on gas and electric bills, this motion becomes even more important.
[68] It was bad enough when pensioners had to pay the standing charges on their gas, water and telephone bills.
[69] It is even worse now that they have got to pay V A T on those bills as well.
[70] These pensioners have to pay standing charges whether or not they use the service, just to ensure that they can use the service when needed.
[71] The telephone ... is very often the only link these loyal citizens have with the outside world ... they can no longer walk in safety to the local telephone box to make their calls, and even if they could, when they get there it is out of order.
[72] It is pensioners in particular who paid for British Telecom when it was owned by the State ... their taxes ensured that the telephone system in the U K, it became amongst the best in the world.
[73] We owe it to these people and British Telecom owes it to these people ... just let them pay for what they use ... get rid of the standing charge.
[74] I move.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [75] [...] seconder.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2E4) [76] Formally seconded, thanks very much.
[77] Motion three seventy television licences.
[78] Lancashire region to move again ...
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2E4) [79] I know.
Bernie (PS2E9) [80] Well, up twice in the first day ... er, sorry, Bernie , Lancashire region moving motion three seventy.
[81] President, conference, as I say, up twice in the first day ... it's a cracking conference that starts with motion three seventy and works backwards to number one ... it's better than Thunderbirds really.
[82] Seriously though, motions like this one have been debated over and over again.
[83] Anybody who disagrees with giving the pensioners the right to watch T V without having to pay a licence charge is either the English football manager ... hoping to God nobody sees the team playing, or is a Norwegian player wanting to protect our old older members of the community from an early grave.
[84] Let's not be tight ... let's not begrudge those who have paid into the system all their lives a bit back.
[85] Let them watch television ... if they want ... when they want ... free of charge.
[86] I move.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Bill (PS2EA) [87] President, congress ... I've gotta [...] up and say to you, I had, I've had to borrow the wife's glasses this morning cos I left mine in the car ...
Dick (PS2E4) [88] Could we have your name [...]
Bill (PS2EA) [89] Oh, you certainly can, Richard, it's Bill , Lancashire region, er, seconding motion three seventy, television licences.
[90] My television licence is a colour television and it costs me eighty three pound for this year.
[91] In nineteen eighty seven, it cost fifty seven pound ... this has increased by almost twenty nine per cent in the last five years.
[92] When the government broke in, broke the link between the R P I and the old age pension, they must have known that this kind of rise would not be paid by our pensioners.
[93] Many of the millions of unemployed will also have trouble in finding the cash for this particular commitment ... .
[94] many would also object to this kind of contribution to John 's wage packet.
[95] The television, for many old people who are afraid to go out at night, an important link with the outside world and the sources of ent entertainment.
[96] Many of the youngsters unemployed cannot afford to go out seeking entertainment and a television is an important part to them.
[97] This motion has been before this congress before and I am still pleased to be here to second this motion.
[98] John Major's classless society ... is a pipe dream ... for without money there are no grounds for freedom of choice or opportunity.
[99] It is ... er, it is closer to a nasty video ... let's make things a little more ... compassionate, for those who are out of work, or are elderly.
[100] Pensioners who have given a lifetime's service to the nation should not be asked to pay for a T V licence, and those out of work through no fault of their own, except for a government policy.
[101] Congress I second.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [102] Motion three seven one, pensions, Southern region to move.
Charlie (PS2EB) [103] Thank you, Dick.
[104] Charlie , Southern region and a pension fund trustee.
[105] We have heard quite a lot, colleagues, about pensions and pension schemes over the last eighteen months ... perhaps we have to actually thank Mr Maxwell for raising the issue, even if those pensioners he cheated won't thank him.
[106] There are even now other issues on the pensions debate ... we have employers like Telecom using pension funds to fund redundancies ... we now even have the government looking to see if they can get hold of pension fund money in British Rail and in the Coal Board to see if they can also fund job losses.
[107] These issues have been well raised and aired over the last few months ... I would like to now raise another issue that I don't think has been publicized enough ... that is the issue of under-provision in old age.
[108] This was very common in the past and I'm sure many shop stewards here who've dealt with redundancies in the past, know about the poor members who get quite a nice lump sum redundancy, but in fact, they've only been in pension schemes a short while, so they can't provide for themselves in old age, once they've spent the redundancy money.
[109] Now that has been addressed, particularly by the G M B, and we've campaigned to have pension funds in employ with employers to be open to all, so everybody can join pension funds.
[110] We've got a number of good pension funds that ordinary working people can join, but the issue that has come about since compulsory competitive tendering ... privatization ... is those members that've been in pension funds for maybe twenty, twenty five years ... now they're out on the open job market ... with the wonderful privatized world that we live in, with a free market, and they can't afford to make adequate pension provision for themselves.
[111] This time bomb is ticking away, colleagues, and in about twenty years' time, we'll be back to where we were ... we'll have a lot of people who've got small pensions, based on their previous employment with a health authority or a local authority, British Gas or the electricity companies ... then they've had to go out on the open market and they will be under-funded and have inadequate pension when they retire.
[112] But what they will have is a small pension that will be preventing them getting State Benefits ... and they will be in the poverty trap.
[113] Now I don't believe that this issue has been aired wide enough ... it's understood by a lot of people what the problems are going to be ... these problems aren't gonna occur in the next ten years, they will happen in twenty years' time.
[114] Now I believe it's the duty of the G M B and the trade union movement to first publicize the problem ... then we need a campaign and a strategy to avoid it, and that is going back to decent pension funds.
[115] Now the State has already got a problem because in the next century, it will have insufficient people at work to pay for old age pensions ... we already know Mr Portillo is doing a pension review and is looking about only targeting it to the needy at the bottom ... well that means a lot of people like you and me will miss out on State pensions.
[116] If we'd been forced like myself I believe in a couple of years' time, I will not be able to enjoy the pension fund that I'm in at the moment ... we will have a problem, and we need to deal with that problem, and we need to raise the issue now and have a strategy, and I think it's the G M B's [...] to take a leading role in looking at this.
[117] Thank you.
Dick (PS2E4) [118] Thank you Giles ...
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [119] Is three seven one seconded?
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [120] Er, it's formally seconded, brother.
Dick (PS2E4) [clapping] [...]
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [...]
Dennis (PS2EC) [121] Congress, president ... Dennis , Southern region.
[122] Er, as Charlie just pointed out, it is of great concern and it's a time bomb that is definitely ticking away.
[123] Having been employed now for British Gas for the last twenty five years ... er, I've got seventeen years of pensionable service, which has only just been negotiated through the G M B since nineteen eighty to nineteen ninety three ... and now it is probably one of the better pensions, company pension schemes, in the country.
[124] Now, I'm fortunate, I've actually got seventeen years ... come July when the M, M M C reports back on British Gas, [...] might split it up into seven, thirteen, fifteen different companies.
[125] Where is my pension fund going then?
[126] I'm gonna need a pension when I reach the age of sixty, sixty five ... I recommend that we support this motion and vigorously campaign for pensions for everybody on an equal status.
[127] I second.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [128] Motion three seven two, pension funds, to be moved by Lancashire region.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [129] Terence , Lancashire region, moving motion three seven two.
[130] Congress ... the motion is calling for changes in the law to protect workers' pension rights.
[131] It is clearly unacceptable that workers' pensions are open to such abuse by the employers.
[132] It is not satisfactory that workers' pension funds remain vulnerable to the predators.
[133] The law must be strengthened and operate on an open basis, rather than under a cloak of secrecy.
[134] Employers are using pension fund contribution holidays to boost profits ... rather than improve benefits.
[135] Brothers and sisters, the Maxwell scandal was only the tip of the iceberg ... inadequa of the iceberg in, in exposing the inadequac inadequacies of the current pension laws ... excuse me [sniff] .
[136] John ... remember the importance of winning the seven demands in the pension charter ... the key one was pensions equal pay, and therefore members need majority control of the trustees that run the scheme.
[137] Let's stop the rip-off.
[138] I move.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [139] Mr President, delegates, Graham , Lancashire region, seconding motion three seven two.
[140] I endorse the need for, and the urgency of, our union to spearhead the campaign ... prevent the contributions of our members being used as a corporate slush fund.
[141] The reluctance of this government to introduce legislation only strengthens my belief that the scale of the Maxwellian type fraud is far greater than any of us ever imagined.
[142] For the prospect of a retirement pension for all those presently under fifty years of age is looking distinctly forlorn ... we must protect the pension rights of all contributing members ... we must insist that trustees are elected from the shop floor and not appointed by some faceless director who may not even reside in this country.
[143] We must never again allow, now that we're all too painfully aware of the consequences ... any company to cheat and swindle any working man or woman ... after a lifetime's toil ... from the right to a happy and dignified and financially secure retirement.
[144] I second the motion.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [145] Thank you very much, colleague.
[146] Composite motion twenty seven, pensions fund law, Lancashire region to move and second.
Ken (PS2E5) [147] [fast] Duncan , Lancashire region, moving composite er twenty seven.
[148] Er ... it's a bit difficult coming on the end of a debate cos everyone's nicked your speech by the time you get here.
[149] I mean I want to start with, with pensions [...] pay and er, basically what's happening is that everyone's suffering pay cuts ... er ... and er th th what the government is doing is, first of all is attacking the State pension scheme ... er, and it's allowing, er, employers to continue to rip-off occupational pension schemes ... and er ... since it's pay, and it's our pay, we wanna make sure we control it and I don't see why the employers should be allowed to continue to exploit ... er, us both at one, both in terms of the pay we get now and the pay we get when we retire, whether it be at sixty ... whether it be er, whenever we wish to er retire ... and er, I think it's [...] very important if the government is er committed to crime prevention, that it actually starts doing something about those for, those, those employers, and Maxwell has, has been er referred to already, he's just the tip of this very big iceberg ... er, and er, up and down the country, people are suffering substantial thefts of pay ... er employers are systematically organizing wages snatches, that's what this er pension fraud is all about, and it's about time that our government actually got round er and tackled this very important corporate crime issue that's actually going on at the moment ... and er, I think that it's very important that we ensure that we're involved in er managing our own pension sch p pension funds, and therefore we should be pushing through demands of the er th the, the charter for pension fund democracy, and ensuring er that the government actually listens to what we're saying, and actually er comes up with answers why we cannot have the right to control our pay ... cos I can I can't see an any reason that they come back and say why [...] democracy, why they can't, why, why they won't allow us to have a greater say and control our own pension funds ... and that's I think is a legitimate demand that we should be campaigning for, up and down the country.
[150] So, er, in terms of composite twenty seven, it's a very simple resolution, and it's basically saying we should be supporting the er demands of the er campaign for pension fund democracy and the charter, and that we should abandon the [...] committee takes those on, those demands, and er, we should be campaigning for that very very important issue, which is affecting increasingly millions of people up and down this country, not just the p the er the Maxwell pensioners.
[151] Now we'll see what the government does in response to er all their friends who are going bankrupt in the Lloyds ... er cos er that, in that scandal, on the one hand you've got the government trying to save its neck with its forty four MPs who've had their, had their hand in the till ... at the same that they're doing that, they won't actually meet the just demands of people who've worked all their lives to actually have some sort of security in the future, and that's the ol er sort of double standards they're gonna try and er and use to get off the hook on that one ... because they owe people in this country a decent, we should have the right to a decent pension and security, employment ... and er with this, this campaign, we should be, we should be concentrating on as a major issue for this union in the forthcoming year.
[152] Thank you, I move.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping] [speaking in background]
Mary (PS2E6) [153] Kish , Lancashire region, seconding composite twenty seven.
[154] President, congress ... we know that the Tory government, Tories' er agenda is to abolish State pension, thus more and more people will rel have to rely on private, and company pension.
[155] We need to have strict laws protecting our members' ... pension funds.
[156] The media has highlighted Maxwell's abuse of pension funds to prop up his crumbling businesses ... there's potentially hundreds of employers like Maxwell.
[157] Within our Oldham branch there have been two recent cases of such abuse ... one being Hartleys where an employer took sixty thousand pounds out of the pension fund and put it into Hartleys, which at the time was in financial difficulties.
[158] Subsequently the company went into liquidation and left our pension holders with less than meagre pensions.
[159] So it's imperative that we can achieve to get trustees onto pension fund bo pension fund bodies ... to stop ... er employers misusing the pension fund ... and finally we commend the G M B's submission to the good re good committee and hope that the G M B's submission becomes law in the not distant future.
[160] I [...]
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [161] I second [...]
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [162] Well as I indicated earlier, colleagues, I now call the general secretary to respond to the debate.
Ed (PS2E7) [163] John , general secretary, replying on behalf of the C E C. Well we used to think whatever else was gonna change, at least the pensions were secure ... but as this bate debate shows ... not any more.
[164] Duncan said it, I think ... there is now a two-pronged attack on our pensions.
[165] Unscrupulous employers ... mean-minded government.
[166] Every week brings a new pension scandal.
[167] Kish has just given you one example ... I'll give you one of the others.
[168] Haywards Food.
[169] The pension scheme has a massive surplus ... so what does the management do?
[170] They take five million pounds out of the scheme as a refund ... they give themselves a five year contribution holiday ... and not one penny of that improvement goes to the members.
[171] So the Inland Revenue gets a bonus ... the company gets a claw-back ... and the members get nothing at all.
[172] And the G M B demands that when the good committee report ... it makes such behaviour illegal.
[173] As motion twenty seven has said so clearly ... it's the members' money.
[174] We support motion three seven two, on the basis that the majority of trustees should be representatives of the pension fund members ... and any surplus should be spent not by the employer at the employer's own behest, but by agreement.
[175] After all ... we don't allow employers to take money out of our bank accounts ... and they have no right to take money out of our pension funds!
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Ed (PS2E7) [176] Security of pensions is fundamental to a civilized society.
[177] We don't believe that pension rights should be undermined by privatization or by C C T. We agree with motion three seven one but add one qualification ... the best way to provide protection for members threatened in this way is to force the government to honour its obligations under European law ... and push for pensions to be included in the [...] regulations.
[178] And then there's the second prong of the attack ... the government offensive.
[179] Make no mistake about it ... by all the processes of the government propaganda machine ... by kite-flying and carefully placed links, the government is trying to soften us up to the idea of increasing the State pension age for women to sixty five.
[180] They prattle on about equality, when really what they mean is a down-grading of women's rights.
[181] We've had a lot about politics this morning, and if the Labour Party wants to mobilize working women ... many of them who didn't vote Labour at the last election ... here is a ready made campaign to take into the next election.
[182] Mary, Ed, John ... they all said it.
[183] Composite twenty six is right.
[184] We should reject this government claptrap and campaign for a pension age of sixty for everyone ... men and women, with proper protected rights for women.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Ed (PS2E7) [185] Lastly a word about our members in the coal industry which Charlie mentioned.
[186] They have the worst of both worlds ... a government who wants to attack their pension rights and an employer willing to do the government's bidding.
[187] Very strange story this.
[188] Heseltine had to find a subsidy to stop the coal revolt by Tory backbenchers ... a short-term subsidy to the coal industry.
[189] That subsidy cost, remember this figure, five hundred million.
[190] The government then told the Coal Board to hold back nearly five hundred million that it was due to pay into the Coal Industry pension scheme.
[191] So it looks as if our coal members are being forced to fund the government subsidy ... there can't be much nastier behaviour than to pay your own money to get the government off the hook of making your own members and your colleagues redundant.
[192] Of course, the government denies it all.
[193] In a letter to me, government minister Tim says ... better quote this exactly because er, government ministers always tell the whole and complete truth, we know that, [...] experience ... the issue of the pension fund money, he says, is quite separate from the subsidy that the Coal Industry which will be financed by the Exchequer.
[194] Of course it is ... .
[195] it just happens to be the same amount at exactly the same time ... but how nice of him to explain and how silly of us to be taken in by this string of coincidences.
[196] But just to be on the safe side, we're taking the Coal Board to court.
[197] We don't yet know whether the Coal Board's action is illegal ... but sure as hell it ought to be.
[198] So the advice from the C E E, C, C E C is ... support composites twenty six and twenty seven ... support motions three six nine and three seventy ... support three seven one and three seven two with the qualifications given ... support the campaign for pension fund democracy and let's work hard to clean up the pension scandal in Britain.
[199] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [200] As the general secretary indicated, colleagues, all the motions are being accepted, so I now put them to the vote.
[201] All those in favour of composite motion twenty six ... against ... that's carried.
[202] Motion three six nine, all those in favour ... against ... that's carried.
[203] Motion three seventy, all those in favour ... against ... that's carried.
[204] Motion three seven one, all those in favour ... against ... that's carried.
[205] Motion three seven two, all those in favour ... against ... that's carried.
[206] Composite motion twenty seven, all those in favour ... against ... and that's carried.
[207] Thanks very much indeed colleagues.
[208] We now turn to the benefit systems and in this particular group, colleagues, we're gonna call the following motions ... motion three eighty, motion three eight one, motion three eight two, motion three eight three and motion three eight four.
[209] It will be the same procedure ... and then I'll ask for John er to [...] a statement on behalf of the central executive council.
[210] I now call motion three eighty, privatization of S S P and S M P, Lancashire region to move.
John (PS2E8) [211] Willy , Lancashire region.
[212] President, congress ... I ask this congress to do all in their power to campaign on behalf of all sick members and pregnant women regarding the breakdown in the control over sickness and maternity benefits ... employers are depriving their employees of millions of pounds ... since the privas privatization of the benefits.
[213] Accounts are no longer controlled so the system has broken down, so says the auditor general ... Sir John .
[214] Sir John, who investigated whether payments were correct, found errors in one in three cases and two areas [...] .
[215] There were also large underpayments ... th these amounted to hundr four hundred and fifteen thousand pound in sickness benefits.
[216] The privatization which handed over administration of benefit payments to employers was the brainchild of Sir Norman ... do I need to say more?
[217] In nineteen ninety one, Sir John stated that the average overpay for maternity benefit was two hundred and forty pound per person.
[218] I ask you ... do you know anyone that has been overpaid?
[219] More like underpaid.
[220] So I ask this congress to watch closely this benefits agency, and let's make sure that the sick and maternity grants get paid correctly to what they are entitled to.
[221] I move.
Dick (PS2E4) [222] Thanks very much.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [223] Will the seconder ... seconder for three eighty ...
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2E4) [224] formally seconded, thanks very much.
[225] Motion three eight one, unemployment benefit, Lancashire region to move ... Is it formally moved?
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [226] Formally moved.
Dick (PS2E4) [227] Formally seconded?
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [228] Formally seconded.
Dick (PS2E4) [229] Thanks very much.
[230] Motion three eight two, benefits, Northern region to move.
Bernie (PS2E9) [231] President, congress ... Alan , Northern region, moving motion three eight two, benefits.
[232] Congress ... fourteen years of Tory rule have taught our people many bitter lessons.
[233] They have witnessed jobs destroyed ... services slashed ... opportunities wasted.
[234] In no area, colleagues, is the despair caused by Tory mismanagement more abundantly clear than in the area of welfare benefits.
[235] As our economy has declined ... as our recession has turned to a slump ... increasingly it is the low-paid, the sick, the disabled and the unemployed who have been forced to pick up the tab for the Tory policy failure.
[236] Congress, as we all know, the latest Tory plans have once again hit the least well off.
[237] To cut entitlement to unemployment benefit ... to tax invalidity benefit ... and to mean test benefits ... congress such a tax [...] most vulnerable in our society must be opposed by the trade union movement.
[238] Motion three eight two calls upon the C E C to adopt a clear policy ... to resist the attacks on the poor ... and to launch a campaign to, to defend our people.
[239] I urge congress to support motion three eight two ... and to demonstrate clearly our belief the least well off in our society should not be forced to pay the price of Tory failure ... re to regenerate the nation's industry.
[240] Congress, I move.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Bill (PS2EA) [241] President, congress, Gerry , Northern region ... seconding motion three eight two.
[242] Congress ... as we all know, the failed economic policies of the government has pushed our nation to the very edge of bankruptcy.
[243] Our nation's annual deficit budget now stands at fifty million pounds.
[244] Against such a background, colleagues, our nation has only one choice ... get rid of Major's mafia first!
[245] We need to invest ... we need to encourage research and development ... we need to provide quality training.
[246] In short, congress ... we need to build out of recession ... because only by building and by investment can we reduce unemployment and cut the nation's budget deficit.
[247] Faced with such a stark choice, however ... the Tories, as we all know, have found another way ... they plan, colleagues, to cut benefits ... to reduce entitlement to unemployment benefits and to d tax invalidity.
[248] That congress is an insult ... it's like making a victim of crime pay compensation to the muggers.
[249] Colleagues ... the G M B should resist the tax on the poor ... on the victims of Tory policy.
[250] I urge you, support motion three eight two.
[251] Mr President, I second.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [252] Motion three eight three, reduced T V licences ... er Lancashire region to move.
Bernie (PS2E9) [253] Bernie , Lancashire region, moving motion three eight three.
[254] President, congress ... well, third time lucky, eh?
[255] All my motions on the first day.
[256] Wherever you go nowadays, be it swimming, the pictures, fitness [...] centres, or pop concerts ... they all appreciate that the unemployed cannot afford to pay the full charge.
[257] They have all introduced a discount scheme to enable those unfortunate enough not to have a job ... not to have a proper job ... the same access to all these facilities as those in work.
[258] For the vast majority of these people, unemployment is a direct consequence of a government who only cares about those who have, and could not care less about those who have not.
[259] When you are unemployed, there is not much left after the job centre ... and the twenty third job application form to occupy your time.
[260] [clears throat] Television is at least one escape and just like all the other trivial pastimes, should allow the unemployed to participate at a reduced rate.
[261] I move.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Charlie (PS2EB) [262] Mr President ... congress ... Bill , Lancashire region.
[263] [...] this is gonna be done from the heart, there's no, nothing being put there in front, because when you see what I've got and what my branch has achieved working with unemployed people ... your branch earner ... and that lady up there, [...] , twenty seven years in this union ... we started this football team, it was this dream that I had ... and I come from Salford, which is not far from [...] which is devastated with drugs ... burnt out cars ... people robbing each other, and of course , [...] .
[264] Just across the river ... we've got Manchester City.
[265] This gentleman behind me, and myself ... I beg you pardon, did I say Manchester City?
[266] I thought meant Manchester United.
[267] This lad ... behind me, Dick, and myself, we're both City fans.
Dick (PS2E4) [268] Don't tell everybody for God's sake
Charlie (PS2EB) [269] They're proud of it, never mind what you said before,Unite Uni City wouldn't do what?
[270] Give over!
[271] I've got a piece of artwork on the floor that I never thought I'd see.
[272] It's called the Tripyer Shield ... and it's a local amateur thing ... Eccles and District ... and to win it it's like winning the F A Cup ... and this G M B team that we started ... we lost about three or four matches and we started losing the players, so when you don't lock the doors and you'd end up with about seven players and you'd think is it worth bothering?
[273] Course it's worth bothering because a lot of young men that was unemployed come down to the school where I'm the caretaker ... and they said, we know that you're running short ... is there any chance of getting in on the scene?
[274] So they got in on the scene and I seen young men that was walking the streets ... that had nowt to do ... put a football kit on with G M B written across the front ... turn out and become super human beings, you never seen nowt like it, they were so pleased to associate with like something like that.
[275] I just want to end up by saying I know it's all about reduction for unemployed and the telephone ... this union has worked very hard with the community in Salford ... throughout the country ... if you just give me a moment, Mr President, I'll get this unclear
Dick (PS2E4) [276] Is this, is this what's known as poetic licence, Bill?
[277] Did you say telephone or television then?
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [278] [...] television.
Dick (PS2E4) [279] Oh, television, right ... If that's real silver then I'll have that, [clapping]
Charlie (PS2EB) [280] It is real silver.
[281] Colleagues, this is the G M B at work in the Lancashire region ... working with the unemployed.
[282] Thanks.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [283] Thanks very much indeed, Bill.
[284] Motion three eight four, telephone assistance for the elderly ... G M B Scotland to move.
[285] And if there is a seconder, if he or she could come down please.
Dennis (PS2EC) [286] Morning team, congress ... Jackie , Scotland.
[287] It is to the shame of this Tory government that er er our senior citizens have to [...] struggle to feed and clothe themselves ... and to try to keep warm, and as inadequate pensions that they receive from this government ... if you compare the way in the other European countries ... what they get and what the British government gives to our old age pensioners, our senior citizens ... they're more ... they're worse off than actually second class citizens.
[288] But over and above this is a terrible fact that despite what they are already putting up with, they've got more ... they've got the seventeen percent coming on ... their [...] .
[289] If they're a pound over, they've still got to pay the [...] money.
[290] Why are they doing this?
[291] If they heard a knock at the door ... or if they heard shouting and bawling in the street, but there's nothing they can do ... what we're asking for here is ... and I'm asking for support ... is a phone to the people who cannot afford one ... whereas if they hear something they can phone the police, or they can phone the support unit ... because [...] are two people staying together in this day and age where they cannot [...] walk in the streets ... they're attacked even in broad daylight going to get their pensions ... never mind at night-time.
[292] What I'm asking for is ... that we keep this approach up to fight this government to give er our senior citizens a better chance in this life, cos a lot of us here would not be here today if it wasn't for the senior citizens who brought us up.
[293] What we're asking for is ... is a phone to the people who can't afford it ... to the police stations.
[294] It would only cost the ... the B T very small ... and a telephone unit.
[295] Now ... up in Glasgow, we've got a Strathclyde Labour authority who's actually putting schemes like this in.
[296] If it's alarm systems ... if the alarm goes off they phone the person in the house.
[297] If the woman answers [...] ... [tape change] citizen in Britain ... not just in certain areas, and I move for support.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [298] Is there a seconder for three eight four?
[299] ... Formally seconded?
[300] Thank you very much.
[301] I now call John to put the ...
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2E4) [302] Yep.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [303] President, conference ... Mal , Lancashire region.
[304] Er ... I come up to draw the President's attention ... erm to a problem we have within the delegation and that is that when er Dick called the mover of resolution three eight one in the name of the Lancashire region ... John who was going to move the resolution was in fact sat in his seat within the delegation.
[305] Unfortunately, John does suffer from a hearing defect which er causes him loss of hearing ... and apparently when he puts his hearing aid in ... the speakers are causing some interference and a whistle within his ear.
[306] He's got the hearing aid out and unfortunately he didn't hear the President call motion three eight one, and in view of that I jumped in and formally moved it to erm save the motion falling ... and I would ask you with your indulgence, if John could come along and move motion three eight one.
[307] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [308] Well ... I mean ... the motion actually has been moved, I do take the point, I mean it's a fair point, but ... erm ... not sure where John's sat ... sat at the back, yes ...
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [...] [clapping] ...
Dick (PS2E4) [309] where you going, John?
[310] Did [laughing] yeah [] .
[311] Did somebody tell him I was speaking?
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [312] Okay, well look ... we are we are a little ahead of time and it, we're certainly gonna complete the business but, so on this particular occasion
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [313] providing he doesn't wreck the bloody rostrum of course.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [314] Right John.
Dick (PS2E4) [315] Mr President, congress ... Is the loop system working or not?
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [316] I knew he was gonna ask me that!
[317] I knew he was gonna say that!
Dick (PS2E4) [318] Well ...
Dick (PS2E4) [319] Three eight one you're on, John.
Dick (PS2E4) [320] Mr John told me last year he paid a lot of money for all this ... and it's still not bloody working!
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [clapping]
Ken (PS2E5) [321] But I'll get on to my resolution ... which is unemployment benefit ... and I'll say this ... it's a bloody disgrace ... and I mean it.
[322] And for unions to stand by and [...] it's bloody unbelievable.
[323] You work forty years of your life ... you're made redundant ... all that time you paid insurance, tax ... and after twelve months they've got the gall to take money you paid all your life off your unemployment and throw you on income.
[324] That's all I'm saying.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [325] Thanks John.
[326] The motion was formally seconded, colleagues, so I now call John to put the C E C position ... John.
Ed (PS2E7) [327] I was hoping, Dick, I'd get one with no light on!
[328] [clapping] John replying to these resolutions on behalf of the C E C. Before I kick off ... I ... to reply to them I put at the top of my scribbled notes three words ... poverty ... hardship and loneliness ... and I think those three words typify and sum up what the majority of these resolutions are all about in this retarded society that we've lived in ... er under ... in the last fourteen years.
[329] If I can pick up with motion three eight zero ... which refers to the privatation of sat statutory sick pay and statutory maternity pay ... the C E C would like reference back on this for the very basis that ... the point is they do still remain State benefits ... and those who qualify them, for them, are legally entitled to do so.
[330] We ask for reference back so that a closer look can be taken at these problems in the administration of the benefits.
[331] When I move on to three eight one, three eight two ... there's a lot of things been said about these benefits this morning which doesn't leave much left for me ... but looking at the situation of the way this Tory government ... has in the last thirteen years, certainly since nineteen eighty two ... crucified the benefits paid genuinely to people ... is in itself a crime upon society ... and it reminds me of the ... the words of the song ... it's the rich that get the gravy ... and it's the poor that get the blame ... and nothing, but nothing has changed since those words were written many many years ago.
[332] Since nineteen eighty two ... when they took away the related earnings from the unemployment benefit ... they have introduced a further nine retrograde steps to the plight of the unemployed ... and now the proposals ... as has already been pointed out ... they now have a look, because there's a fifty billion pound shortfall ... at how they can best tackle the sick and make them pay, as well as people who are struggling to keep a roof over their head.
[333] We ask you to accept these two resolutions.
[334] On the reduced T V licence fees ... well I think we all recognize that everybody who's unemployed isn't living in the lap of luxury ... drinking ten double whiskies a day ... hitting the racecourses with a top hat and tail on ... the only pleasure, especially people who've got young children to bring up ... is the television ... and such is the price of the licence nowadays that in order to sustain that ... other things in the family are going short.
[335] This again is an indictment on our society when people are being forced into that position ... again the C E C asks you to accept this.
[336] On the standing charges regarding [...] motion three eight four ... for the rent-free telephones for our senior citizens ... it is really an extension of three seventy ... but the C E C asks ... to ... while you, while you accept this resolution ... ask for a qualification on the motion.
[337] We say it is unclear why free phones should only be issued for incoming and outgoing calls and for nine nine nine calls.
[338] What we are saying ... there are other emergencies and I get down to the word loneliness now ... is there any reason why senior citizens shouldn't have the facility whereby they can make telephone calls if those, they so desire, to members of the family who in many instances they haven't seen for long periods of time?
[339] There are many many people ... who live in houses on their own ... can't get out ... and again ... it's an indictment on our society when you hear and read about the telephone profits that er that B T are making.
[340] I don't consider it is wrong in this day and age ... that it is wrong to try to uplift and give to our retired people, every decent condition that is going in order to enable them to live their, the way they are entitled to do.
[341] On that basis, chair ... and having got this off my chest ... I'm gonna get me bucket and spade, and I'm gonna go to the beach this afternoon.
[342] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2E4) [343] John, we've got business this afternoon.
[344] [clapping] Right, colleagues, er, motion three eighty, the C E C as John has indicated are seeking reference.
[345] Does the mover accept reference?
[346] ... Congress agree?
Unknown speaker (HDPPSUNK) [...] [sounds of agreement]
Dick (PS2E4) [347] Thanks very much.
[348] Motion three, three eight one ... C E C are recommending your acceptance, all those in favour ... against ... that's carried.
[349] Motion three eight two ... C E C are recommending you to accept it, all those in favour ... against ... that's carried.
[350] And motion three eight four ... C E C are recommending you to accept it, all those in favour ... against ... and that's carried.
[351] Colleagues, that in fact concludes the morning's business, we're about twelve minutes ahead of time.
[352] Just before we break ... can I remind all women delegates, officers and guests ... there will be the reception to be held at twelve thirty to two o' clock in the Lord Mayor's banqueting hall, in the Guildhall.
[353] The bad news is it's a cash bar ... attendance by ticket only, please do your best to be there.
[354] Now colleagues, refreshments and the exhibition halls are stationed in the north and south reception areas ... on the first floor of the Guildhall.
[355] Can I please urge you to visit the exhibition hall during the course of congress.
[356] Congress stands adjourned till two P M this afternoon.
[357] Thank you very much.