Trade Union Annual Congress: trade union congress. Sample containing about 13161 words speech recorded in business context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C344

PS2JD X u (No name, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2JE X m (John, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2JF X u (Mel, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2JG X m (Bill, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2JH X m (Ron, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2JJ X m (Mick, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2JK X f (Denise, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
HDUPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
HDUPS001 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
HDUPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HDUPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100910 recorded on 1993-06-08. LocationHampshire: Portsmouth ( The Guildhall ) Activity: trade union congress speech

Undivided text

(PS2JD) [1] Colleagues just before we er commence with today's business, one or two announcements to make.
[2] The first one is that I, I've received a number of complaints about colleagues smoking in the, in conference.
[3] ... [laughing] Are you taking that line because you're in favour or opposed to it [] ?
[4] Anyway, it's not a matter for us I know, that er depending on where you sit in conference you can have difficulty seeing the no smoking signs, but I've every confidence you're gonna take my word for this.
[5] Normally, normally, when it's switched on there's a sign up there.
[6] It's not switched on yet, so can somebody switch it on.
[7] And equally colleagues ... there is also, it's true believe me, and normally there's another one up there, a no smoking sign so please be restrained, if only to help me to get through the week with my voice which is usually very bad!
[8] Er, the other thing is of course colleagues that the doors at the side are, are open for very good reasons and I mentioned yesterday from time to time that once we get er we get talking there's a [...] that goes and colleagues at the side of Congress have a great deal of difficulty in hearing and listening to the debate.
[9] So please if you feel the need that you need to speak to somebody, please go out of the Conference.
[10] Discipline has been very good indeed so far.
[11] Thanks very much.
[12] Now just another couple of things colleagues.
[13] You'll remember yesterday that we had the collection for the Crawley Strikers and that the General Secretary, rather, I was gonna say foolishly then, generously er said that we would double whatever was collected.
[14] Of course after he made that statement he didn't realize that the London Region were gonna put a thousand pound in the bucket!
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping]
(PS2JD) [15] Yes but such is the life of mice and men.
[16] Anyway, the collection realized six hundred and thirteen pound, plus the thousand from London.
[17] That came to six hundred, sixteen hundred and thirteen and that will be doubled by the C E C. Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [18] Colleagues I've had a message from the strikers at Crawley and they've had to return.
[19] They want to place on record the generous support that they've had from you and for the [...] , yes in a moment, the seconder of the emergency motion for er moving her support.
[20] They've been out a long time colleagues, seventeen weeks.
[21] I spoke to them yesterday afternoon after we broke.
[22] They appeared to me to be as committed as ever to winning that particular dispute and I'm sure you would wish to send your further best wishes to them colleagues.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [23] One other matter before I ask the General Secretary I think our colleague might want to say something after the General Secretary.
[24] Erm colleagues who attended the Blackpool Conference last year will recall that there was, that we had a visit from a young boy called who was the son of one of our officers and that er was suffering from I think I recall a very severe form of leukaemia.
[25] I know that some colleagues are aware of this but sadly recently passed away and I must by the colleagues in the Midland and East Coast region er to thank everybody who put into the er the collection on behalf of the .
[26] Very sad colleagues, but thank you very much indeed for that.
[27] Can I now ask the General Secretary to say a few words.
John (PS2JE) [28] Well just colleagues about the Burnsall dispute erm er clearly and I'm just anticipating the views of Congress that since we adopted a particularly way of making up the er [...] Dispute Fund, I think we should certainly adopt exactly the same practice in relation [...]
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] ...
Mel (PS2JF) [29] The point of information President Mel Lancashire Region President, Conference.
[30] I see on the agenda this morning that an invitation has been extended for to come along and speak to us.
[31] Can the General Secretary give this Conference assurances that a speaker from Timex can come along and address this Conference before the end of closing.
[32] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] ...
John (PS2JE) [33] Yes colleagues, what I will do is this, erm no one will be in this Congress for the last three days without knowing the strong feelings on the Timex issue.
[34] I refer to it in my speech and many others have referred to the terrible situation at Timex.
[35] If there is an approach for the Timex workers to come through the proper channels, I will recommend on behalf of the Executive for the Standing Orders Committee that we hear a Timex worker before the end of the Conference.
[36] If the Timex worker wants to regard that as a right of reply to Neil 's speech, so be it.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [37] Right colleagues, er on with the business.
[38] Can I announce that the C E C has informed me that motion eighty four Lancashire Region due for debate on Wednesday afternoon has been withdrawn.
[39] Motion eighty four has been withdrawn.
[40] I'll now turn colleagues to the Section Secretary's Report Mick Apex Partnership, pages twenty nine to thirty four.
[41] Mick.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [42] Thank you President.
[43] Good Morning Congress.
[44] Mick National Office.
[45] I can just remember in the so-called heady days of the early nineteen eighties the then Prime Minister saying that you would make Britain a great trading and a great economic nation once again.
[46] But she also said it'd be a nation which did not need a manufacturing industry, nor an industrial base.
[47] The Britain of the nineteen nineties and beyond, according to her, would be based on a service sector.
[48] Thousands of jobs created, foreign investment would be forthcoming and what happened?
[49] The mines, the steelworks, the shipyards, all killed off and with them communities killed off.
[50] But all would be okay, according to Thatcher.
[51] New jobs would be created in the service sector.
[52] In retail, in finance in recreation and in leisure.
[53] Yes, many jobs were created.
[54] Part time jobs, low paid jobs, temporary contract jobs, non-unionized jobs.
[55] But all the gains that we had made out of labour movement, improvements in working time, improvements in health and safety, equality issues, legal rights all went out of the window, and what has happened to the vast majority of those service jobs?
[56] They've gone.
[57] The same way as the steel workers, the coal miners and the skilled crafts people.
[58] Gone and never to return unless we have a government elected which is committed to education, to training, to investment and to the future.
[59] It's obscene, in the nineteen nineties at a time of three million plus unemployed that we've still have a skill shortage in this country.
[60] We all know that Britain will only become a world class economy if we have a strong well-balanced manufacturing base, employing skilled, trained workforce, a workforce which has decent conditions of employment and has legal protection, but we do still have some members within the service sector and within the professional rank and what has happened in the last five or six years to those members?
[61] They've seen the introduction of new macho management techniques.
[62] They've seen the introduction of performance related pay, personal contracts, new working practices, pay freezes, pay cuts and always the fear of redundancy and all of this has been going on at a time when increasingly companies are withdrawing from national collective agreements, are establishing separate bargaining arrangements, restricting the activities of trade union officials and increasingly de-recognizing trade unions.
[63] Increasingly we see longstanding and well used recognition of procedure agreements torn up.
[64] We've seen new and harsher disciplinary procedures introduced, safety measures ignored and regrettably increases in the number of cases of racial and sexual harassment.
[65] We need to ensure that our white collar members have the help and the support and the advice available to them, but that help and that advice needs to be at the right time and at the right place.
[66] As more and more decisions are being taken by management at local level, we need to ensure our local representatives have the necessary skills to cope with the new macho management techniques.
[67] We need to ensure that our representatives are trained in human resource management, how to combat human resource management.
[68] We need to offer advice on performance- related pay, on health and safety issues, on environmental issues.
[69] It's been particularly bleak for many workers.
[70] Many white collar workers thought they were immune to the recession, but Congress there are thousands of white collar professional, technical workers out there who need a trade union.
[71] A professional trade union with the new knowledge, the skills and the services appropriate to their needs.
[72] That is the effective partnership.
[73] I commend my report.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [74] Twenty nine.
[75] Yes.
[76] ... Anybody else who's coming up between twenty nine and thirty four, if you could come down to the rostrum colleagues.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [77] Well that's me morning jog!
[78] Morning Conference, you all awake?
[79] Hope you enjoyed yourselves last night.
[80] ... Conference, thank you Mick, Apex is going places, there's no doubt about that.
[81] I heard what er John had to say yesterday about the Apex membership must accept the conditions of the merger.
[82] Well we fully accept that John and the reason I get up here under Mick's report is under the item number two Apex Partnership National Conference.
[83] I tell you why I get up, I get up because I came back from that conference.
[84] It was a bit of a disaster in some respects, but in other respects it was a lively vibrant conference.
[85] Membership expressing real views, real concerns and John if you listen very carefully, it was also about wanting to see a delivery of the promises that were made about the merger.
[86] That's what it was about.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [87] But there was a brave paper presented to Apex conference, a paper on sectionalization.
[88] That conference discussed it, discussed it in great detail.
[89] They put a lot of effort into it, but I tell you what, if I read Access, I would never have believed I was at the same conference.
[90] There wasn't a single word mentioned about that particular paper and the very fact that that conference rejected it, because they failed to consult properly with those who were involved in that section and they were very unhappy about the way Apex was being fragmented.
[91] I was very disappointed that there's no comment in here at all.
[92] Let's be honest, I didn't wanna see good sections, I wanna see strong sections, I wanna see vibrant sections, but I also want to see the truth in those documents when it comes back afterwards, so I'm disappointed on this issue and er I hope something in future will be done about to report the real things that we discussed at conference as well.
[93] Thank you Conference.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Bill (PS2JG) [94] Bill London Region.
[95] Mick, we took a decision at erm Apex Conference two years ago erm whereby we decided that er anywhere where we had G M B members we would attempt to ensure that we have recognition with the private security firms used.
[96] Here we are at er Portsmouth G M B Congress, we've got, we're using that, well the Guildhall are using erm [...] out front.
[97] I'd just been talking to the guard, twelve hour shifts, sixty hours a week and he can't even have any time off for tea breaks or meal breaks.
[98] Erm can we look into that?
[99] I do know that we've been trying to get er recognition for about fifteen years with that company but can we pursue that issue?
[100] Erm, on page thirty you talk about the erm Employer's Federation in the er minimum terms and conditions, well I'm only hoping that my own firm Securicor don't have any er input into that, because er as you know they unilaterally reduced all the terms and conditions Securicor guarding and cleaning recently ... erm I'd like to know when we intend meeting with Securicor Cleaner I do know you've written to them on a number of occasions and their refusal to meet with us.
[101] I also know that you're attempting to get a Memorandum of Agreement and a Recognition Agreement with them.
[102] Erm, I'd like to know an update if possible on the Branch Secretary's erm restructuring.
[103] I know that we're meeting with the company next week, but whether or not anything's come forward on that and also erm in reference to the pensions section, erm, just correct your deliberate mistake and part timers can't enter the Securicor Pension Scheme.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [104] Page thirty, thirty one, thirty two.
Ron (PS2JH) [105] Yes.
[106] Ron Securicor [...] Yorkshire Region.
[107] Er page thirty two about er the Guarding Company.
[108] I mean I don't want anybody to get the wrong idea what it says we've resolved eighty percent of the outstanding grievances.
[109] I mean these people have had a pay freeze since November nineteen ninety and these grievances were as a result of a new pay structure last year that actually worsened the terms and conditions since nineteen ninety, but till then we've been making steady progress in getting better improvements and we've gone backwards.
[110] Securicor have joined the cowboys on the contract guarding and really I mean you must be getting sick of us getting up every time about security guards, but it's an important problem and you must know that a lot of you must work at places where you've got guards on the gate and we all should take a bit of interest in going to see these guards, find out that they're working for two pound or two pound forty an hour, they're working as many hours a week as they'll actually work with no overtime rate, no night rate, no benefits worth having and I mean really I wish you'd go to your companies and try and arrange site allowances, cos that's the only way we'll get any improvements, but when we talk about resolving grievances, we just took in Yorkshire region someone to a tribunal for constructive dismissal.
[111] Well the judgment's deserved on that but we're hoping we're gonna win it and we're hoping that that is a beneficial thing to the other guards, but I wouldn't put any money on it.
[112] The final thing is that a review of paying conditions will take place in May nineteen ninety three.
[113] We've actually had a Delegates Conference in April and we meet the company in July and I don't expect any sold the bread waiting for a massive increase in pay.
[114] Thanks Conference.
(PS2JD) [115] Thank you very much
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [116] thirty three and thirty four.
[117] Mick. ...
Mick (PS2JJ) [118] Thank you President.
[119] With response to Kevin, yes the National Committee Paper on the future structure and organization of the Apex Partnership was rejected by the Conference.
[120] There was a full and detailed report put by the Central Executive Committee on that point and, as you are well aware, there are motions for debate this morning in respect of er that particular point.
[121] The [...] from London Region, yes Shorrocks is a cowboy outfit.
[122] We've been retrying to get recognition nationally and locally for fifteen years.
[123] Yeah, lousy pay, lousy hours, lousy conditions.
[124] Yet another example of why we need regulation and licensing within the industry.
[125] Unfortunately at long last we are making some progress along that line.
[126] Bill also makes the comment about Securicor.
[127] Yeah, you're dead right Bill.
[128] Securicor were at one time synonymous with quality for they have paid to be synonymous with quality.
[129] They tried to take the cowboys on at their own game.
[130] A world leader with the security industry is actually going down to the levels of the one man and a dog outfit.
[131] We're meeting in July on the pay and as Ron and Bill know we are seeking full restoration of the losses in respect of base rates, working time and premium payments.
[132] The then secretaries, yes negotiations are ongoing in respect of the company's proposals on restructuring.
[133] All the then secretaries have been kept fully involved in those negotiations.
[134] The Regional Secretaries have been advised of the position and regularly updated on the position.
[135] I'd made a commitment to the Branch Secretaries and to the Representatives that there will be a full Representatives Conference of which those proposals will be debated and discussed.
[136] I accept the point Bill about the error in respect of pensions.
[137] I think that covers the points President.
[138] Thank you.
(PS2JD) [139] Thanks very much Mick
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [140] Colleagues I now propose to take motions one hundred and fifty eight Sectionalization, motion one hundred and sixty six the Apex Merger.
[141] Er and then we'll ask for Mick to respond on behalf of the C E C because the C E C are opposing one five eight and accepting one six six with the qualification.
[142] So first of all M=motion one five eight South Western Region to move.
Denise (PS2JK) [143] ... Good morning Congress, President, visitors in the balcony.
[144] Denise representing Bristol and District Staff Branch and the South West Region.
[145] Could I firstly start by thanking those delegates who after Congress yesterday have expressed support about the two rule changes that we lost and to give some encouragement to new delegates here that even if you get up here and you lose it, there's some one hell of a lot of support out there on the floor.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Denise (PS2JK) [146] Thank you.
[147] Motion one five eight.
[148] I note that the C E C is opposing this, but I feel that maybe they've missed the points and the branch should actually take some responsibility for this because the wording could be better, we concede that point.
[149] The motion isn't actually asking for each individual member to be sent a questionnaire and to say where would you like to be because obviously that is totally ridiculous.
[150] People who are in one particular workplace and that workplace makes up the branch, then it's clear from the sort of jobs that they do which section they should be in.
[151] But if you're in a general branch such as I am, which is made up from people of all sorts of industries that have come together because none of us are large enough to have a branch within our own industry on our own, then which section do we go to?
[152] It's not always necessarily obvious.
[153] And who makes that decision where we should go?
[154] Delegates in this room from Apex may recognize me as someone that used to get up and say I was representing Apex Public Service and Management Branch.
[155] It might automatically be assumed that because that was the name of our branch, we should be in the public service section and that it why we've changed the name of the branch to Bristol and District Staff because we are an odds and sods branch.
[156] We didn't want there to be any confusion so that people would automatically put us all into public services, because the majority of our members shouldn't be in that section.
[157] Surely the best way for members needs to be attended to is for them to actually make the decisions on which section's relevant to them.
[158] We're not talking about individual members saying I wanna go here or I wanna go there, we're talking about groups of memberships within these sorts of branches.
[159] Surely the needs of the members should come before the administrative easiness of putting people into sections for the Union and as I've said who better to judge where they need to go and what their needs are than the members themselves.
[160] Congress has already discussed the fact that we're very concerned about the drop in membership.
[161] Providing a service to our members is absolutely paramount and we need to show them that we are considering their needs in which section we put them in.
[162] As I've already said, we agree that the wording could have been better.
[163] The C E C when they're talking about motions sometimes say that they accept them with the qualification and I'd like to say to Congress this morning will you accept a qualification from the branch moving this to say that we are talking about groups of members and their needs not individuals?
[164] The members' case must come first, otherwise everyone is gonna be put into the odds and sods section which is Apex, because it hasn't got a subject such as public services or energy and utilities.
[165] We want Apex as Kevin has already said to be a real section, not where everyone gets pushed because the name of their branch or there's nowhere else to put them.
[166] I urge you to support this motion.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [167] One five eight seconded.
[168] One five eight seconded.
[169] Formally seconded.
[170] Thank you very much.
[171] Motion one six six Apex Merger Liverpool Region.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [172] [...] Formally moved and you've formally seconded.
[173] Thank you very much.
[174] You did that twice Peter you can do that.
[175] I call Mick to put the C E C point of view. ...
Mick (PS2JJ) [176] Thank you President.
[177] Congress, the Central Executive asks you to, the Central Executive accepts motion one six six with a qualification.
[178] However the C E C is asking you to vote against motion one five eight.
[179] The qualification to motion one six six is that the C E C believe we should prepare a paper on relationship between Apex Partnership and all other sections of the Union, not just the public services section.
[180] In other words we should examine the whole subject, not just one important part of it.
[181] In respect of motion one five eight, the C E C is opposed because it is based upon a misunderstanding of the purposes of sectionalization.
[182] This Union faces strong competition in almost every sector in which it organizes.
[183] In order that we can respond, we must organize ourselves, industry and by sector.
[184] That means making what might have to be some very difficult decisions affecting longstanding practices and even loyalties that have developed over many years.
[185] We cannot leave it to the [...] of individual members, that would produce chaos and could leave to destructive manoeuvring.
[186] The membership of each section is clearly defined by rule.
[187] The C E C and the Regional Committees have ample discretion to, to fine tune in certain areas.
[188] So we are urging you to vote against one five eight and accept one six six with the qualification outlined.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Denise (PS2JK) [189] I don't go anywhere without a fight Congress.
[190] You've heard my explanation of the fact that it was poorly worded and I think that is a great shame.
[191] I'll be talking later on in Congress about the fact that we could perhaps bring amendments and that would help the wording on things.
[192] Please think of our membership, think of what their needs are.
[193] Yes, we're in competition and we want to be able to say to our members don't go to that trade union because they will put you all in one lump, go to this one because we've got sections, because we look at our members with individual needs and please support this motion.
[194] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [195] Colleagues I propose to take the vote one five eight as Mick's indication is being opposed by the C E C. All those in favour of one five eight ... against ... that's lost.
[196] ... Motion one six six has been accepted.
[197] All those in favour ... against ... that's carried.
[198] Colleagues we're now going to the transport debate and there are five motions listed here.
[199] Motion three one four London Region to move.
[200] Composite eighteen G M B Scotland and London to second.
[201] Motion three one six Birmingham Region to move.
[202] Motion three one eight Midland Region to move.
[203] Motion three one nine Midland Region to move again.
[204] So colleagues if the moves of motion three one four er would come down and move their motion and with other colleagues if they would come down to the rostrum please it would save time. ...
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [205] President, Congress, Dave Southend Branch London Region moving motion three one four British Rail Privatization.
[206] Congress, this country gave the world football, cricket and railways.
[207] We are now in the second division of world football and world cricket.
[208] The railways are now in division three and the government's plan is to take them into the non-league.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [209] At the moment we have old and dirty trains which are expensive to use, with many rural towns without a railway at all through years and years of underfunding.
[210] So what is this crazy useless government's answer, extra funding?
[211] No.
[212] Privatizing ... what is the first thing the government do to make B R more attractive to the private sector?
[213] Announces a huge redundancy programme that will lead erm which will result in a lot more unstaffed stations and a hell of a lot less maintenance.
[214] Now let's look at some facts that the lying Tories won't tell you.
[215] Our rail network is the lowest funded, the lowest staffed and has the lowest investment programme in Europe with the poorest quality service and the fastest declining level of safety, but B R has the highest fares.
[216] Since nineteen eighty three the government has reduced financial support by over two billion pound and reduced staff by seventy thousand, resulting in less maintenance and falling safety standards and with, as I said higher fares, but fewer services.
[217] Now I ask you, do you think that a privatized network that has to pay a divided to investors will lead to a better, safer, cleaner, cheaper railway?
[218] Of course not, in fact it will probably be the reverse with even higher fares, less if any off-peak services and maybe closures of unprofitable lines.
[219] The government plan to help private operators by robbing the Railworkers' Pension Fund of millions of pounds to subsidize their operations for passenger and freight on a scale that B R have never ever known.
[220] This has got to be immoral if not illegal!
[221] It is obvious the way the railway should move forward not privatization but a reversal of the underfunding and a move to a total commitment of higher financial support.
[222] If Richard Branson wants to run trains, let him build a network and, and compete against a properly funded British Rail.
[223] Congress, the vote in the House of Commons was lost unfortunately, but our sponsored MPs must ensure that the opposition in the House of Lords fights this ridiculous legislation as vigorously as possible, and we must support our brothers and sisters in B R with their fight.
[224] Congress I move.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] ...
(PS2JD) [225] Thank you.
[226] Dave London Region seconding the motion on rail privatization.
[227] Colleagues once again we see the Tories operating an example of what I call fag packet policies.
[228] Policies driven not by realism or efficiency, but based on dogs simply on dogma.
[229] They make them up as they go along.
[230] It's very difficult to find any support at all for rail privatization outside a handful of ministers.
[231] Even Tory MPs are against it and have to be whipped into line to get it through Parliament.
[232] The effect of privatization will have a wide range of effects.
[233] For the staff it will mean job losses as lines are cut and worse conditions as more and more work goes out to contract.
[234] Today we learn of nine hundred job losses at what used to be B R E L in the engineering section.
[235] For us the customers, it will mean higher fares and fewer services as unprofitable and social services are cut and this is only if we are left a train service at all.
[236] I come from Norfolk and with privatization many rural lines will be cut as the private sector being as unattractive and unprofitable.
[237] Transport organizations predict that only the three main lines to London will be left and only those with a peak service.
[238] Services which provide trains for both rural villages and holidaymakers will be cut.
[239] The lines under threat Ipswich to Yarmouth, Norwich Yarmouth, the North Norfolk Link, they may all go.
[240] Train spotting in East Anglia will take on a whole new meaning.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [241] Cuts have already begun to ... as the British Rail cow has fattened up.
[242] In King's Lynn where I live the freight line to the docks has now been closed.
[243] This has forced fifty thousand tons of coal traffic and ten thousand tons of toxic chemical traffic onto East Anglia's already congested roads.
[244] Chemicals that in the Common Market are not allowed to travel by road, they're forced on to rail.
[245] When the Minister of the Environment was contacted to help in putting pressure on B R, the Council were told why were they contacting him, it was not a matter that he was interested in.
[246] The Department of Transport, they were very little help, we contacted them and after initial propaganda visits, we were told that sixty thousand tons of traffic wasn't worth bothering about it wasn't large enough to warrant any help or subsidy.
[247] This is, this is the way it will go and will continue to go.
[248] The people in rural areas ... train lines are, are an essential way to move around communities.
[249] For many people without that they will simply be isolated in their own small communities.
[250] Colleagues, I urge you to reject the dogma, look at the practical integrated policy and support the motion.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [251] Composite eighteen Floods of Convenience G M B Scotland to move. ...
John (PS2JE) [252] Mr Chairman, colleagues, David G M B Scotland [...] Composite motion eighteen Floods of Convenience.
[253] Colleagues, the Parliament [...] of the European Community and of the United Kingdom have seriously considered the consequences of the spillage of eighty five thousand tons of oil from oil tanker [...] which ran aground on the coast of the Shetland Islands on the fifth of January nineteen ninety three and for a considerable time socialists of the European Parliament have been complaining incessantly for greater safety at sea.
[254] Although they have gained the support of the majority of MPs, but when the submission reached the Council of Ministers, they unfortunately find that their representations have been shelved.
[255] Quite recently, the European Parliament have been calling for oil ships which do not meet E E C standards to be expelled from community waters.
[256] Also ships carrying dangerous cargoes in sensitive waters, for example an area similar to where the [...] went ashore or perhaps the Dover Straits where cargo collisions have been reduced by eighty percent since radar surveillance was introduced.
[257] Colleagues, great credibility should go to John Prescott, Shadow Transport Secretary, who has demanded that all foreign registered tankers should provide details of routes when they set off from port so that all operators can be dealt with.
[258] Not surprisingly however, John McGregor the Transport Secretary, although he did not oppose John Prescott's submissions, made it quite clear that this would be extremely expensive.
[259] Colleagues action of this nature should not be measured in terms of money.
[260] Only last week we saw a collision in the Channel at a real cost, eight seamen's lives.
[261] Chair, colleagues, I ask Conference to support composite motion eighteen.
[262] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] ...
Mel (PS2JF) [263] Don London Region seconding composite eighteen.
[264] President, Congress, brothers and sisters, the issue here is very, really very simple.
[265] We want the E E C to enforce laws at least along the lines imposed by the U S A after the Exxon Valdez disaster.
[266] These are not perfect they're only a starting point.
[267] They include a greater control of shipping and the use of double skin hulls for dangerous cargoes.
[268] There's a certain irony here in the fact that the world leader in free market philosophy should be the one to try and bring some regulation into this area, because that's the problem here, almost complete deregulation the use of [...] convenient ships, low skilled, low paid er exploited often Third World workers, used and abused by ship owners the world over to increase their profit margins, with a subsequent lack of concern over both the environment and people's lives.
[269] As my comrade from Scotland says John Prescott has done a good job here, but I have to say it's not up against very much.
[270] After both the [...] disaster and the sinking in the Channel last week, the government will [...] Lord [...] did you know he's the Shipping Minister?
[271] Hardly is!
[272] After every question on oil tankers, he talked about how they started to put passenger ferries safer.
[273] If ever there was an example which helped the case for the abolition of the House of Lords, then he is it, but that's another resolution for another day.
[274] We talked yesterday about a lot about [...] Europe about the importance of workers' rights in Europe, but here we can expand upon this.
[275] Use the E C's political and financial muscle to bring about proper registered and regulated bulk carriers.
[276] Maybe our MEPs could help here.
[277] Support this motion, it's important that free marketeers aren't given licences to destroy our environment.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [278] Aye seconds. [clapping]
(PS2JD) [279] Motion three one six Single European Market Birmingham Region to move. ...
(HDUPS000) [280] Congress, fellow delegates, President.
[281] Val Birmingham Region.
[282] Moving motion three one six Single European Market.
[283] It is with regret and concern that I find myself moving to this resolution since the members as members of the European Community want would like [...] to have been possible to travel freely between members states.
[284] However, this is not the case as some of our partners are operating tours for coaching, coaches passing through their borders.
[285] This motion was triggered by a particular case which happened within the Birmingham region on the first of January nineteen ninety three which should have been a start of the European Market the people's Europe.
[286] Twenty five coaches with one thousand three hundred passengers returning from Christmas break in Austria were met with blunt piece of discrimination which broke communities laws.
[287] When entering Germany you are supposed to pay a toll which is only charged to non-German coach operators.
[288] A Warsaw based [...] European holiday coach company were supposed to pay seven thousand four hundred and fifty pounds as a toll which in itself was an illegal act of discrimination.
[289] Now it is, now this matter has been taken up on behalf of the company, by the constitutary European Member of Parliament John Tomlinson and colleagues.
[290] I have here correspondence that has been exchanged between Mr. Tomlinson and the European Commission and German President.
[291] Anybody wants some copies I have a few copies here.
[292] However, it seems that as far as I can make out from the correspondence, the Commissionaires are split ... in their opinion as to the legality of action of the German government.
[293] Colleagues, this is simply not acceptable and I call on Congress to support this resolution and instruct the E C to raise the matter in the proper government departments.
[294] I understand that C E C's accepting this motion and asking for remittance for further consultation.
[295] I agree.
[296] I move the motion.
[297] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [298] Er, it's not quite correct that [...] that's a new one accepting er and then referring.
[299] We're actually gonna be asking for reference, but we're gonna have a look at it and the C E C's people will make that clear.
[300] Okay?
[301] Er is that seconded three one six?
[302] Formally seconded.
[303] Thank you very much.
[304] Motion three one eight, full car licence new drivers Midland Region to move.
(HDUPS001) [305] John Midlands and East Coast Region moving motion three one eight.
[306] Brothers and colleagues statistics show that the majority of car accidents are mainly within the first year of people passing their driving test.
[307] At present a person can take a few driving lessons and pass a driving test and he is then free to purchase any type of car they can afford, regardless of how powerful that car is.
[308] It doesn't matter that they have very little experience driving cars on our road.
[309] As soon as they pass their driving test, they can get out of the supervised test car and hop into a two or three litre car and off they go down the road to possibly death and destruction.
[310] Some of them are capable and sensible drivers, but as the records show there are those who not only put their own lives at risk, but that of others as well.
[311] At present there are people who choose to display a green learner plate for a period of time after they have passed their test, but this is only optional and may lead to other coloured learner plates being sold which then may not be taken seriously.
[312] I believe that we should support the principle of a universal sign which identifies the status of the driver as an important step forward to ensuring safety on our roads.
[313] This union has always been at the forefront of health and safety issues within the many industries that we represent.
[314] Health and safety also applies on our roads and bearing in mind, we may be acquiring a large transport section, we should be seen to take an interest in not only our members' safety, but the safety of others as well.
[315] In the interest of road safety colleagues, I ask that you support the motion.
[316] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Bill (PS2JG) [317] President, Conference, Ken Midlands and East Coast Region seconding motion three one eight.
[318] Conference, if you think back to all those times that you have sat at home watching the news after a day's work like I have, and listen carefully to what is being said, you may well have been horrified and saddened to hear the many stories appertaining to people who have had accidents or died due to the fact that the machine they have been driving has been too powerful.
[319] By obtaining the full car licence, you are able to buy a vehicle which is and can be a lethal weapon in the hands of wrong people, but this motion calls for constraints to be placed upon people when they obtain that full licence and at twelve hundred C C you can have enough power as well as enjoy the driving for the future.
[320] We should be looking to educate and train all people a lot more than we do at the moment where driving is concerned, so that from the very moment you pass your test you can feel confident, other people can feel confident and we can all have confidence on the road.
[321] Conference, to have a sign in the front and rear of your car may help all new drivers to understand that as a new driver you are entering a system that we are not aware of, speed, which is associated with many other items causes the very things that we work in our day-to-day lives under health and safety to stop.
[322] Accidents.
[323] Conference, please support I second.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [324] Motion three one nine. ...
Ron (PS2JH) [325] President, Congress and the Delegates guests.
[326] Owen , Midland and East Coast Region.
[327] Moving motion three one nine.
[328] Congress, it's against the law in this country to ride a bicycle without lights during the hours of darkness.
[329] So why are they not fitted to all new pedal cycles during manufacturing?
[330] The law has not been adhered to in the recent years, as it was in the past and every night when you're out you usually see more than one cyclist driving without lights, often on the pavement.
[331] This causes an hazard to the pedestrians.
[332] The modern cycle has enormous gears and other fitments for riding on all types of roads and usually no fitted lights.
[333] I stopped a cyclist recently, he weren't very big by the way [clapping] who was showing no lights.
[334] When I asked him why he said it would spoil the looks of his bicycle to have them fitted now.
[335] That's a cycle that cost him over two hundred pounds ... and it would cost him more money to have lights fitted now as an extra.
[336] If lights were fitted as a standard requirement during manufacturing of pedal cyclists ... they could be made to blend in with the colour scheme of the cycle.
[337] A major campaign was launched regarding the wearing of cycle helmets and there has been a great response, favourable response to this, cutting down enormously under a number of fatal accidents involving pedal cyclists.
[338] So it's now up to Congress to pressurize the manufacturing of cyclists, of cycles to fit rare and rear lights.
[339] Sorry, to, I'll say that again [clapping] to fit front and rear lights during production thus cutting down the number of accidents involving cyclists not showing lights during the hours of darkness even farther.
[340] In the meantime Congress, we call upon the police to enforce their powers on cycles, cyclists riding without lights during the hours of darkness.
[341] Now I urge you to support.
[342] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] ...
Mick (PS2JJ) [343] [cough] I'll try not to be as shaky this morning.
[344] Whitecliffe , National Race Committee, South Western Region.
[345] Yesterday I handed you a message regarding er the request renewed to make a statement over the phrase Black Wednesday, a phrase that was coined by John Smith two days after the event.
[346] You have not made that statement.
[347] There are four members of the National Race Committee here today and I tell you now
(PS2JD) [348] Whitecliffe
Mick (PS2JJ) [349] if you do not make the statement
(PS2JD) [350] Whitecliffe
Mick (PS2JJ) [351] we will walk out of Conference
(PS2JD) [352] Whitecliffe
Mick (PS2JJ) [353] Thank you aye
(PS2JD) [354] er, Whitecliffe, it's not a point of order because the point of order has no relevance to this particular debate
Mick (PS2JJ) [355] [shouting] It has no relevance to this debate but it has []
(PS2JD) [356] Whitecliffe
Mick (PS2JJ) [357] plenty of relevance to the black membership of this union
(PS2JD) [358] Whitecliffe.
[359] Whitecliffe.
[360] The point of order has no [...] relevance to this particular debate.
[361] I will make the statement at the appropriate time to Congress.
[362] We've got the statement here.
[363] Don't come back.
[364] [...] the statement is here the statement will be made.
[365] Second the resolution list.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [366] Midlands and East Coast Region.
[367] With the increase in public transport costs, road tax and insurance, more and more people are changing to the humble bike as an alternative form of transport.
[368] In nineteen seventy nine their sales topped the one and a half million mark.
[369] In nineteen ninety two this has risen to two point two million and the indications are the ninety three figures are going to be much higher.
[370] In fact told me this is an expanding market.
[371] As the [...] favour, biking cannot be beaten, the cost of the average bike is between ninety nine pounds and one hundred and ninety nine pounds.
[372] If you compare that cost with the average cost of public transport, you will realize you can soon recoup your initial inlay outlay within six months and unlike cars there are no parking problems.
[373] On the debit side biking can be positively dangerous, that is why in nineteen eighty nine Congress passed a motion calling for the provision of cycleways.
[374] I move that resolution and [...] on I've yet to see any evidence of them.
[375] Delegates I ride a motorbike, so I am familiar with the hazards faced by cyclists, I am also too well aware of the lack of road sense of some cyclists.
[376] I'm aware of most of the crazy things they do.
[377] They could give kamikaze pilots some lessons!
[378] So I tend to give them a wide berth wherever possible.
[379] However, much harder to anticipate is their sudden appearance in front of you from nowhere in the dark with lights on and it's not just kids, it's adults who should know better.
[380] It's no good depending as Owen said waiting for people to fit lights themselves, they won't because they don't think accidents can happen to them.
[381] One accident is one too many.
[382] Please support this resolution.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [383] Conference [...] wish to put a point of view on several of these motions and I call Frank . ...
Denise (PS2JK) [384] Frank responding for the C E C and motions three one four, three one six, three one eight, three one nine and composite eighteen.
[385] Congress, the C E C has asked me to accept motion three one four and composite eighteen to refer motions three one six and three one eight and to accept motion three one nine.
[386] On motion three one four British Rail Privatization.
[387] This government has got to be really be joking with its proposals for example the West Coast Line from north to south is estimated to require in the region of eight hundred million to cover track repairs and modernization as well as outdated rolling stock and signal replacements.
[388] All the speeds will have to be reduced for all rolling stock used on that line which will increase the cost for uses of the of that service.
[389] Because of privatization plans, British Rail hasn't got any rolling stock on order.
[390] If they won't order the stock, do they really expect a new franchisee to do it?
[391] I don't think they will.
[392] At least not when I'm passing on that cost to you the users ... and as any cost increase will decrease the use of further track closures will follow.
[393] Another example is from [...] region [...] rail which is a totally independent system ... but over the years the five local authorities have ploughed millions of pounds of investment into improving a system, the stations the track and the rolling stock ... which in accordance with the Rail Bill will be put out of franchise next year ... but will anyone have to buy it?
[394] No.
[395] The company that requires us to pay out the smallest subsidy will be given the franchise and allow to use or probably allow to decay a facility that's been established over the years while it takes its profit and distributes them to its shareholders.
[396] On composite eighteen what more needs to be said?
[397] This system is used to reduce wages, increase company profits and totally undermine training and health and safety procedures for crews and provide hazards for all the countries around whose coast they sail with the death and environmental problems that follow from accidents such as occurred in the past week.
[398] Lives should be, and are, more important than profits through exploitation.
[399] Motion three one six refers to tolls on passengers.
[400] It appears that German states are opposing a VAT-like tax on in an inconsistent way, aggravated, aggravated by a failure to warn of any increase in the tax in January nineteen ninety three.
[401] I would ask you to refer this motion so we can investigate the background more closely.
[402] In the view of the C E C motion three one eight has wide implications for a transport industry as a whole and alternate safety measures need to be examined.
[403] However, we have no difficulty with the idea that cycles should be fitted with lights.
[404] Should many cyclists ignore this law or are hurt as a result, it's always possible for lights to be removed if necessary.
[405] Colleagues the C E C is asking you to accept motion three one four and composite eighteen to refer motion three one six and three one eight and to accept motion three one nine.
[406] Thank you.
(PS2JD) [407] Thanks Frank.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [408] Conference I propose to take the vote three one four is being accepted by the Executive.
[409] All those in favour ... against.
[410] That's carried.
[411] Composite eighteen is being supported by the Executive all those in favour ... against that's carried ... motion three one six reference is being sought does Birmingham agree?
[412] Conference agree?
[413] Thanks very much.
[414] Motion three one eight reference is being sought does Midland agree?
[415] Thanks very much.
[416] Conference agree?
[417] Motion three one nine is being accepted.
[418] All those in favour?
[419] Against?
[420] That's carried.
[421] ... Colleagues we now turn to the special report, a new concept of trade unionism G M B cooperation with the T & G. I propose that the General Secretary should move this we'll have it formally seconded.
[422] We'll then take motion two five five T G W U. Motion two two eight Changing Employment Patterns [...] moved and seconded I will then invite speakers from each of the regions on the Special Report.
[423] General Secretary to move.
John (PS2JE) [424] John General Secretary moving the special report and you may have noticed that the television cameras have gone.
[425] This is only about the possible er partnership of two of the largest unions in Britain.
[426] An organization which if it ever came to be formed will be representing nearly two million people.
[427] Pity our media showed a different sense of priorities.
[428] But colleagues, five years ago I looked forward to the merger between G M B and Apex and predicted by the year two thousand there would be only four major unions in Britain, call them the four super unions.
[429] In fact as you know the world has moved a good deal faster than any of us expected.
[430] Last year the A W U was formed and next month UNISON comes into existence.
[431] This debate is about how we will respond and in a very real sense, it's about the future of the whole trade union movement in Britain.
[432] In the mid eighties we decided that if we were going to be one of the super unions, we had to be amalgamation-friendly.
[433] We've been uniquely successful in the amalgamation stakes.
[434] Textiles workers, Greater London Staff Association, Apex, tailor and garment workers, they were all wooed by other unions but they all had the good sense to merge into the G M B. In the next few months we'll be joined by members of E F T A T. I am delighted that the Special E F T A T Conference voted in favour of the G M B. I welcome that decision and I pay tribute to the many colleagues who worked so hard to achieve that victory.
[435] We'll be seeing the E F T A T colleagues on Thursday, I hope you'll give them a very very warm welcome.
[436] That's the good news.
[437] The bad news is of course that our successful amalgamation policy has been made against the background of falling union membership.
[438] We've done better than most, but our membership levels have suffered as well.
[439] High unemployment, anti trade union laws, macho management, they've all had their damaging effect.
[440] We all know people who want trade union protection, but dare not join because they fear victimization.
[441] Because of political hostility trade union membership in Britain is being held at an artificially low level.
[442] If we have the same legal system even as continental Europe, trade union membership in Britain will be at least two million higher than it is today, but let's not delude ourselves.
[443] Political spite has done us enormous damage, but it's not the whole story.
[444] During the last ten years Britain has changed, very often for the worse, the nature of work has changed and we the trade union Movement have not changed fast enough to keep up with the pace.
[445] Think about it for a moment.
[446] What are the three pillars that support trade unionism in Britain?
[447] Recognition by employers, check-off agreements, reliable shop stewards and activists.
[448] Our problem is that one by one these three pillars are crumbling away.
[449] Many of you know John here today.
[450] He's a distinguished delegate to many many congresses and was London Region Secretary before Paul.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
John (PS2JE) [451] The point of mentioning John is that he used to work at the massive Hoover plant in West London.
[452] It closed a few years ago, they couldn't knock it down because it was meant to be a prime example of nineteen thirties architecture.
[453] John always said that they spent more money restoring the facade than they ever spent on the thousands of workers who worked inside the plant, but then when it closed they couldn't knock it down, so they turned it into a superstore.
[454] That seems to me to be a fable from Thatcher's Britain.
[455] From manufacturing to retail, from workshop to shop work, from full time to part time.
[456] If you look around the towns and cities of Britain, you will find the same story, be it steel plants, those vast chemical plants, the big engineering works, they scarcely exist any more and if they still are there, they've shrunk to a tiny part of their earlier size.
[457] The old industrial landmarks are disappearing.
[458] Instead we have what I'll call a bits and pieces economy.
[459] Service industries, small workplaces, short-term employment, and more and more employers who don't know anything about trade unions and don't want to know.
[460] In workplace after workplace we find exploited workers, frightened workers, vulnerable workers, but little chance of recognition no hope of check-off and no one brave enough to come forward as a steward.
[461] Our problem, our central problem in the British trade union movement is that we have a trade union movement that operates very comfortably in one world, while over half the people of Britain work in an entirely different world, a world where trade unionism is scarcely ever mentioned and if it is mentioned, it's mentioned with a hint of fear.
[462] The challenge set out in the introduction to our report, the first page, it was very carefully written, is to build a new trade unionism on a model to fit this new world.
[463] A new concept of trade unionism that offers a vital and effective support system for everyone at work, everyone at work, not just the ones in the big workplaces, but everyone.
[464] A new concept that doesn't depend on recognition, doesn't depend of check-off and doesn't depend on representation by shop stewards in every workplace.
[465] Where we've got those conditions great, but we've also got to find a trade unionism for the rest and the growing majority of employees in Britain.
[466] Now of course we've got some experience in these things and we can put together some sort of picture of what that trade unionism for a new world might look like.
[467] The first thing you've go to do is you've got to provide services that mean something to everyone at work.
[468] Legal representation very important, maybe also pension schemes that can provide real pension protection.
[469] Quick-fire advice down the phone or face-to-face on work-related issues.
[470] Then of course you have to ensure that you can offer representation whenever it is needed, but most of all, we've somehow got to create the feeling of lifetime loyalty to the trade union movement and to a particular trade union.
[471] Not just a situation where you work in one place and when you leave you leave the union as well.
[472] With fast changing employment, there's no future in that.
[473] Somehow we've got to say to people we will provide this valuable service to you from your first job until your last breath, wherever you work.
[474] If we get recognition, we'll bargain for you, but if you don't, we'll protect and support you in any job you fill.
[475] Well, that's just an outline, but it's an outline to meet a need that no other union at the moment is even trying to meet, and what a need, and what a demand.
[476] Do you know that nearly nine hundred thousand people walked off the streets of Britain into Citizen Advice Bureaux last year to ask for their help on employment issues because they had no trade union?
[477] We could offer a service that no CAB can match.
[478] So how do we do it?
[479] And this is where I come to the point of cooperation and maybe more with other unions.
[480] We don't start from scratch, a plug for the T & G, they started down this track with their own link-up campaign and in the G M B we've pushed forward the frontiers of trade unionism into professional small businesses, legal offices and of course other commercial services.
[481] But how do we give a new impetus to that development?
[482] Well, we've got somehow to think our way out of the current difficulties.
[483] The best chance of success for working people no doubt would be if the two great general unions, the T G W U and the G M B, found a way of doing it together, found a way of creating the most powerful union that has ever existed in Britain.
[484] Calling our resources, uniting our activists, achieving by cooperation what we've never achieved by wasteful competition, but then of course that's a vision.
[485] And then the practicalities come in, and that's why your Executive is being very cautious in this report.
[486] Maybe the task is too ambitious.
[487] Maybe a hundred years of history and tradition will defeat us.
[488] Maybe the T & G doesn't want a partnership of equals, maybe it wants a takeover.
[489] That wouldn't do for us.
[490] The G M B won't be a kebab on anyone's skewer.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
John (PS2JE) [491] So that's why we move carefully.
[492] In all honesty the difficulties are formidable, but I tell you this, for too many years trade unionism has been in the doldrums and with such a prize, however difficult to achieve, it would be a betrayal of our heritage and a betrayal of our members if we don't give it a good hard try.
[493] So the report is about the possibility of a grand enterprise.
[494] The industrial cooperation between our unions should continue of course.
[495] Our members wanted it and in many industries it makes sense, but the bigger task, the main event, is to see whether by a more formal relationship, a more formal partnership, we can build a union which is better than the T & G, better than the G M B and better suited for modern conditions than any trade union so far created in Britain.
[496] Now it's important to understand what the Executive is looking for.
[497] This is not an amalgamation for its own sake, it is not an amalgamation to manage a continuing and more comfortable decline, it's not bolting together two super unions into one mega union and just hoping for the best.
[498] What we should try to create is a flagship of the labour movement.
[499] Modern relevant and as successful in recruitment of the workforce of the nineties as we used to be in recruiting the workforce of the sixties and seventies.
[500] The flagship of the British labour movement, nothing less, that's the vision, that's what we want to try and create and that's what we want to come back to you and tell you about the prospects next year.
[501] That's our vision.
[502] The flagship of the labour movement and our task now if you pass this report is to find out whether that flagship can be built.
[503] Think about it carefully.
[504] I move.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [505] We have the report formally rescinded.
[506] Thank you very much indeed.
[507] I now call motion two five five T G W U London Region to move. ...
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [508] President, Congress, Roy London Region moving motion two five five on the T & G. Colleagues, let's make it clear, this motion is not opposed to a merger of the T & G. What it seeks to do is put forward another idea which is to continue to work closely with the T & G on a wide range of jointly agreed [...] .
[509] For we desperately need a common approach in such areas as the T U C, on the General Council, on the General Committee and Congress, and more importantly joint roles in the Labour Party.
[510] We need to jointly work together in public services if we are to combat the problems faced by the [...] .
[511] All that work is positive and in the interests of all our members a slow and measured approach are coming together by general consent, building trust and commitment to a new big union.
[512] Colleagues, I believe the building of a trust is the most important fact in the whole of this debate.
[513] We shouldn't kid ourselves for in factories and workplaces around the country G M B and T & G are at each other 's throats.
[514] That trust will take some building, especially in the Liverpool area region, sorry.
[515] This motion calls upon the C E C to seek a [...] structure which would keep both unions autonomous, keeping their structures, their conferences, their regional government etcetera.
[516] Let the two unions come together by building the links in the common ground.
[517] Colleagues, the C E C statement report told er considered [...] trade unions and its conclusions recommended that [...] preliminary discussions for Transport and General on the feasibility of a merger with a report back on next year's Congress.
[518] The danger with that we believe could be that we would set a date for the merger and take all the important issues and discussions, how many regions will it have will we have, the [...] those regions and a hundred and one other problems raised by that merger into a tight timescale.
[519] This will only cause problems with consultation with the members and they're the most important, the bloody members, but it could lead to [...] and a scramble for jobs.
[520] It could also tie up members of the C E C, the General Secretary, the Regional Secretary, the President, Officers and many others in internal wrangles [...] new union just at the time when we need to look outward in the next two or three years.
[521] The danger is it could damage the very relations we tend, we need to build.
[522] A [...] structure as I've said previously will give us the vital time and for the detailed discussions and consultations we need if we are to build the trust for the merger we all wish to see.
[523] Colleagues, please support the motion.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [524] Seconder colleagues for two five five ...
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [525] Yes ... [...] London Region er Group Four Security, have you noticed we've lost another prisoner last night and he nicked me trousers!
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping]
(PS2JD) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [526] We er we concur with the General Secretary's er when he said two years ago there will be four super unions by the year two thousand obviously that's gonna be a reality.
[527] Er, it's something that will be welcomed by the trade union movement, a new forward, a new beginning to join once again the fruits of our labour with partnership with other unions and the Labour Party which was what we all need, but it must be done with careful planning and the brains at the top of the union must be telling the [...] of the union, the members on the shop floor, the right direction in which to walk.
[528] Clearly at the state of the talks with the T & G, we still have a long long way to go to reach this new goal and there's a strong rumour that there has been discussions between Sir John Edmunds and Lord Bill Morris [clapping] the name of the new union already and I think an apt title for the union at the moment would be Yugoslavia [clapping] because we're in ethnic groups, we are sections, we've got the boiler makers who are still claiming things they lost ten years ago when they merged.
[529] We've got Apex who've been brought in to bring in the new [...] the white collar worker unions to form another concept of trade unionism.
[530] Lovely, now me, I'm an ex-M A T S A member, I'm in the security industry, at the moment I haven't got a section, so what am I a Bosnian, a Serbian or a Croatian I don't know.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [531] So surely we got to tidy up our own act before we go further forward and as a trade union surely we are to fight unemployment.
[532] Now surely will this merger cause er unemployment amongst our staff?
[533] Will we need two general secretaries, two presidents, two vice presidents?
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [534] And then again [clapping] look, Look [laughing] at Congress [] .
[535] Obviously, if we're gonna be two big unions obviously Portsmouth is no longer going to fit the bill and I think that's a shame because several congresses I've been to and this is the finest weather I've ever enjoyed.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping]
(PS2JD) [536] Can't argue with that.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [537] And what a lovely place Portsmouth is I must say went to the gentlemen's on, the toilet at the seafront last night and as I left, I looked at the sign that said er, please adjust your dress before you leave.
[538] That's equality for you.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping]
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [539] And then what are we gonna have?
[540] Are we gonna have an annual congress, a bi-annual congress, a tri-annual congress?
[541] When are we gonna have rules revisions, there's a long way to go and as the, the er General Secretary said, be careful, because I've been to talks with, on, from the Regional Committee with the T & G yes we got on lovely with them, they're fine, they, they gave us a nice big er commemorative medal of the dockers' strike and it's got my granddad and my great granddad on it cos they was there in the other union mind you [clapping] while we've done all the striking and that they stood by, but nevertheless they're not bad lads anyway and as John said we must be careful that we are not the ones that are gonna be taken over, because I remember that old song of the fifties, never smile at a crocodile
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [542] [laughing] don't be taken in by his welcome grin, he's imagining how well you'll fit beneath his skin [] .
[543] Brothers, sisters, President, we've still got a long way to go.
[544] General Secretary, you may be ready to dive in now, but we but [clapping] we want to wait till the time is right.
[545] I second.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] [cough]
(PS2JD) [546] Goodness me, keep taking the tablets.
[547] [clapping] Motion two two eight Midland Region to move.
John (PS2JE) [548] Can't follow that.
[549] President, Congress Bob Midlands and East Coast Region moving motion two two eight.
[550] Changing employment patterns.
[551] Many of the points that I make in this speech have already been covered by John, but they are important and deserve to be repeated.
[552] The matters of employing people is changing and in the main those changes fly in the face of traditional G M B organization and make recruitment and retention of membership more difficult.
[553] Whatever the reasons for these changes, be they because of a hostile government, new technology or the European dimension, we must respond and change if we are to survive as a creditable organization.
[554] [cough] The employment situation described in the motion are no longer the exception, they are the rule and as such we must sharpen up our recruitment act.
[555] That is not to say we should adopt the hard sell or abandon our traditional value, but we must seriously examine how we can appeal to more desperate scattered membership.
[556] We must seriously examine how we can involve such membership in the decision making of the Union and carry them with us through change.
[557] We must seriously examine the relevance and method of delivery of our range of benefits.
[558] How can we appeal to part time workers and convince them that we can change things for the better, many of whom are home workers who are working in appalling conditions and often for less than fifty pence an hour?
[559] What can we do for members in small workplaces where even basic health and safety standards are exempt by law?
[560] How shall we respond to the loss of check-off as the proposed legislation means we surely will?
[561] How can we react to the loss of local authority standards of paying conditions and negotiation practices?
[562] How can we service and maintain our appeal to members opting to work in Europe and how can we recruit Europeans working here?
[563] Clearly this is a wide ranging motion designed to provoke thought and debate with no easy answers.
[564] I welcome the decision of the C E C to examine the issues involved in greater detail.
[565] I move.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Mel (PS2JF) [566] Liz Midlands and East Coast.
[567] The speaker from the Northern Region will get on very well with my three year old granddaughter, she don't like crocodiles either.
[568] However, in the interest of brevity, I will [...] my remarks to points A and B. Since nineteen seventy nine there's been a major shift away from our industrial base towards service industries.
[569] Consequently part time work and casual work is now a significant feature of our economy.
[570] Effectively we've become a low-waged, low-skilled economy with virtually no protection for many of our fellow workers.
[571] At the same time, home working is on the increase, it's been estimated one million people do paid work at home, seventy three percent of which are women.
[572] They take on this work, not for pin money, but to provide for their family's basic needs.
[573] They are forced into accepting low paid jobs, exposed to health hazards with no job protection because of family responsibilities or affordable child care.
[574] You know delegates, when most people think about home working, they really think beyond the traditional jobs associated with this group of workers.
[575] I recently read the A B C of Homeworking, it was quite ... [...] never mind, I can't say the damn word, I could see very clearly, the potential for injury and exposure to other hazards is frightening.
[576] I fear the element is the growth of white collar working.
[577] It's my guess and it's an educated guess, within the next decade this growth will speed up partly because of new technology and the employer's needs to cut costs and maximize profits.
[578] You know delegates, this resolution is about recruitment and retention, but it's also about the ideals on which this movement of ours was founded.
[579] If as a union we are to meet the challenges that lie ahead, then please support this resolution.
[580] If not, we can stand here like [...] and get our feet wet, because that's what's gonna happen.
[581] Please support.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [582] Thanks very much indeed Liz.
[583] Colleagues, I now come back to the special report and will take speakers from the regions.
[584] Liverpool Region.
[585] If colleagues from the back of Congress are intending to speak, if they could come forward.
(HDUPS000) [586] Alan Liverpool [...] Region.
[587] President, Congress, Liverpool Region support the document.
[588] We do need closer links, not only with the T & G but also with other unions, but let's not forget that other unions are organizing to build up their membership at the expense of the G M B. We need to make up our minds do we want an amalgamation or not.
[589] If we do, we must act quickly because our members in the Health Service, Local Authorities and all public services are in danger of being approached by the creation of UNISON.
[590] Our craft members are in danger of being approached by the A W E U
(PS2JD) [591] Alan, Alan I'm sorry to interrupt you, I do apologize.
[592] Colleagues [cough] this is a very important matter.
[593] I'm sure we're all agreed about that.
[594] So let's have the best of order for the speakers please.
[595] Right Alan
(HDUPS000) [596] Thank you President.
[597] Our craft members are in danger of being poached by the A W E U. An amalgamation may not be some people's ideal, but it will take away a lot of the friction between the two unions.
[598] We will only have one set of policies and one set of rules.
[599] There would also be another benefit in amalgamation.
[600] We would get back the two and a half thousand members the T & G poached in Liverpool City Council.
[601] [clapping] One final point, the Liverpool Regional Council strongly recommended that amalgamation talks should start as soon as possible.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [602] Scotland.
(HDUPS001) [603] President, Colleagues, Geoff G M B Scotland.
[604] Supporting the C E C Report.
[605] Colleagues, G M B Scotland welcomes and congratulates the Central Executive's [...] initiative in bringing forward the [...] of this Congress the big important debate of this Congress [...] between ourselves and the Transport and General Workers' Union at some time in the future.
[606] [cough] The paper quite rightly says and I quote [reading] the relationship between the T G W U and the G M B has all been marked by a blend of competition and co-operation [] .
[607] It then goes on to detail a number of joint initiatives covering the [...] the country and all the G M B regions.
[608] To be fair, the C E C have not tried to say that everything in the garden is rosy, they've also highlighted a number of problem areas that still exist.
[609] Indeed [cough] [...] all look at the recent decision by the [...] and Allied Trade Union to [...] the members [...] who have amalgamated themselves [...] Transport and General Workers.
[610] It's only dirty tricks and underhanded tactics used by the T & G during the approach of the [...] Workers' Union ... so must realize [...] Congress, to be more positive, one of the major benefits or more, the major benefit from future amalgamation with the T & G would be the free help of officials from both unions and [...] and negotiations both national, regional and even at times individual company level where both unions [...] help members.
[611] Colleagues, the time gained by having only one [...] and recruitment and on negotiations rather at least two could be much better utilized than the certain, the day to day needs of [...] membership.
[612] Colleagues, G M B Scotland subscribe to review that the benefits from the future amalgamation between the two great general unions within the United Kingdom would by far any possible deficits.
[613] Congress, G M B Scotland supports.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [614] London Region.
Bill (PS2JG) [615] Congress, President.
[616] Ed Westminster Trade Union Political Staffs Branch, London Region.
[617] Congress, I'm a Labour Councillor and whenever I sit on the Council I also ask Conservative members to declare their interest before they speak on an issue, so I better declare mine.
[618] When I first went to work, I went and joined the union, there wasn't one in the factory I was working in and so I went to the nearest er trade union office and joined.
[619] That union supported me as I recruited the whole of the workforce and er, I was then sacked after four weeks!
[620] [clapping] Some things don't change!
[621] The union then supported me further when I got another job and was a steward there, a branch secretary a district committee member and then on the regional committee and they also helped to put me through polytechnic and into the job that I did looking at mergers at the University of Warwick.
[622] That union was the Transport and General Workers' Union.
[623] That's my interest.
[624] Having looked at mergers then from both sides, I've seen the prejudices that go into any debate that takes place between any unions coming together.
[625] Obviously unions have their own traditions and their own ways of doing things in their own organizational structures.
[626] Clearly in any merger between the G M B and the T & G there are big hurdles to overcome.
[627] There are, and I know because I've seen both sets of prejudices, prejudices from both sides.
[628] The T & G traditionally have looked at the G M B as er look down at sometimes at the G M B. I've heard them described before as the sweepers up union and various other things.
[629] Derogatory terms.
[630] I came into the G M B and heard exactly the same kind of derogatory comments about the Transport and General Workers' Union.
[631] Comrades we must put to one side these kind of, this kind of fighting.
[632] We must I think look to go forward together.
[633] The union movement is under attack, we cannot afford ever to waste our resources on fighting each other we should look to always work together.
[634] However in doing so, it is important that we take time, because time allows people to come together in a sensible way, not to be forced together.
[635] We don't need to see er leaflets and so on urging us into merger before they're actually ready to take place from the membership itself.
[636] Go steadily forward, work towards the merger, but don't force it too quickly.
[637] I support the document
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
(PS2JD) [638] Midland Region ...
Ron (PS2JH) [639] President, Conference Alan Midland and East Coast Region, opposing the C E C document.
[640] Conference my region isn't against amalgamations with other unions.
[641] The G M B's got a long record of joining forces with others which has proved to be successful, but if we're gonna be honest, it's always been recognized that we would be the predominant union and yes Apex members we should have been honest with you at the time of merger, because it's quite clear you was gonna lose your identity to at least to some extent and we should have been honest about that.
[642] The only thing I would say delegates is that the we will also swallow the goldfish and there's a message in that for all of us.
[643] A merger with the Transport and General Workers' Union will be like any other previous arrangements.
[644] The problems that are gonna manifest themselves will [...] any possible advantages.
[645] Consider for example what's gonna happen to the rulebook and to our structures.
[646] Let's think about the number of regions we have, the T & G have got seven, we've got ten.
[647] Perhaps we'll lose a region, or three.
[648] How regional councils and the C E C operate?
[649] What I do know we'll, we'll [...] to get everyone in.
[650] How are we going to organize Congress?
[651] Perhaps President we could solve the problem by the T & G having theirs one year and us the next.
[652] I suppose that's that kind of bi-annual arrangement.
[653] What's going to happen to the Regional Committees, to officers and staff?
[654] These will be the issues that'll concentrate [...] but more importantly, what's in the best interest of our members?
[655] Will their concerns be at the forefront of people's minds once the powerbroking bloodletting starts, and blood will be spilt you know.
[656] Ask the T & G officers what they think to the way they were [...] when the redundancy notices were handed out so [...] full time officers in the
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping]
Ron (PS2JH) [657] [shouting] in the audience, be careful cos you're going [] ... don't be under any illusion when your region, your job, or your elected [...] position is under threat, it's human nature to protect your back and when this happens, it's the members who end up being the casualties.
[658] Conference, the document quite rightly identifies the common ground between our two unions.
[659] It points to the cooperation which already exists.
[660] So why do we need to formalize these arrangements, why rock the boat at time when the political climate is [...] ?
[661] You don't believe for a minute that this government will stand by while the two biggest general unions get together, no way, they'll attack us in any way they can and I warn ya they haven't run out of ideas yet.
[662] I'm all in favour of fighting the Tories to protect our members' interest, but we won't be doing much fighting because we'll be using all our efforts sorting out internal squabbles.
[663] We can also expect de-recognition by employers who are frightened to death by the T & G. It [...] it's already happening.
[664] I tell you another year of feasibility studies will take us to the point of no return.
[665] Bill the [...] and John [...] started holding hands about a year ago and it's already resulted in their engagement and it's clear that they're planning their big day for the summer of next year!
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping]
Ron (PS2JH) [666] We should tell them to forget about having their banns read and advise them stay just good friends.
Unknown speaker (HDUPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping]
Ron (PS2JH) [667] Colleagues we have an opportunity today to vote this document down, to vote against it because the future of our union and the interests of our members is at risk.
[668] Let's take it and prevent a constructive