Trade Union Annual Congress. Sample containing about 2423 words speech recorded in business context

6 speakers recorded by respondent number C386

PS2KL X m (Dick, age unknown, president of trade union) unspecified
PS2KM X m (Dave, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2KN X m (Nick, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2KP X m (Frank, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
HLXPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HLXPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100912 recorded on 1993-06-08. LocationHampshire: Portsmouth ( The Guildhall ) Activity: trade union congress speech

Undivided text

Dick (PS2KL) [1] one of our newest section secretaries to present his first Report to Congress.
[2] I'm sure it's your wish to congratulate on his appointment and our best wishes for the future.
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Dave (PS2KM) [3] Well thanks President for that welcome and thank you colleagues, Congress, for the welcome that you've given to me.
[4] National Office, moving pages hundred and fourteen to hundred and twenty four including Report.
[5] The engineering industry has continued in decline for the past year.
[6] The lack of an industrial policy by this government, reliance on market forces, and short-term investment policies have undermined an industry at the heart of the British economy.
[7] The most worrying feature of this decline has been the failure of the industry to train people.
[8] That's why the unions in engineering have developed a training for engineering strategy.
[9] Extensive consultations have taken place and are now complete, and the document is ready for publishing.
[10] I hope that employers, government and trainers themselves will treat it as a serious attempt by the trade unions to contribute to the debate on training for the industry.
[11] The ship building industry has also been in decline for a decade or more, and in each year's report has documented well that decline.
[12] A decline that's under circumstances when we're still an island nation, still dependent upon shipping to impor export and import most of our goods.
[13] It must be acknowledged there was between nineteen seventy nine and nineteen eighty four a slump in the ship building industry followed by a slump in world sea-borne trade.
[14] However, in nineteen eighty four the market began to improve until, in nineteen ninety one, we saw record orders placed and, although that's levelled out, orders still outstrip production.
[15] Along with these improvements in the market, we see demands for vessel safety, concern for the environment, all oil spillages have highlighted the need to have modern ships with the right design.
[16] Coupled with this, an increased exploitation of marine resources, fishing industry, gas and oil extraction, supplemented by aqua- culture and seabed mining.
[17] All creating for the next decade and beyond opportunities for a ship building industry.
[18] Are we, the United Kingdom, going to be able to exploit those opportunities?
[19] Has the ship building industry cooperated, with Europe perhaps, to enable it to be at the forefront?
[20] Has the government got a policy to assist?
[21] Has it a policy to enable the naval shipyards to diversify into merchant ship building?
[22] The answer's no.
[23] Instead, we're seeing the cynical deliberate closure of Sunderland ship builders, the refusal to allow Camel Laird's retained ship building on the Mersey by re-zed designating them to allow the intervention [...] and, of course, we've seen the employees encouraged to enter into fight to death competitions which have weakened the industry, competitions that have clearly caused the receivership of Swan Hunters.
[24] Before that contract for the helicopter support ship was awarded, I think we all knew well that whoever didn't get it was in trouble, and that of course is why we never took sides.
[25] But I think we were surprised of the speed of the receivership at Swans on Tyneside.
[26] So the fight is on to save ship building on Tyneside.
[27] Firstly, I must pay re tr tribute and say how proud we are at the way that our people in Tyneside have responded to the crisis.
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [28] Hear hear
Dave (PS2KM) [29] Shop
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Dave (PS2KM) [30] shop stewards, officials, MPs and the community have worked at hundred mile an hour going to wherever necessary in order to save ship building on Tyneside and Swan Hunters.
[31] We as a union, along with the S N C of the Confed do, and should, give unqualified and total support to this campaign.
[32] And as a first step we should demand three things essential to give any chance to retain ship building on Tyneside.
[33] The three frigates must be allowed to be completed by Swan Hunter.
[34] The government must give the necessary guarantees to enable the Omani order to be placed.
[35] The intervention fund must be available to enable Swan Hunters and other naval ship yards to diversify into merchant ship building.
[36] This would have saved Camel Lairds and it's a must to save Swan Hunters.
[37] Colleagues, I commend this report to you.
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KL) [38] Thank you .
[39] Turn to Report, page one one four, one one five, one one six, one one seven, one one eight, one one nine, one two O, one two one, one two one, one two two, one two three and one two four.
[40] Colleagues, I now call the mover of the special motion Swan Hunter Ship Building Limited to be moved on behalf of the C E C and seconded by .
Nick (PS2KN) [41] President, Congress,, Northern Region, moving the C E C's special motion on Swan Hunter.
[42] If only could have stayed behind to hear this being said, he could've taken a lot of messages back to his friends in government.
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Nick (PS2KN) [43] President, there are two types of swans in our country, one totally protected by our government, the other faces extinction by the same government.
[44] The swans that we are concerned about build ships on the River Tyne.
[45] Congress, since the middle ages, since the nineteenth century, Swan Hunter has played the leading role in British maritime history.
[46] During those years it has built over two thousand seven hundred ships, including four hundred war ships for the Royal Navy.
[47] They've developed a reputation as one of the world's leading ship builders.
[48] President, since Swan Hunter returned to the private sector in nineteen eighty six, workforce, management, trade unions, have worked together to produce the world's finest war ships and one of the world's finest yards.
[49] Millions of pounds have been spent on research and developing, flexible [...] working practice have been introduced.
[50] A model for any manufacturing industry.
[51] Swan Hunters is not, as the Trade and Industry Minister described, an out of date sunset industry of yesterday.
[52] No Congress, Swan Hunter is a modern hi-tech, high skilled, state of the art, manufacturing facility.
[53] A modern ship yard, built on the hard work and the dedication of Tyneside workers.
[54] The same workforce, Mr President who, during the Falklands crisis, worked day and night to produce the ships needed by the British Navy.
[55] The same workforce, Mr President, that today, despite years of hard work, dedication, and commitment, stand to lose all.
[56] The result of yet more Tory neglect and economic mismanagement.
[57] Congress, the empoy employment consequences of Tyneside, should Swan Hunters be allowed to close, would be disastrous, a catastrophe from which I believe Tyneside might never recover.
[58] Some experts have already predicted that job losses could exceed six thousand.
[59] That, remembering, in an area that already has the worst unemployment record in mainland U K. President, the prospect for Tyneside should Swans close, is too bleak to contemplate.
[60] The workforce at Swan Hunters have never asked for any special privileges, they've always asked for a fair deal on a level playing field.
[61] But what they do ask for, and what we should be calling to this government to honour the existing contracts at Swan Hunters, to allow the workers at Swan to complete the work on the three vessels already in the river.
[62] In addition, the Northern Region calls for a full open, and more importantly, independent, investigation into the tendering arrangements for the L P H. We demand a full unequivocal commitment from this government that Swan Hunters be given a fair chance to tender for future Navy work.
[63] President, the whole economic af future of Tyneside stands at this minute in the balance.
[64] In fourteen years the Northern Region alone has lost over two hundred thousand manufacturing jobs and when a fella visiting us today says that we're all workers, I remember telling me that, that we di might eat all out the same trough, but by the hell they have bigger spoons than we have.
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Nick (PS2KN) [65] President, the Northern Regions [...] a dismal future and Congress, our demands are simple.
[66] We call upon the government to demonstrate the same dedication and commitment as the workforce at Swans.
[67] We call upon them to demonstrate their commitment to manufacturing, to quality skills, to engineering excellence, to demonstrate that commitment to ship building a at Tyneside before it's too late and, you know, they can do that this week.
[68] They can do that by announcing the decision on the orders from Oman.
[69] They can do that on the decision that the frigates will be finished on the Tyne.
[70] Congress, I urge you to support the Swan's workforce, support the people on Tyneside, and do all that's in your power to retain ship building on the Tyne.
[71] Support the C E C's special motion and before I move that Congress, I'll accept in anticipation, that the General Secretary will double the pocket collection that we have outside the door.
[72] Congress, I move.
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KL) [73] Thanks very much indeed.
[74] The General Secretary's not here, so I'll agree to it.
[75] Right.
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Frank (PS2KP) [76] , C E C Technical Craft Section, seconding the C E C Motion on Swan Hunter Ship Builders Limited.
[77] I must start off by highlighting a sad position in my o my own region, and that's the demise of Camel Laird, another once-great ship building company.
[78] Camel Lairds is now owned by B S E L, who two and a half years ago announced the run down of Camel Lairds unless another buyer was found.
[79] Next month, July, that run down will be complete.
[80] How ironic that B S E L are also the company that have won the order that Swan Hunters were hoping for to keep their workforce employed.
[81] Because that order was lost, Swans are now in the dire position that the motion highlights.
[82] It's a position that's only too familiar to myself as an ex-member of the Camel Laird workforce.
[83] Two thousand six hundred direct jobs and another estimated two and a half thousand indirect jobs will have been lost in the last two and a half years by the closing of Camel Lairds.
[84] Lairds, like Swans, was designated a Naval yard and therefore [...] intervention fund and for the E E C. With the advent of the peace dividend, those yards, designated Naval yards cannot compete with the merchant yards who receive the intervention fund, which is basically a subsidy that allows European yards to compete on a level plain with shipyards in the Far East.
[85] Two and a half years ago Camel Laird started a campaign to gain access to the intervention funding and because of the total lack of any sort of industrial policy by this government, and their refusal to support the Camel Laird application to the E E C, next month will see the closure of Camel Lairds which will lead to a loss of skills that amounts almost to a criminal act on the part of this government, who seem prepared to allow this country to become a skill-free zone in order to drive down wages and conditions to a rate comparable with some Third World countries.
[86] It would appear from investigations that this government in nineteen eighty four did a deal with the E E C to close down shipyards in future years, for which they received millions of pounds from E E C funds, and they never used them for the purposes they were supposed to be used for.
[87] This led to the closure of N A S, N E S L. You may have seen the T V programme on this piece of industrial genocide.
[88] And for the same reason Camel Lairds could not gain intervention funding.
[89] For two and a half years Camel Lairds have unsuccessfully campaigned for intervention.
[90] Now we have Swans caught in the same trap.
[91] They can't afford such a long delay or they will become like Camel Laird, an extinct breed.
[92] This gov this government should support an application for all British yards to be given access to the intervention funding or shortly there will be no major ship building facilities at all in the U K, and hopefully no John Ma the i John Major either.
[93] I therefore second this motion and ask Congress to support.
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KL) [94] Put the emergency motion to the vote.
[95] All those in favour?
[96] Against?
[97] It's carried unanimously.
[98] Thank you very much colleagues.
[99] And, as mentioned colleagues, there is to be a bucket collection for Swan Hunters at lunch time.
[100] Please give as generously as you can.
[101] Still on the theme of collections, the Yorkshire Region have donated five hundred pound to the Burnsall strikers and also to the Crawley members in dispute.
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KL) [102] A message from Bill , General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union.
[103] [reading] Dear colleagues, it is my pleasure to send fraternal greetings to all delegates at the G M B Conference from the Executive Officers and Members of the T & G. In the twelve months since I last sent you our good wishes much activity has taken place within our movement.
[104] Our two unions have shown the value of working closer together to pursue our common aims and we look forward to continuing our association.
[105] We send you our best wishes for a successful Conference.
[106] We hope your debates prove interesting and decisi decisive in furtherance of your own policies and in addressing some of the problems which we face in our society at large.
[107] We are all only too painfully aware of the needs of working people in the difficult times which we face and I know their interests will be uppermost in your minds.
[108] Best wishes to you all.
[109] Bill Morris [] .
Unknown speaker (HLXPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KL) [110] Early this morning colleagues, you may recall that from the South Western Region came to the rostrum and made a point concerning Black Wednesday.
[111] What he's asking for is that any references to that particular disastrous day is not referred to as Black Wednesday, but in fact as Devaluation Day.
[112] Some pe it's given offence to some people.
[113] So, if we could remember that, that would be appreciated.
[114] Colleagues, immediately after the close of this particular session, there is to be a meeting in the conference hall within the Guildhall, on the National Trade Union Laws on National Tamp Tampon Alert Day, and there's to be a special video which will last approximately eleven minutes.
[115] Colleagues, you can purchase, you can purchase, CDs of all the various different sessions and indeed all your own speeches if you want to remind you th how good they are or how bad they are.
[116] You can purchase them in the hall.
[117] Conference stands adjourned till two P M. Thanks very much.