Trade Union Annual Congress. Sample containing about 13908 words speech recorded in business context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C387

PS2KR X m (Dick, age unknown, president of trade union) unspecified
PS2KS X m (Neil, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2KT X m (Derek, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2KU X m (Len, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2KV X m (Owen, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2KW X m (Les, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2KX X m (Peter, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2KY X m (Hywel, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
HLYPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
HLYPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HLYPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100913 recorded on 1993-06-08. LocationHampshire: Portsmouth ( The Guildhall ) Activity: trade union congress speech

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [1] the afternoon's business as printed in the programme ... and I call Neil to give his national officer's report.
[2] Neil .
[3] Colleagues, settle down please.
Neil (PS2KS) [4] President, congress ... Neil , national office ... speaking to the general secretary's report ... pages one two five, one four three.
[5] Congress ... it has been my sad misfortune to encounter some of the most hostile employers over the past year that would make the grey hairs that I've got fall out.
[6] But, having said that, we have tried in the Ministry of Defence ... where market testing has been the order of the day ... to say that it's confusing, that would be being polite, Mr Chairman.
[7] There is utter and total confusion and anything that stands still ... they used to say they would paint it in industry ... they now say market test it ... and they do admit to us that the end object does not necessarily mean complete contractorization or privatization, but [...] at this particular moment in time
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [8] [...] we have found that the opposite has been the situation.
[9] And within the Home Office and the prison service, which was scheduled to become an agency on the first of April this year, an appropriate date perhaps, Mr Chairman, but ... we are still in the quagmire of getting arrangements which are suitable and protecting our people, and more so the craftsmen within that particular industry.
[10] We do have the Wolfe report ... but unfortunately ... not for the want of effort, the Wolfe report is turning out like the Black report and others and I don't say that because there was a gentleman who done a report Black and it is gathering dust, the Wolfe report is on the same shelf, I believe.
[11] But we will endeavour to represent our members and to push for ... their ... ordinary rights, their just rights ... more than just rights they, are earned rights and should be afforded to them.
[12] Within Royal Ordnance ... which I have resumed the responsibility for ... I don't know, Mr Chairman, I convened a meeting of the convenors to introduce myself and to familiarize myself with the movement and the industry ... only for the company to announce thirteen hundred redundancies, as we were meeting.
[13] That has been further added to and we do have problems at Bentley ... Chorley ... Blackburn ... although Blackburn at this particular moment in time may be easing the particular pressure but we are all suffering from the restraints within the government industry.
[14] We will endeavour to continue to represent the members and to project their needs and desires towards the company.
[15] But the company are saying to us, like the M O D, we've had the ending of the Cold War ... things are now changing ... there is not a demand.
[16] I don't know if the situation in Germany is as stable as people are making out ... I do not know if the other continents, or the other countries within the European continents, are of a stable nature when we look at what is happening in certain parts of the previous ... Russia ... or the states of the U S S R ... there is complete and utter confusion and atrocities being perpetrated on people within those.
[17] Within the car industry and the associates of it we also have the problems of the recession affecting those particular industries.
[18] We do have, and I would like [...] people who ... do be utilized by Ford ... I would love to go to Ford and say don't utilize this particular company.
[19] I'm prepared to do that ... but ... unfortunately ... colleagues ... I've forgotten.
[20] We cannae do it, the legislation does not allow us to do it.
[21] The Tory legislation does not allow us to do it.
[22] Just like it does not allow us to sing an old song that was sung often [...] , Show Me The Road And The Miles To Dundee ... perhaps that's the song we should be singing just now ... in these particular circumstances ... and be it the day, maybe even [...] in Portsmouth this particular day.
[23] But Portsmouth also has its problems within the F M R O and it was with interest walking round the town last night, I saw that Charles the Second fortified this town to a greater deg extent using [...] .
[24] I wonder ... and I have grave doubts and reservations, that Charles the Third will have a Portsmouth and a naval base to fortify.
[25] I do not know, I have great reservations on that as long as the policies that have been perpetrated by this government remain.
[26] I had ... with the permission of the deputy general secretary ... leave of conference yesterday ... I was in London to be told of a further nine hundred redundancies ... from a company that a short time ago was telling us, and if you look at my report you'll have to delete the first paragraph where they had secured orders and the security of our members' employment ... only to be told yesterday, nine hundred will go.
[27] They will be volunteered but they will be compulsory.
[28] We asked if there was any possibility ... due to the loyalty of these people ... if they
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [29] [...] could get extra severance pay.
[30] We also asked if we could get the same consultation period ... because they are breaking it up at the four sites ... and some sites will get thirty days' notice ... others will get the ninety days.
[31] And they gave us a sheet.
[32] They gave us a sheet.
[33] Team one ... they want to put out more in the first division ... and [...] , I could not be party to that team one and it was an atrocity to use such terminology.
[34] We do meet again with the company tomorrow to try and further progress the matter and hopefully [...] , but my big fear is, is that it is a two-stage closure ... that they will go for nine hundred this time ... then we'll find that useful, expensive equipment will be transferred to Sweden.
[35] I have great fears and reservations on that particular point.
[36] So ... we also have within [...] the steel industry which like all other industries is going through the turmoil of redundancy and privatization.
[37] Privatization ... what is privatization?
[38] Well ... if you want facts and figures on it we can give you it ... but I'll tell you what it's meant to [...] ... I'll tell you what it's meant [...] training service ... I can tell you what it's meant to the royal dockyards ... which we've got to talk about yet ... from thirteen thousand, in some instances you're down to five.
[39] So that's what privatization is about ... and how do we stop the privatization ... how do we really represent the members ... by attacking the legislation that prevents us from acting in a spontaneous manner, which will assist our members in their hour of need.
[40] That is where we're going.
[41] The T & G's not our enemy.
[42] The Tory government and their legislation is our enemy and that's got to be attacked.
[43] So ... on the royal dockyard there has been quite a number ... ah, of rumours circulating this conference this morning, there has also been on the television and the radio, statements by one Gordon .
[44] I have no later than half an hour ago contacted my office and there has been no official communication re any decision being made on the royal dockyard and the [...] capacity ... none whatsoever.
[45] So, if someone's playing games ... well whatever games they are ... please stop it ... there are people, human beings involved here who should not be used in the political fashion that's being used.
[46] So please come away from that particular avenue.
[47] And the local authorities also we have ... government policy again ... we have the situation that Wage Councils which have agreed increases for our members within the prison service, don't know whether they'll be allowed to implement them because they are over the one and a half percent.
[48] The National Health has told us one and a half percent ... if we want an extra day's holiday, if we want an extra day's holiday, then we would have to take three days, we could take two, that would leave us with half a percent.
[49] If we took three, we were left with none.
[50] So ... I'm sorry Mr Chairman if the report is doom and gloom but that is the situation that does prevail ... we will endeavour to work to the best of our ability, or the lack of it ... but please remember the constraints that we are under and if we have got any views, to stand, and if we do want to help the people in Dundee and we do want to stop the government pilfering the British Rail pension scheme ...
Dick (PS2KR) [51] Neil, can you wind up please.
Neil (PS2KS) [52] to the tune of four and a half billion, then look towards the legislation that's been inflicted upon us by the Conservative government.
[53] Thank you.
Dick (PS2KR) [54] Thanks very much, Neil.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [55] Page one two five ... one two six ... one two seven ... one two eight ... yes.
Derek (PS2KT) [56] Derek , Southern region, page one two eight.
[57] This government is just playing one yard against the other ... and the only ones to suffer are our members and their families.
[58] We see jobs being lost every week as our employers cut back to try and outbid each other not in the interests of defence of this country but purely because of political dogma.
[59] In Devonport, if Devonport was to close, which is possible ... as it will become uneconomic with further cuts in its workload ... the impact on the economy would be ... horrific.
[60] Both direct and indirect jobs would be lost ... some twenty eight thousand in all if the yard were to close.
[61] The south west would be an industrial desert dependent solely on tourism.
[62] Any political decision that could lead to the closure of either Devonport or Rossythe would also put the defence of this country at risk.
[63] We need a properly thought out defence policy ... we are a maritime nation ... we are in a maritime city ... we need a strong navy ... we need a strong defence.
[64] We must keep both the dockyards open together with the naval base in Portland, in Portsmouth.
[65] On T V this morning, as Neil has said, Gordon M P, was seeking a meeting with the Prime Minister.
[66] We must allay those fears for both Devonport and Rossythe and Neil, can we have an update and what the G M B position will be to that response?
[67] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [68] One two nine ... one three O ... one three one ... one three two ... one three three, one three four, one three, yes ...
Len (PS2KU) [69] Les , Midlands and East Coast region.
[70] President, congress ... Neil, page one three four ... you say in your report and I quote, [reading] Sadly, T U P E does not cover pensions, although at this time there is some grey area [] .
[71] Neil ... T U P E regs do apply ... as the joint G M B T T T & G document clearly outlines.
[72] With the case of Perry versus Intec [...] ... and the eternal attorney general has confirmed to Gillian that T U P E must protect both past and present, future pension rights.
[73] Also Neil, local authorities engineering craft workers ... very small number of our members ... but there is no mention of this section in your report.
[74] This section is in the public services section.
[75] In June ninety two the C E C recommended that local authorities manual, building and civil engineering, and engineering craft workers report to one forum for ninety three.
[76] As all local authority reps know ... this did not happen.
[77] Did the C E C know it had not happened?
[78] At the engineering craft conference at Congress House, thirteen reps attended ... four of these were officers.
[79] I would like the assurance from Neil ... and the C E C ... that the local authority public services section will meet in one forum for ninety four ... as in the C E C report.
[80] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [81] Thanks very much.
[82] One three five ... one three six ... one three six.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [83] President, colleagues, [...] , South Western region.
[84] Neil ... I wish to draw your attention to the Ministry of the Defence guard force.
[85] I drew this item to the attention of congress last year ... since when my branch has lost thirty four members to new caps ... including one who was making good progress and had become a national delegate.
[86] I have copies of letters between yourself and John of new caps, dated the twenty fourth of February.
[87] Have you been able to establish whether or not Bridlington has been breached ... and if Bridlington has been ... what are you going to do about it to get that decision res reversed.
[88] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [89] One three seven.
Owen (PS2KV) [90] President, congress ... Owen , Midland and East Coast region.
[91] Neil ... could you tell me what's happening to the apprentices ... in P S A ... as [...] work staff been put out to grass ... I hope they aren't.
Dick (PS2KR) [92] One three eight ... one three nine
Les (PS2KW) [93] Les , G M B Scotland.
[94] Congress ... Neil ... I raised the subject last year about [...] nuclear waste and what was the position as far as Rossythe was concerned.
[95] Now, we're in a delicate position as we all have heard this morning from our colleague at the Devonport dockyard.
[96] Rossythe is no different ... we stand to lose eighteen thousand plus training facilities for the whole of Scotland ... but we've just been told of recent that a new nuclear waste dump is to be built at Rossythe ... could you tell us if this is a forerunner for the subject of closing Rossythe down ... with a loss of all these jobs?
[97] Thank you.
Dick (PS2KR) [98] One three nine ... one four O, one four one, one, yes ...
Peter (PS2KX) [99] President, congress, Peter , Midland and East Coast ... one four one, section seventeen, British Steel.
[100] Neil ... for two congresses I've come here ... and I spoke to your predecessor about team working and the team working concept ... and I told th your predecessor that the steel union was about to takeover our craftsmen and our general workers.
[101] They are now at it.
[102] I hope you and Tony now in within the N treble C get a grip of this cos we're not gonna let anybody else go.
Dick (PS2KR) [103] One four one ... one four two and one four three.
Hywel (PS2KY) [104] Hywel , Liverpool, North Wales, Irish region.
[105] Neil ... can I ask you [...] haven't have got [...] on my eyes looking for it, but I can't see any reference at all in your report to local authority engineering craftsmen.
[106] I've looked at [...] report ... can't find anything.
[107] I believe you're the officer that's responsible for it ... can I ask why there was nothing in the [...] report.
[108] Can I ask ... is it because it was too small a group, or is it because no one can make up their mind where they belong?
[109] I can say the pitters in my branch will certainly be asking questions when I get back.
Dick (PS2KR) [110] Okay, one four three ... Neil, have you finished writing those down?
Neil (PS2KS) [...]
Dick (PS2KR) [111] You've not got many this year. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [...] [laugh]
Neil (PS2KS) [112] Derek ... can we take on the dockyards, Derek, I did indicate the situation that half an hour before speaking to congress my office has not been told officially by M O D of any change of a decision being made.
[113] The position of the G M B is a retention of a true facility ... that is quite clear ... that was the decision of this conference some three years ago, moved by your own region and seconded by Scotland.
[114] I have worked towards that and will continue to work towards that policy, which is our union.
[115] For page one three four ... [...] and T U P E, yes, well ... we have done quite an extensive document, there's been a lot done about T U P E in the public sector ... we've done it in the government sector and given guidelines, and T U P E, while it is like you rightly say, a step forward, it's not the total answer ... we need something better, but it does level out the playing field that the cowboys can find it difficult in and we ... as a union ... are advocating to our members where there is a transfer taking place, whether there's a change to your employment ... challenge it and we will support that challenge with the necessary legal interpretation if so.
[116] I know your local authority craftsmen and ... I have ... as you're aware, just taken over the responsibilities and that is the first meeting that I had, that was why also there's nothing in the report, because I thought I had a conference of people I had not spoken to the shop stewards ... I didn't have a f a feedback prior to the closing date of ... the report being concluded for print ... so I do and I have
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [117] [...] spoken with Mick since our conference and we will further discuss the matter, I don't envisage any great problem in what you've said.
[118] I ... there is a small difference of course, the C E C did say it, but there is dif different negotiating procedures ... as you're, you are aware ... but Mike and I are talking about that and I'm sure we can overcome it.
[119] I, David on your guard force and the thirty four members ... yes, you, you rightly mentioned the correspondence with your [...] ... at this moment in time I have had no reply ... I have sent another letter which you have not received as yet to [...] , indicating that if they do not return those members ... then we will proceed to Bridlington.
[120] Have no doubt in your mind about that because we did not take [...] one of our representatives to negotiate with the guard force to enhance your [...] and their membership ... that is not the ball game ... I'm not playing it and we won't do that ... and you can rest assured we will pursue it to Bridlington if need be.
[121] Owen and the apprentices ... Owen ... like everywhere else ... the apprentices and the cutback has been [...] .
[122] The apprentices who are there under an apprentice contract unfortunately secure employment for the period that you're contracted to ... after that, you are in the situation of dog eat dog, dare, dare I say.
[123] What we are endeavouring to ... and the company has not as yet went out and dispersed of apprentices willy-nilly.
[124] Hopefully we can retain that particular situation.
[125] Les [...] and the nuclear waste ... again Les, there has been no indication whatsoever ... in respect of being notified officially by the M O D, as to Rossythe being used as a nuclear dump ... none whatsoever.
[126] People have suggested that in respect of fifty seven, conference [...] they don't know what fifty seven is, but I'm quite sure you do, Les.
[127] So we can only ... concentrate our efforts and what we have been concentrating our efforts on is not turning any place into a nuclear dump, then we have been concentrating on our union's policy which is the retention of all the facilities and job security for our members.
[128] So we have no knowledge on that ... and Peter and team working ... and ... Tony is in the, the body of the hall ... we had quite an extensive discussion over a period of time but perhaps cumulating last Friday, a week last Friday, on the N treble C and we are calling a special lay- delegates conference on the first of July in Sheffield, with one item on the agenda ... team working.
[129] We are, like yourselves, equally despondent with I S P C and the attitude that they are employing [...] .
[130] But you will be receiving notification of the said meeting taking place ... and my colleague from Northern Irela Wales Northern Ireland, perhaps if you could have a chat with me in the corridor, I may be able to do something which can help you alleviate the sa situation between us. [...]
Dick (PS2KR) [131] Thanks very much indeed, Neil.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [132] Colleagues, before I call the mover of motion four one six on South Africa ... I'd like to read out a message from the African Nafr National Congress.
[133] It's addressed to the general secretary, John .
[134] [reading] Dear friends, comradely greetings to your annual conference from the African National Congress.
[135] Over many years we have together worked towards the day when all the people of South Africa are able to vote for a government of their choice and be in control of their own destiny.
[136] On this path we have seen the rise of the congress of South African trade unions ... and the African National Congress, to positions where they claim their rightful places in the future democratic, non-racist, non-sexist South Africa.
[137] This new era will usher in a period of restructuring and reconciliation ... when South Africans' international relationships can be based on mutual advantage and not on conditions of slave labour, bred of racism.
[138] Although a tentative date for the first democratic elections has been put forward, we are not yet, not yet there ... and our campaign for free and fair elections for a democratic constitution needs your urgent support.
[139] Together we can lay the foundations for a new South African government ... of national unity led by the A N C. We wish your conference a successful outcome ... Mendy , Chief Representative, the A N C mission to U K and Ireland [] .
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [140] Colleagues, I now call the mover of motion four one six, standing in the name of the London region, South Africa.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [141] President, conference, Ed , Westminster Touch branch, London region.
[142] Brothers and sisters ... it's only too easy ... er, when we go through our union lives to become obsessed with the problems that we face.
[143] Every day we have battles with employers to make sure that we have decent working conditions for our members in this country.
[144] However ... when we look outwards and see what is happening in South Africa to trade unionists there, the scale of our problems is put into a truer perspective.
[145] Joining a trade union in South Africa and being active within that union can lead to dismissal ... physical violence ... imprisonment and even death.
[146] The black activists' struggle for human rights within South Africa is one that this union must support ... we must look to support their unions in every way we can with both resources ... training and financial support.
[147] The changes that have been introduced into South Africa ... forced upon the white minority government by both international pressure but also by the magnificent work at the A N C in Cosatu ... must be supported as well but we cannot treat South Africa as anything but a pariah ... a, a, a national pariah ... until we see one person one vote, and a black majority government in South Africa.
[148] This union, colleagues, must support and strengthen links with South African trade unions.
[149] As we support them ... so in the future, I am certain, as they have in the past, they will support us.
[150] In this way we can move forward to true international solidarity with our comrades within South Africa.
[151] I urge you to support this motion.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [152] Is the motion seconded?
[153] Formally seconded.
[154] The C E C are recommending you to accept motion four one six ... all those in favour ... against ... that's carried.
[155] Colleagues, it's now my very great privilege on your behalf to extend an invitation to Abdul , the honorary secretary of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, to address congress.
[156] In nineteen fifty eight ... Abdul, along with a number of his colleagues, formed the Anti-Apartheid Movement ... we're very privileged today to have somebody of the stature of Abdul at our particular congress.
[157] A tireless worker ... not just in Britain ... where he performs the task of honorary secretary of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, but throughout the world ... throughout the world.
[158] He is indeed an international figure and is respected so and he's one of the few people to have actually addressed the Security Council on the question of apartheid ... and has indeed spoken at many United Nations conventions on the question of apartheid.
[159] I can think of no other person in the Anti-Apartheid Movement who knows more and is more up to date on the current situation in South Africa.
[160] Colleagues, it's my pleasure to welcome on your behalf, Abdul .
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [161] Comrade chair, comrade secretary general of the conference and the G M B ... and if I my say so, comrade delegates, and I should explain in these changing times ... the use of the word comrade.
[162] I do not mean it in any ideological sense ... or historical sense or to be provocative ... but it's very, it's with very deep feelings that I speak to you today because ... you may not understand it ... but for me, after thirty three years in exile I was able to return to South Africa in nineteen ninety one ... and one of the first activities to which I was invited was the annual meeting of Cosatu And so when we say comrades in that sense, and thank you as comrades ... we mean it as comrades in arms.
[163] You see ... we cannot always help who our brothers and sisters are ... but we can make alliances of people on issues of liberation and freedom that goes beyond that narrow family relationship and develops into a very solid alliance that helps to change situations.
[164] So it's a very great honour and privilege for me to address you today ... because at the end it may be difficult for you to understand ... but when I return to South Africa, and forgive me for speaking personally ... I also realize the full meaning of the support of British trade unions and the labour movement and the churches ... because it was because of your political ... material ... and particularly in the case of the G M B, financial and material support ... that it gave us the means to do what some of us wanted to do about our country and our situation, and bring about change if we could peacefully.
[165] So I also want to thank you very deeply ... from the innermost parts of my heart, for having given an opportunity for some of us to work in Britain ... to have accepted us and worked with us ... to build the solidarity movement that brought the apartheid regime to its knees.
[166] So I think our victory in South Africa which isn't complete ... is also in that sense your victory ... and in this sense there is tremendous affection and love for all of you in the hearts of the oppressed people of Southern Africa and Africa.
[167] I don't just say it, because time is valuable and I should explain what's happening in the region ... but I think it's also very important to convey this to you after your years and decades of solidarity with the liberation struggle.
[168] Friends, as we speak today about South Africa, we speak about transition ... transition from February nineteen ninety when De Klerk said that he would change things ... and he did change things and they were dramatic changes ... and then we had apartheid with a liberal dispensation.
[169] The A N C and other organizations were unbanned ... there was free activity ... people can meet others across the colour line if they so wish ... but basically the apartheid structures are in place still.
[170] And let us remember that as De Klerk himself said ... they changed not because as he said, we wanted to but because we had to.
[171] And they had to change because apartheid was at a dead end ... the people of South Africa were continuing with their struggle ... the country was ungovernable ... and there stood the prospect of more sanctions which would bring the noose around the apartheid system.
[172] And most important of all ... and it is often forgotten ... is that in South Africa the regime and the western powers were facing a real hot revolution ... and that hot revolution could have destroyed the country for all its people.
[173] And so when we came to the negotiation process so to say, it was a stalemate.
[174] The regime wasn't defeated ... although it had come to a dead end ... and the liberation movement did not conquer the situation although they made government impossible.
[175] So out of that stalemate negotiations have begun ... and they've gone on for three years.
[176] So we have, in effect, a situation where the regime wants to change without changing ... and that often happens in power relationships.
[177] Mandela is free ... he's out of prison ... he can address the British parliament, the United States congress, the parliaments of the world ... he addresses the whole world through television when we held those concerts for him at
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [178] [...] Wembley ... and yet he still does not have the vote.
[179] Meanwhile ... as my visits to South Africa showed me in such a traumatic and depressing way ... the conditions of the majority have got worse ... there's economic recession ... lay-offs, high inflation rate ... and growing violence ... more people have been killed in South Africa in the last two years than in any previous two years that you look at.
[180] And this violence has been unleashed from state structures ... and it's not an accident that the [...] happen to be mainly the A N C ... or as recently you saw, the general secretary of the communist party, Chris ... or Cosatu leaders or church leaders, or the other pattern of violence ... indiscriminate killing of people on the trains.
[181] I came on a train here today from London ... in South Africa if you are black and you got on a train ... it wouldn't be as comfortable and there would be crowds in it ... but you wouldn't know whether you reached the other end ... because at some station a group of people would get on and shoot you indiscriminately, and get off again ... leaving that scene of massacre.
[182] To destabilize like [...] has done in Mozambique, trained by South Africa ... and that pattern is rife in South Africa today.
[183] The regime of course wants to keep the old order ... the A N C and freedom-loving people want a new order and a quick change ... but how do you mo move to that situation when you also have the right wing and the security forces and elsewhere not wanting change?
[184] How do you, friends, change a structure which is still the old structure with a civil service, a security and everything that goes with it ... and move to one of democracy and justice ... because if you move too rapidly ... and you do not make concessions ... and you ignore the terrible power of the right wing with all the military might at its disposal ... you can very easily create in South Africa ... a Lebanon ... or indeed, yes, a Yugoslavia.
[185] And so the A N C has to make sure that while it works for the aspirations of its people ... it must also protect the country ... and I'm afraid in this context it means it has through negotiations and other means also conceded ... made concessions ... in order to save the situation ... and the only organization that is now working for the national interest ... even losing its own supporters in the country ... is basically the A N C ... and it's quite a remarkable thing to see that leaders are prepared to l lose political support because they have to make sure that the country doesn't [...] .
[186] We now have a general date for elections in nineteen ninety four ... and when that date is formally agreed, many sanctions will go ... and we're already preparing because Cosatu and the South African Council of Churches believe that there should be a code for investments ... so that investments go to help uplift people ... and indeed tomorrow I have to go to Holland for exactly such a conference called by the World Council of Churches and the South African churches.
[187] Then after the elections, the elections are to have a constituent assembly ... and that constituent assembly will work out our new constitution in the country ... and from that constituent assembly we hope also to form a national government of unity, of national unity ... and that'll continue maybe for five years in order to give stability to the country ... and this of course also means a concession ... because it's a concession to the existing power structures to have some kind of stability.
[188] And when we say, or the A N C and democratic organizations say, that you need a five percent vote to cross the hurdle to get in to the assembly ... and then you, you, you're a member of their parliament so to say ... and then what do we hear?
[189] We hear Ian Carter say that's unfair ... and I'll let you into a secret ... Baroness Chalker then responds ... interferes in these negotiations and says five
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [190] [...] percent is too high a figure.
[191] Why?
[192] Because [...] and Ian Carter can only manage three percent.
[193] So democracy is a dangerous exercise when it means we empower the majority against minority groups that have rested on the support of the regime.
[194] Then after the elections ... or rather during the elections, we have to make sure that they are free and fair as you've just heard ... and we from Britain and the Anti-Apartheid Movement has to be vigilant to ensure that we have international monitors from the U N, from the European Community, from the Commonwealth and individuals from, from Britain and elsewhere.
[195] We also have to provide support for the A N C ... for thirty years a banned organization having to start from scratch in a country where the majority is supported but having no party officers or structures in place ... because if we suspend support to them or reduce it ... it will be like having no support of them all this time and just when the bird is about to fly you clip its wings.
[196] So there's no moment which is greater than this for supporting the liberation struggle.
[197] Meanwhile there's growing violence as I've said ... and we want to end the violence ... but we cannot wait to end the violence before we have the elections ... and you can imagine at what great disadvantage the democratic forces will work when they try to have elections in a violent atmosphere which is determined by the state structure.
[198] So we have to move from old structures to new ... but the first new government of South Africa will be a compromise in itself because it will be a united government ... but it will inherit not a post-apartheid state as many academics and politicians tell us ... it will inherit a nil-apartheid state ... and that is a very big difference ... we still have to move to the post-apartheid situation which could take decades.
[199] I was horrified in nineteen ninety one with my first visit ... to see the enormous problems in housing ... three and a half million people were forcibly moved in the eighties in South Africa, the biggest peacetime movement of people anywhere in the world ... and there are now over seven million people in, just in the shacks on the roads, not even the informal housing which counts for more.
[200] No sanitation, water ... health, there's no primary health care, virtually the only country in the world with no primary health care.
[201] Unemployment ... forty to fifty percent.
[202] Transport virtually nil for Africans, we have to spend two or three hours a day going to work and the same coming back ... tired, exhausted and risking their lives with [...] .
[203] Every area you look at South Africa ... in a report I gave to the Norwegian government which they commissioned ... we pointed out every area is like a major disaster area as if you've been hit by an earthquake in every area of human activity ... and that situation needs something like a martial plan if we are, a martial aid plan, if we're to address it ... but in the world we live in there's no prospect of such assistance coming to Southern Africa.
[204] Then there are the social conditions ... children, a whole generation brought up in violence without education ... and you know you survived only in South Africa if you are black by breaking the law!
[205] If you respected the law you wouldn't survive.
[206] So a whole generation that has learned how to break the law ... how do we create them into law-abiding citizens?
[207] A generation that's gone to prison more often than it's gone to schools or cinemas ... a generation where family life is not known ... where the horrible migrative system destroyed any idea of family life ... how do we reconstruct?
[208] Yes, friends, we have many problems and the neighbouring countries Mozambique, Angola, attacked by South Africa in war, have even greater problems.
[209] The legacy of apartheid is not only within the borders of South Africa but in the region.
[210] But we are lucky ... we have great people and great people in terms of the ordinary people.
[211] The struggle of Cosatu
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [212] [...] and the trade union movement, the liberation struggle, when you look at it it gives you great hope in terms of human capacity ... but they will need other kinds of help in order to reconstruct ... and let me say this because it is important and I don't say it with any kind of arrogance ... we have one kind of miracle occurring in South Africa that people ignore ... and that is that out of the hell of racism ... we have produced a leadership which is the strongest leadership in the world against racism.
[213] And this is quite unique when you go to South Africa and you see what's happening ... that black leaders and blacks do not go for quick votes and quick solutions, we're not trying to keep,tu turn people against whites.
[214] When you see how easy those slogans [...] political support in Europe and elsewhere ... you begin to understand what a great educational role the liberation movement and the churches of South Africa have carried out.
[215] And in this sense, when we liberate South Africa we will also create, we hope ... a state in the world which will become foremost in fighting racism all over the world ... and at the lower level ... our community based organizations ... our non-governmental organizations that have across colour built up structures to move communities forward ... if our friends in Eastern Europe and elsewhere could see how that is done at grass roots level in the hell of racism as I say ... they would have a lot to learn.
[216] So in the future we also have a lot to give to the rest of the world rather than just to look for help.
[217] I want to end by saying that we need now to f go over this hurdle of liberation ... make sure that the vast majority of black South Africans who are deeply angry ... and I saw this anger because I was in South Africa when Chris was assassinated ... and this anger was turning into rage ... and the country was on a knife edge ... it could have blown up, the country would have burned ... had it not been for the diplomatic achievement of, of enormous stature by Nelson Mandela when he addressed the whole nation and in a sense seized power ... informally ... from white and black ... and the country managed to survive that ... but if that anger turns into rage again then the country could burn ... and I don't say this to be dramatic but just to warn ... that in those moments when the media and so on don't explain the situation well ... don't forget our people because they have had to cope with this situation.
[218] We have to then work in the future not only to develop South Africa ... but to develop the region ... Angola, Mozambique, all the other countries.
[219] We do not want to have a future relationship of United States and Latin America reproduced in South Africa, which so many people talk about now when they talk about South Africa as the engine of growth ... if we have that kind of growth it'll be distorted and none of the poor in South Africa or the region will benefit from it.
[220] So ... we need then to move forward and next week Archbishop [...] and Julius [...] , the founders of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in nineteen fifty nine ... are having a conference in London ... which we've entitled Southern Africa Making Hope a Reality.
[221] And foreign ministers from Africa are coming ... the Secretary General of the O A U ... United Nations representatives and others because we want to build a new agenda and move the anti-apartheid campaign so that it prepares to handle the problems of Southern Africa.
[222] We in the world campaign which has so far tried to stop armaments to South Africa and its nuclear build up ... we want to work if possible to build a common security ... er, arrangement in the region ... where peace will be everywhere if we can make it everywhere because the region has got so many weapons and arms ... and military expenditure is very easy to increase when you have growing number of nation states where the people really need food and development.
[223] So we hope that in this last mile that we're now
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [224] [...] walking ... you will continue to support the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the A N C and Cosatu and others in South Africa ... that our eyes should be on the prize and that is to get democracy and the first democratic parliament in the country ... and after that to help in the horrendously difficult task of reconstruction and development ... and it is going to be a tough battle ... in South Africa as elsewhere ... and we will need to work not just for political democracy ... because you know so often democratic processes are misunderstood for empowerment of ordinary people ... and what democracy should really mean is that ordinary people have the opportunity to determine their own destiny ... and you know from your own advanced society and others ... how little power individuals have as a result of power of finance capital, of industry ... and of technology now.
[225] Technology is changing our world so much that small groups of people through computers and elsewhere are able to determine vast patterns of human behaviour ... and so it's gonna be a long struggle ... but through our struggle in Africa and your struggle here ... where we all want democracy but democracy's only a process ... what we have to contend with is also power ... because ultimately it's only when you're able to exercise that power that you can deliver for the majority of the people ... .
[226] [tape change] Africa like elsewhere.
[227] If we just win freedom ... that freedom will become very empty if we're not able to use the power that it gives us to create justice and peace in the region.
[228] And so we still have a common struggle and to build up our international solidarity.
[229] In conclusion then to thank you again.
[230] At this stage, you know, we don't have in our situation because we're very poor ... any kind of gifts that can give a valid expression even as a token of the tremendous support you've all given us over many many years and decades in Britain ... that has been a source of inspiration.
[231] If I may take one more minute just to convey this ... when I was a child in South Africa and we demonstrated and the police would come you know, ready to fire ... ready to kill if necessary and you had to calculate how you can avoid that situation ... and then you try in your normal life after the demonstration to do something against the regime to organize people and so on, and then like a juggernaut the state comes and destroys all the work that you and others have done for years ... and you just see it as a child of what your parents and others had done.
[232] And then ... it is extremely difficult ... if you are not white ... not to become very angry with life ... it's very difficult ... and then you hear that in Trafalgar Square someone demonstrated ... Canon or [...] or Barbara ... and then you say no!
[233] There are sensible white people in the world.
[234] We continue with the struggle and forget the mad whites here and that we have to help them ... and that's what our people have to do.
[235] But without your support and your demonstrations and support from whites in other countries with the rugby demonstrations, the cricket, with all aspects that you've done, you've also contributed to making it easier for us to be the kind of people we would like to be ... and I hope in that way we therefore do share as a family and then try and create one world.
[236] So as a small token of appreciation, I just have two books ... or two copies of the same book ... which I would like to hand to your president and to your general secretary as a token of appreciation ... and it's the authorized biography of Nelson Mandela of whom we are all very proud, considering what he has suffered through and what he has done ... and we hope that this little token will be a kind of memento for all your support ... but by doing this I'm not saying that your support is over because the struggle continues.
[237] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping] [rapturous applause]
Dick (PS2KR) [238] Thank you very much indeed, Abdul ... for that marvellous, excellent address.
Dick (PS2KR) [239] Colleagues ... on the fourteenth of June ... Trevor who indeed has addressed this er conference in the past will be eighty years of age.
[240] I would like to propose that we send our best wishes and congratulations to Trevor to mark that marvellous achievement.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [241] Would you agree to that?
[242] Thank you very much.
[243] Er, colleagues, we now move to the [...] report and I call Alan .
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [...] [talk in background]
Neil (PS2KS) [244] Alan , national officer.
[245] President, congress ... in the few minutes available to me this afternoon to speak to my written report ... I want to touch on three issues.
[246] First I want to say a little bit about the nineteen ninety three ninety four building materials pay round which is dealt with in some detail in the written report that you have.
[247] Second I want to say a few words about the efforts that have been made in the last twelve months to increase the G M B's role in the building and civil engineering industries ... and third I want to say something about the present serious situation in the building industry pay talks.
[248] Congress, well I've seen from my written report that the current material, building materials pay round has been an extremely tough one.
[249] Redundancies, short-time working, bonus cuts and the like have been very much the order of the day ... we've had the twenty percent job cuts at Blue Circle Cement which are mentioned specifically in the report ... and we've also seen significant additional job losses at British Gypsum ... in the brick industry and in many other sectors of the building materials industry.
[250] It's against that background, congress, that we've pressed forward ... usually in cooperation with the T G W U ... claims on behalf of our members in these industries.
[251] Congress will see from the report that settlements of the, in the range of one and a half to three percent have been generally speaking the order of the day.
[252] It's worth noting, colleagues, that it's only because of the determination of our members to ensure that their already meagre standard of living and basic rates are not further eroded ... that even this small achievement has been possible.
[253] I can also report to congress that at last there are some signs at long last of some kind of recovery in the building materials industry ... very early days yet but some companies are actually beginning to go back to full-time working ... and in one or two cases are actually starting to take on additional, er, employees.
[254] The recession that we've gone through in materials and elsewhere in the economy ... has taught us, or should have taught us I believe, a very clear lesson and that is that we must end the situation that's [...] in the building materials industry where our members rely for a reasonable standard of living on bonus earnings ... the problem being of course that as soon as the recession starts to bite, then the bonus pay becomes very vulnerable to attack and reduction by the employers.
[255] It's for this reason that many of the shop stewards' conferences that we've convened in the last year have been pressing a policy of consolidating bonus pay into the basic rates and we've achieved some small success in this in building brick and in one or two other industries.
[256] I want to turn now, congress, if I might, to our efforts to raise the G M B's profile in the industry as a whole.
[257] We've taken a much more active role in the European Federation that we belong to, the Building and Woodworkers' Federation ... and as ... our conference will know, or some colleagues in congress will know ... we've actually had
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [258] [...] several shop stewards' exchanges within companies on the basis of the er p- potential wh [...] council directives.
[259] I've also, it's worthwhile me recording my gratitude to the regions for the level of cooperation that's been extended in this programme.
[260] In addition to that, we've increased the profile that we, we have by ... concentrating on the health and safety issues and it's worthwhile me recording my appreciation of the efforts of Nigel in this direction because we're running very closely in, in, in tandem to ensure that the G M B is elite union in the campaign to make the building industry a safer industry for our members to work in.
[261] Last but by not means least, and we've heard them mentioned a couple times already this week and it will be dealt with more extensively later in the week ... we have of course persuaded [...] to enter into detailed discussions with us ... er, which would hopefully lead to a transfer of engagements by the end of this year.
[262] It is one of the obvious benefits, congress, that what that will give us is a much higher profile in the construction and construction-related industries.
[263] Finally I want to say a little bit about the current deadlock in the building industry pay talks.
[264] Early this week the general secretary pointed out that the recession has thrown almost half a million building workers on the dole.
[265] This is not only a shocking waste of their talents and skills and energy, but it's a potent weapon that's been put in the hands of the building employers and the consequence is, of course, that they're seeking a twelve month pay and conditions freeze in the industry.
[266] The unions are presently consulting the membership as to how we should respond to this ... and that process is going on at the moment inside G M B ... the difficulty of course being the low level of organization.
[267] I am convinced congress, however, that there will be sporadic industrial action throughout the summer if the employers do not change their stance and it's my view that we have to restart the talks.
[268] With this in mind ... er, this morning I've written to George , the trade union [...] secretary of the Civil Engineering Conciliation Board, the negotiating machine ... and suggested to him that he contacts the employers to seek a further meeting to see if we can restart the talks based on doing something about the longstanding commitment by both sides of the industry to have a positive and sensible pay structure for the future ... this may be one way forward, one way out of the deadlock.
[269] President, congress, with these few brief remarks I commend my report to congress.
[270] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [271] Thanks very much indeed, Alan.
[272] Page one five eight ... one five nine ... one six O ... one six one ... one six two, one six three, one six four, one six fi yes.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [273] [...] , Liverpool, North Wales, Irish region.
[274] President, congress ... this is gonna be a unique one, I'm gonna give Alan praise.
[275] Alan ... got a message for you ... all the stewards and secretaries within Pilkingtons and also the A E U, M S F and the T & G ... thanks very much for the initiative you've [...] in getting us all together ... and the initiative you've took in getting us part of the European set-up ... [...] company ... Pilkingtons, at this present time are very negative.
[276] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [277] One six five, one six six, one six seven, yes.
Len (PS2KU) [278] Bob , Midlands and East Coast region ... mutual admiration society, Alan.
[279] Erm, to congratulate you firstly on the level of settlements that have been achieved in the extracting and building conc building products division ... erm ... secondly, on, on one six seven [...] ... the [...] refused to make an offer ... [cough] and, er, if you could perhaps update us as to what, er ... method we're gonna approach employers now, erm, to, to secure settlements in that industry ... er, we think it was deplorable that no offer was made ... and we also think it was deplorable that E C C Building Products decided to say that even if an offer had been made, they wouldn't have been prepared to implement it.
[280] Thank you Alan.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [281] One six seven, one six eight ... one six nine, one seven O ... one seven one ... one seven two, Alan.
Neil (PS2KS) [282] President, I've, er, had lots of advice from my colleagues as to how to respond to the comments of the shop stewards ... er, I can only respond and say thank you very much indeed for the kind things they've said ... particularly, erm, specific point that's been raised on the [...] industry from my colleagues that are from the Midlands and East Coast ... the situation currently is that, er, we have decided to ballot for industrial action in E C C and the T & G have decided to ballot for industrial action in, I think its [...] .
[283] We've informed the employers of that decision and hopefully that will change the position.
[284] [...] as colleagues who are involved will know ... is just about the only industry ... in the building materials sector that hasn't made some kind of pay offer in this current round ... it's very much bringing up the rear and we're determined to use what industrial strength we have to change the employer's stance ... otherwise we're very concerned that the [...] national negotiation missionary [...] , this will be his death knell since we'll have to resort to local pay bargaining, so the short answer is ... E C C ... er, will be balloted as far as the G M B is concerned [...] union and, er, T & G are balloting in [...] for industrial action to try to change the employers' position.
[285] Thank you congress.
Dick (PS2KR) [286] Thank you very much, Alan.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [287] Colleagues, perhaps I could explain to you, er, how we're gonna deal with the rest of the programme, certainly in the, the next hour or so ... er, I'm proposing that we take the special report, Health, Safety and the Environment Service Review ... be asking Nigel to move the report ... to be seconded by Fred from the central executive council ... we'll then invite speakers from all the regions ... and then we'll put the report to the vote.
[288] Th then we'll be following section on health of women workers which will take in motions two five eight ... composite thirty two ... motion two six one ... motion two six nine ... and composite six.
[289] Be asking Sue to respond to that debate and to put the C E C point of view.
[290] That will be followed by a number of motions on health and the environment ... composite five ... motion two six four ... motion two six five, motion two six six ... motion two six eight and composite seven, and I'll be asking Mark on behalf of the C E C to respond to that particular debate.
[291] It's now my very great pleasure, congress, to call Nigel to move the Health and Safety and Environment Service Review.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
(HLYPS000) [292] Thank you Mr President, congress ... Nigel , Director of Health and Environment ... moving the special report, Health, Safety, Environment Service Review.
[293] In the time that I have to move the report I'd like to concentrate on some of the developments that have been taking place in health and safety ... this is not to, er, give the impression that environmental developments are not important ... but over this next year the government are going to be taking certain measures that we need to be aware of, er, in the health and safety area.
[294] I would start off by saying that in November last year the G M B held a major conference to relaunch our Health Safety and Environment Service.
[295] At that conference John ... the director general of the Health and Safety Executive ... gave his views on why certain regulations appear to be weaker than the actual European directives on which they were based.
[296] He said ... it was due to our unique Anglo-Saxon law ... whereby we set out in law what is reasonable and [...] ... then we enforce it.
[297] Directives are based on Roman law whereby absolute duties are set out in the law ... but it is not vigorously enforced.
[298] We have recently found out that we have now got the best of all of these or the worst of all of these in Anglo-Saxon Roman law ... whereby we set out was, is reasonable in law and then they hear from Saf Health and Safety Executive tell us they are not going to enforce it.
[299] This hardly seems a credible basis for weakening directives which in themselves only establish minimum health and safety standards for workers across Europe.
[300] By the end of that conference, Mr was left in no doubt that the G M B rejected the H S's approach.
[301] What has happened since then?
[302] In January we were the first union to issue briefing notes on all six key health and safety regulations enacted at the beginning of the year ... we were the only trade union to put on a stand at the EuroSafe ninety three exhibition ... which was the main exhibition of the European year of health and safety ... this promoted the union's approach to health and safety.
[303] We have contributed to numerous guidance notes on new regulations across a wide range of industrial, service and commercial sections ... through Steven we have submitted a draft proposal on a directive covering upper limb disorders to the European Commission ... we'll be putting further proposals for the establishment of a European work environment fund to assist workplace activity, workplace research on health and safety and environmental issues.
[304] All of these initiatives ... as well as the day to day work that goes on with safety representatives at the workplace, supported by officials ... all of these initiatives are aimed at improving standards at the workplace ... and we are also contributing to the fourth action programme in Europe ... where they are setting out their action programme which will take them into the next
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [305] [...] century.
[306] So I'd like to reflect that against what the government has done since our unique November conference ... they have cut the Health and Safety Executive's budget for nineteen ninety three ninety four by five percent, that's a total of thirteen million pounds ... the Department of Employment have already admitted this will lead to less inspections and less prosecutions ... they have introduced a market tex market testing exercise into the H S E ... in other words they're saying what parts of the Health and Safety Executive can be privatized into, no doubt, their friends in industry ... they have made sure that Health that the Health and Safety Commission will work slower in the future by making the chair which is currently a full-time post a part-time post from September this year.
[307] As we are all aware, they have cut the grant available to safety representatives training, sorry, for safety representatives' training and will completely eliminate that grant by nineteen ninety five ... and to top it all they have just announced that a review of all health and safety legislation will be completed by April next year ... the objective of this review is to reduce the so-called burdens health and safety legislation puts on employers.
[308] At our conference in November we had a roll call of five hundred and six G M B members who'd ha who were either killed in work or had died from work-related disease since May nineteen seventy nine ... those who attended may recall the emotional ... er ...
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [309] [...] feeling that this gave to the beginning of that conference ... and this government then has the audacity to talk about the burdens on employers ... what about the burdens on the families of those whose relatives have been killed or diseased through workplace injuries by the negligence of the employers that actually employ them?
[310] We have to respond to these ... developments ... and it is being made clear now in public, that the Health and Safety Executive are giving every indication to employers that they are not going to rigorously enforce the law ... and indeed in the local authorities a leading figure there has said that they want to take a softly softly approach.
[311] The G M B has rejected this approach and recognized that we have to improve health and safety standards at the workplace.
[312] In the special report, specific re recommendations are made to improve the consistency of safety representatives' training ... improving information flow and giving more uniform support to full-time officers ... support in the workplace.
[313] However, the report identifies a number of areas that need to be addressed in more detail ... as a result we are recommendatin it, recommending that a major consultation exercise be d be conducted this year to ensure that the many ideas that people have to improve our Health, Safety and Environment Service are considered.
[314] Recommendations from that consultation exercise will be then brought back to this congress.
[315] In stressing the challenges that face us in health and safety ... it is not to ignore the environmental challenge ... however we recognize it needs to be considered much more widely so that our resources can be most effectively targeted.
[316] Mr President ... I move this special report on behalf of the C E C on the basis that it provides us with the framework to build on the excellent record that the G M B has on improving health, safety and environmental standards at the workplace.
[317] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [318] Thank you very much, Nigel.
Owen (PS2KV) [319] Fred , C E C member, seconding the special report on Health, Safety and the Environment.
[320] President ... in seconding the report I would like to make the following points to [...] our safety representatives who have to bear the responsibility for improving conditions at the workplace for our members.
[321] To be successful in improving health and safety standards we must have good workplace organization ... good laws ... good inspectors and good guidance all have their place in improving health and safety standards.
[322] However, if we cannot influence events where people actually work ... poor standards will result and this is particularly true during a recession as many of us here no doubt know.
[323] It is clearly recognized in the report that the safety representative's role is vital if workplace standards are to be consistently improved.
[324] Since the first of January this year safety representatives have been given legal rights to be con consulted and I quote ... in good time regarding the following ... one ... any measure which substantially affects the health and safety of employees ... two ... the arrangements for appointing specialist staff ... three ... any health and safety information circulated to employees ... four ... the planning and organization of any health and safety training ... and five, the introduction of new technologies.
[325] These important rights mean that the safety representatives must be consulted by the employer well before action is taken ... and when combined with the existing functions of safety representatives, they provide extensive rights to organize around health and safety at the workplace.
[326] However ... many employers do not comply with these legal duties unless they are pressed to do so ... for this reason the recommendations in section five of the report are aimed at giving support to safety representatives and full-time officials to improve workplace activity.
[327] This is a key priority in the report.
[328] During this year and next, more European directives will be agreed.
[329] The European Commission have agreed an action programme that will take us into the next century and this is despite the attitude of the present U K government.
[330] Once new laws have been passed, workplace action is needed to ensure that employers comply with the new legislation.
[331] The report clearly stresses the need to focus a major part of our resources on to workplace activity ... Nigel highlighted the complacent attitude of the enforcing authorities.
[332] We simply cannot re rely on the Health and Safety Executive ... or anybody else ... it is our G M B activists who will take the lead on health and safety.
[333] President, this report is the basis for developing our own action programme to improve health and safety standards at the workplace.
[334] Congress, with these points I am pleased to second the report.
[335] Thank you President.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [336] Thank you very much indeed, Fred.
[337] As I indicated, colleagues, it's my intention now to go round the regions and ask regions whether they wish to put a speaker in.
[338] First of all Birmingham ... again colleagues, it will be very helpful and will save time if intended speakers would come down to the front ...
Les (PS2KW) [339] Sorry.
[340] Bert ... Birmingham and West Midland region, moving the Health, Safety and Environment Service Review.
[341] At our pre-delegates conference earlier this year ... whether it was the first one or the second one I can't remember ... our region unanimously accepted the policy review.
[342] The terms of reference within the document are excellent ... with issues spreading from shop floor organization ... the, the training ... how to tackle legislation ... the right to the E E C directives which hopefully will continue to, to new responsibilities [...] with the employers.
[343] This document makes good and interesting reading ... full of fact ... individual references ... and a guidance for future action ... you don't need to be a solicitor to understand at consultation exercise will be then brought back to th conference in Blackpool this year, Nigel spoke about the, the new European directive ... the importance of the new regulations.
[344] He referred to the six pack and my initial thought was ... well, what's a six pack of Newcastle Brown Ale gotta do with Health and Safety?
Dick (PS2KR) [laugh]
Les (PS2KW) [345] But Nigel did take the time to explain that b that basically this was the, the, the view that the new directive would take place ... keeping it simple.
[346] I'm glad to see environment put into the title ... it's all related.
[347] On a lighter note ... a fellow worker approached me only a couple of months ago ... er, the new European directive almost ruined his holiday ... he then explained ... he booked up to take his family to EuroDisney.
[348] On his first day of arrival ... he was told the authorities had closed EuroDisney down ... and when he asked why, he was told someone had reported to the authorities that a six foot mouse was walking round the day before.
[349] I didn't get that either until he said his name was Mick.
[350] But seriously, Nigel impresses me.
[351] He impressed our sectional conference and he will impress this conference as well and this only makes me aware that the G M B, not only now, but in the future, will be a leading force in the issues within the British and the European trades union movement.
[352] We support ... I move ... and before I go ... boing boing baggis Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping] [laugh]
Dick (PS2KR) [353] South Western ...
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2KR) [354] Yes, I know.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [laugh]
(HLYPS000) [355] President, colleagues, [...] , South Western region, speaking in support of the report.
[356] It is particularly refreshing to note the amount of self-criticism that appears throughout the report.
[357] It is equally refreshing to note that such criticism is acknowledged ... and solutions are readily available to provide an answer.
[358] We as an organization must be ready to accept the sterling work carried out by our, er ... R H S Os ... with the very limited resources at their disposal ... and particular thanks must go to those R H S Os who find themselves dual-roled as education and political officers.
[359] One way forward can be found in sections five and six of the report ... with section six providing enough material to devote the whole forum to on just its own.
[360] It is good that this union has taken the trouble to prepare this report ... with so much E C legislation in the pipeline.
[361] The matters that have been highlighted in this report are as relevant now as those which necessitated the formings of the nineteen seventy eight and nineteen ninety congress resolutions.
[362] We ask that you support this report.
Dick (PS2KR) [363] Thanks very much ... Lancashire region.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Peter (PS2KX) [364] President, sisters and brothers, Graham , Lancashire region, speaking on Health, Safety and Environment Service Review.
[365] Right at the start of the report we are told that the G M B should be justifiably proud of our achievements in the field of occupational health, safety over the past fifteen years.
[366] Quite rightly so ... but we can't get complacent ... health and safety is one of the most important issues of all affecting our members.
[367] Two hundred separate regulations have been introduced since nineteen seventy eight ... but factory inspectors have been severely cut ... where the average workplace now can only expect a visit once every eleven years ... that's why we've gotta get a backup service right ... right for our sa safety representatives.
[368] We're told in the report that small firms with less than twenty people have a fatal and major accident rate forty percent higher than firms employing over a thousand.
[369] But it's in the small firms where the growth is ... and it's usually hard to get people on any courses that [...] a small company.
[370] We welcome the creation of the G M B Health and Safety Service ... specialized staff ... quality publications ... campaign and support in workplace activi activities ... but as long as this government allows unscrupulous employers to explore, exploit the low pay, lower inspection rates, the accident rate will climb ... and our safety reps will get increasingly frustrated.
[371] Health and safety cour training courses ... according to these reports these are poorly attended with a majority below forty percent ... but more worrying than that is that nearly half of G M B safety reps said they'd not received a copy of the safety rep's kits.
[372] We've got to make sure that at the very least all these reps have a kit.
[373] Included in the recommendations is for a two day training course, costing fifty thousand for two thousand places ... it's excellent ... except we're told in the report that we can't get people on courses however good they is ... es especially among, er, small companies.
[374] I believe we've gotta find ways of getting the information to the safety reps that can't attend courses in making sure they get the information there at the workplace.
[375] Briefing sessions on the new, new kit for full-time officials ... we think these should be extended to branch secretaries as well because if a person rings up and advi asks for advice, he can't get that advice, it shows the union up in bad light.
[376] With these small points I've I've made, Lancashire region supports the report and looks forward for a wider discussion at regional and branch level.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [377] Thanks Graham.
[378] Yorkshire region.
Hywel (PS2KY) [379] John , Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, speaking in support of the Health and Safety, Environment Service Review.
[380] President, congress ... we should applaud the work of the Health and Environment department at National Office ... and in supporting this service report we must go swiftly forward into wide-ranging discussions at all levels of the G M B. The publications they have produced have been of a consistent high standard and are very user-friendly.
[381] Consideration should be given to include in the Direct Journal ... a supplement ... possibly entitled Health and Safety Direct to the Membership.
[382] Also industrial health and safety information such as welder's lung for the technical crafts section magazine.
[383] We should support the move for an increase in the use of new technologies ... for the storage and dissemination of information throughout the union.
[384] I know these are increasing at a very rapid rate ... almost as quickly as the new legislations develop ... and keeping accurate paper records is becoming increasingly more difficult.
[385] The Yorkshire region has, for a number of years now, combined the Health and Safety Officer's job with that of the regional education officer ... the two have always married together very well ... in the principal thrust of workplace activity it involved the training of safety representatives ... enabling them to carry out their role effectively.
[386] In the report which played mainly on the results of the trade union studies information unit survey ... the survey was only taken shortly after we had commenced the new education system ... therefore the figures are not necessarily reflected today.
[387] The Yorkshire region's current situation ensures that new safety representatives are invited to a two day introduction course ... from which they are encouraged to attend a health and safety course at National College.
[388] The take-up has been better than indicated by the survey ... we would support the views expressed regarding changes and in particular point thirteen.
[389] The changes in legislation have been dramatic since the mid-eighties ... the majority of changes coming in at the beginning of nineteen ninety three with the E C directives.
[390] We now have a legal requirement on employers which are clearly written and which we can use to our advantage ... providing our safety reps have been correctly trained to implement the regulations.
[391] The environment we live in must also be protected ... sources of pollution must be located and stopped ... employers clearly held liable for their actions and dealt with as severely as allowed by law.
[392] Our union is still leading the field in provision of the information and training to enable our safety representatives to deal with the ramifications of the new regulations.
[393] The situation regarding the enforcement of [...] is disgraceful ... too few inspectors ... far too much work ... therefore we must encourage safety representatives to be more self-sufficient in the workplace ... leaving the G M B to carry on its campaign for an increase in the inspectorate.
[394] Yorkshire, North Derbyshire supports.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [395] Southern region.
Derek (PS2KT) [396] President, colleagues ... Derek , Southern region, speaking to the document on health and safety.
[397] Last year, the health and safety report was supported by my region.
[398] That report had two main objectives ... one was to establish a clear policy for G M B health and safety ... the second was to set out a training programme to establish the G M B's role in health and safety.
[399] This year's report hopes to bring about a consultation exercise to establish what to prioritize in the G M B Health and Safety Service.
[400] It will be looking at the needs of the lay reps ... the role of full-time officers ... the way we distribute the up to date information ... and one of the most vital to our organization is to look at the role of health and safety in the recruitment and retention of membership.
[401] The Southern region supports the initiative but urges caution.
[402] We have been told that finances for health and safety will be found but we were never told from where that money would come from.
[403] Colleagues, to promote a culture of health and safety, our starting point must be to establish a network of safety reps in the workplaces ... and we must have proper funds for training ... for all of our safety reps ... that is a most crucial part of the report.
[404] The introduction in January ninety three of six European directives has given us a unique opportunity to raise the profile of the G M B both in places where we have membership and elsewhere, when the message gets across how the G M B reps are so well trained and able to represent members on all health and safety issues.
[405] To make sure the G M B is at the head of the field we must have a reasonable Health and Safety Officer who would ensure that our safety reps and full-time officers are kept up to speed with all the changes in legislation ... and to provide the adequate training.
[406] This of course had to be monitored and accountable ... a as it is at present in the Southern region where we can already see the benefits.
[407] We urge the C E C to start a consultation process as soon as possible and to put their recommendations into practice.
[408] Southern region supports the document.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [409] Northern region.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [410] President, congress ... Eddie , Northern region, supporting the special report.
[411] Congress ... the G M B's record of health and safety is the envy of the trade union movement.
[412] Time and again it has been our union which has led the way on issues of health and safety whilst other unions have merely followed.
[413] It was the G M B which campaigned and won the Health and, er, Safety at Work Act.
[414] It was the G M B which campaigned for and won the [...] regulations.
[415] And currently, as Steven stated in his address yesterday ... it is the G M B who are pressing for and winning improvements in the European Health and Safety Directives.
[416] Congress ... against this background, the Northern region welcomes this report ... it is an impressive report which signifies the importance that the G M B attaches to issues of health and safety ... and it indicates that this union will continue to maintain its high standards in this crucial area.
[417] We in the Northern region welcome in particular the recommendation of the Health and Safety Officer to beef up the health and safety education and services delivered in the regions.
[418] We look forward, Mr President, to the successful implementation of this report ... and to once again leading the British trade union movement in this field.
[419] President, I would take this opportunity on behalf of the region to condra sorry, congratulate Nigel on the excellent work that he has done since becoming the National Health and Safety Officer.
[420] Congress ... Northern region supports.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [421] London region.
Dick (PS2KR) [422] President, congress ... Ray , London region ... speaking in support of the motion, er sorry, the report ... close.
[423] But we have to identify some of the failings of the report ... at the ninety-f nineteen eighty five congress, motion forty urged the C E C to ensure that each region appoints an officer whose prime responsibility will be health and safety.
[424] The London region defined this as a minimum of fifty percent or more.
[425] Motion forty outlined the problems with the workplace ... with new technology ... new machinery and new practices ... which the membership needed effective support and backup.
[426] Eight years on the problems have not decreased ... but they have increased ... er, even more so with the present problem of employers who tend to ignore health and safety using fear of unemployment to stop complaints.
[427] The reports still do not identify by regions which regions comply with that eighty five motion.
[428] If you look at the general secretary report under the regional sections there is an invisible service ... you'll be unable to find the health and safety side.
[429] The special report is meant to make sure that the Health and Safety s=Service are not the Cinderella service ... there should be a general principle of accountability and monitoring of the service in the regions.
[430] Health and safety is the one area where shop stewards, safety representatives have to deal with on a daily basis.
[431] We need the best backup ... it's one of the best services we can offer for recruitment and retention.
[432] Comrades, the London region supports the m the report but with the reservation I mentioned.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [433] Thanks very much colleagues ... G M B Scotland.
Neil (PS2KS) [434] Richard , G M B Scotland.
[435] President, colleagues, supporting Health and Safety Special Report.
[436] As an organization, our success and effectiveness depends on how we organize, train and support all the activists and officers ... how we adjust to legislative change and how we progress our collective aims.
[437] The terms of reference contained in the report clearly identifies how the G M B should progress health and safety policy.
[438] It highlights the inadequate support that the Health and Safety Executive ... er, gives and their failing to enforce current legislation ... or prosecute those who openly disregard their responsibilities for employee safety.
[439] The government has also failed in its responsibility for the Health and Sa Safety Executive by restricting year after year ... adequate resources for them to carry out the function that they were designed for.
[440] If this government channelled its resources against employers who disregard the health and safety legislation ... as much as it channels its energy at the trade unions through the Employment Act ... I'm sure we would see a great decrease in accidents and
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [441] [...] fatalities at work.
[442] There has been new legislation introduced in the form of the European six pack ... and the cost regulations ... but this legislation will only be effective if it is enforced.
[443] The G M B has through its health and safety reps ... under the safety reps and safety committee's regulations ... specific legal rights which should be exercised as a matter of course.
[444] The report identifies workplace, health and safety organization and the need for training.
[445] Yes, quality training will be needed ... quality training which addresses the core values and the health and safety perception ... that will be the key to our success.
[446] We need to coordinate and further organize a better system of training ... we need a service that can give a quick response for those seeking guidance or information.
[447] I believe that our new computer system ... when it's linked to all the regions, will have the potential to ... access detailed health and safety information and I hope we will use it ... er, and make the information technology that is available to further our health and s safety service delivery.
[448] In doing so we will create the opportunity to deliver an individual service to our members through instant response ... and while improving our service to the members we will also improve our recruitment potential.
[449] The, the report addresses the past and current G M B policy but it is the future needs of our members that we must plan for.
[450] We must consolidate our expertise and where that expertise is not evident, we must create it.
[451] In parallel with our training strategy we must ensure sufficient funding for health and safety campaigns if we are to realize the objectives set out in this report.
[452] Governments, employers, in conclusion colleagues, do not have the right to deny our members a safe, healthy working environment.
[453] In supporting this report we will be setting a future agenda which should go some way to extending working, workers' protection for our members.
[454] I support.
Unknown speaker (HLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2KR) [455] Midland region.
Derek (PS2KT) [456] President, congress, Ken , Midlands and East Coast region, speaking to C E C special report, Health, Safety and Environment.
[457] Conference, in speaking to this document we should all realize the importance of the subject that we are referring to today.
[458] The world of health and safety is a-changing rapidly and we in the G M B are, and should always be, at the forefront of the reviews that are, and have, taken place.
[459] We the G M B have an excellent record over the last fifteen years ... but the g our people, and more so the craftsmen within that particular g, is cause for concern and a massive scope for improvement ... in every area of health, safety and the environment.
[460] Our impact on industry ... through our green works campaign is there for all to see ... and from that point of view to encase it within the health and safety review is vitally important for all of us ... when we take the policy back to our members and advise them of the way in which we intend to go forward.
[461] Since the decision of the nineteen seventy eight congress to appoint national and regional health and safety officers ... the legal and political context within which they operate has changed dramatically ... with more legila legislation.
[462] Since nineteen seventy four over two hundred separate regulations have been introduced ... [tape change]