Trade Union Annual Congress: trade union congress. Sample containing about 13515 words speech recorded in business context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C405

PS2LY X m (Dick, age unknown, president of trade union) unspecified
PS2M0 X m (Mick, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2M1 X m (Eric, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2M2 X m (Doug, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2M3 X m (John, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2M4 X f (Edna, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2M5 X m (Les, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
HUEPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
HUEPS001 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
HUEPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HUEPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100916 recorded on 1993-06-09. LocationHampshire: Portsmouth ( The Guildhall ) Activity: trade union congress speech

Undivided text

Mick (PS2M0) [1] Mick , National Officer.
[2] President, as delegates will know this is my first report to Congress from the Public Services Section and in the time available could I warn delegates and onwards to eight hundred thousand members, their families and all their friends and the eight million members of the T U C and their families and their friends, a sizeable group of British people who, President, now consider theirselves as past, present and future patients of the N H S, and rightly so.
[3] Well, do I have news for you and them.
[4] In April and May of this year, the Junior Minister of Health, in April Tom announced from the shared platform with David , the Tory MP for Havant, but better known as a leading member of the Tory think tank, that regulations had been lifted to allow private capital to have free access to the N H S.
[5] To undertake buildings of hospitals, the complete management of hospitals and to retail a full range of health service products.
[6] President, David followed on and said, and I quote, the successful takeover of the National Health Service depends on agreements being excluded from the present unions and he has not been contradicted.
[7] President, this was supplemented by the Secretary of State, for Health in May, last month, by golden Virginia Bottomley, that further offered an invitation to the private sector to form a partnership with the government to take over our public sector N H S, to provide the flair and the entrepreneurial skills and imagination of the private sector of British industry.
[8] What an example, what a record.
[9] U K private industry nil, the rest of the world ninety nine and still playing with plenty of time on the clock.
[10] Congress, to [...] it further we have no lon we are no longer patients, we have all been renamed customers and clients, the new management practitioners use the language of the private sector, corporate customer targeting, they refer to theirselves as commissioners of health service care working with the internal market.
[11] Fund holders talk about buying the best products available at the lowest price, regardless of the inconvenience to their customers
Dick (PS2LY) [12] Mick, Mick, just one second.
[13] Colleagues, let's keep it quiet please.
Mick (PS2M0) [14] regardless of the inconvenience to their customers who might have to travel further afield, away from their homes and communities for treatment.
[15] Fundholders have to manage their financial budget they're told, like any other small or medium sized businesses.
[16] They want to develop purchasing skills, cash flow skills, cost control skills and labour cost controls.
[17] President, for those who have, I'm sure, who'll these fundholders are, we used to call them family doctors.
[18] Congress, President, the government have got no guts to announce publicly that their intentions to privatize the N H S on a date that will give the leading time with the razzmatazz and P R that they've done before to sell shares, to sell shares in the British public in a public nationally held N H S, there will be no seats, there will be no Inspector Morses and others as there've been with Telecom, gas, water and electricity.
[19] The present private health service companies like B U P A, that already, are all ready to move into the front door and take over, so this year my first report on the N H S could be replaced in nineteen ninety four on the report on the private health care industry unless we take action.
[20] Based on the following, delegates, I've been lucky like many of you, to live in a country where I have had available to me a National Health Service that has been the envy of the world.
[21] Like you, on occasions my family and I, along with my parents, have had the benefits of being able to use the National Health Service free of any ongoing financial burden to the family.
[22] There is an opportunity now on the fifth of July, when this may well be our last chance to demonstrate, all of us, along with health service workers, cos they can't do it on they o on their own.
[23] And publisly , publicly and forcibly on that day, which is a date we should be celebrating the forty fifth anniversary of our National Health Service, instead we will have to demonstrate to save our National Health Service.
[24] President, delegates, brothers and sisters, I will be there on the fifth of July.
[25] I hope you will be with the health service workers, not just because I have the honour and privilege of being a national officer with this greatest union in the country.
[26] Not because I directly res have some responsibility for representing our membership within the Health Service, but because as I said earlier this is my Health Service, this is your Health Service, it's our families' Health Service that we have enjoyed the benefits since nineteen forty eight.
[27] I will be out there because I am, and this may have surprised a lot of, a very youthful appearance of me, I'm gonna be a granddad in August and October this year.
[28] And no Tory government is gonna take away our Health Service from my grandchildren, who will be born in a National Health Service hospital and hopefully will enjoy the benefits and the care during the rest of the nineties and well into the next century.
[29] I move my report to Congress.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [30] Thanks very much, Mick.
[31] Colleagues, turning to Mick's report, page seventy one.
Eric (PS2M1) [32] Yes ... Eric , London Region.
[33] Erm, I suppose we ought to say welcome to the Health Service, Mick.
[34] Erm, I doubt if you'll get too hard a time from us.
[35] Possibly not covered in the report is the commitment that this union is giving to the Health Service.
[36] We've created a new sector, I, I've seen over the last three or four years, changes in the way that we've tried to represent our membership in the Health Service from the old industrial conferences to combined industrial conferences into the er, current erm, section that we've now got.
[37] The problem is that we seem to have dropped the Health Service off more and more and more over that period of time, and I think, to be fair, the programme sums it all up, two motions ... on the Health Service.
[38] It used to be a major debate at this congress.
[39] It's not just the better ... the members that we've got working in the Health Service, it's about everybody in the room and everybody in the country who wants to use it and we've gotta get it a bi a bit higher up on the agenda at this union and I hope Mick, that you can give us the confidence and give us the commitment, that that's what we're gonna get from this union.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [40] Seventy two.
[41] Yes.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [42] President, Congress.
[43] I should like to ask Mick regarding the long service ambulance personnel.
[44] A lot of them now are being took off A and E work, put on out-patients and most on it's now the art of trust.
[45] I was took on to be able to keep the written terms and conditions.
[46] Thank you very much.
Dick (PS2LY) [47] Thank you, seventy three, seventy four and seventy five.
[48] Mick.
Mick (PS2M0) [49] Thank you President.
[50] Er, Eric erm, asked about er, profile and resources and er, hoping I would er, provide the conference, confidence er, of our membership in the health ser of getting the profile up.
[51] Eric, I reported to the C E C on Saturday night when presenting the, the Health Service Conference report, that I would be making a detailed report to the next er, meeting of the Public Services Section Committee ... on resources er, on what I see in the first five month of my er, ten year of office er, what, what we need to do, to play our part in the public service, to extend ourselves within the er, the Health Service.
[52] That report, I trust will be adopted by the, er the public services national committee and go back to the C E C for the endorsement and er, watch this space.
[53] I just, Birmingham Region, I think the delegate who came up second about long service ambulance staff and the going down.
[54] If I could see him at the back I'll er, I'll just get the question a bit more clearer and I'm sure I can help.
[55] Thanks very much.
Dick (PS2LY) [56] Alright, thanks very much indeed, Mick.
[57] Colleagues, National Health Service, composite motion fourteen and motion three O five.
[58] Er, composite fourteen to be moved by Liverpool Region.
Doug (PS2M2) [59] President, Congress.
[60] Doug , Liverpool, North Wales and Irish Region.
[61] Health Service worker.
[62] The latest demonstration reforms proves the point what trade unions have been saying since the inception of Trust Hospitals and I think the word trust is the wrong word to use.
[63] It should be mistrust hospitals because the people who work in the service were all guaranteed certain things which have not come to pass whatsoever.
[64] The whole trust of the reforms is to break up the N H S piece by piece.
[65] If you worked in the industry you would see what was happening and you would be aghast.
[66] You just do not believe the moves that they try to do.
[67] The main thing is they don't inform you of what's happening now until it's happened and then they say, oh well, we didn't need to consultate with you cos it doesn't affect your members.
[68] But in knock on affects it does.
[69] Through privatization, privatization of occupation and health.
[70] Privatization of finance, privatization of all the ancillary workers.
[71] That more or less exhausted now.
[72] The only people who seem to be excused from the privatization is the senior management executives.
[73] Morale in the service is at an all time low.
[74] Through the pressures put on our members by the private contractors, if they get recognition, and not guarantee, no sick pay, reduced holidays, no check-off, the, I could go on and on and on.
[75] Then the fortunate staff who are still employed and they're regarded as fortunate that you've still got a job, because that's what the management use repeatedly to professional people like nurses, sisters and other professional organizations who work within the Health Service, you're very lucky to have a job.
[76] There's very many unemployed.
[77] Why should you complain?
[78] Our nurse members have been waiting now, some of them, since nineteen eighty eight for grading appeals.
[79] There are twenty eight thousand up and down the country waiting to find out, have they got the correct grade.
[80] That is a legacy of the late Mr Kenneth Clarke, Health Service Minister, now the new Chancellor.
[81] God help us with the economy, if he comes up with a crackpot idea like he did over these grading appeals.
[82] So because of the embarrassment, Mrs Bottomley has instructed all her Regional Health Authorities to clear the backlog of these grading appeals.
[83] But Mr Walgrave, another Minister of Health decided in nineteen ninety one that he would do with a, a famous thing called Section Thirty Two.
[84] But he was in a peer mechanism which had been a longstanding thing with trade unionism management for many years, with no replacement.
[85] So what they decided to do, they would accept the clinical grading appeals which says that a panel can be up to six members, of three members of management and three members of trade unions.
[86] The Mersey Region, where I work, have decided that they wouldn't accept that.
[87] They would accept the panel of one trade unionist and one member of management.
[88] And they said that was the only way that they could clear the backlog within the time limit that Mrs Bottomley has set.
[89] This union and other unions have protested most vigorously to the Mersey Region and they decided then to go ahead with the appeals by approaching other trade unions, not necessarily involved in clinical skills, like the plumbers and the joiners of the A U E W and the EPTU.
[90] No disrespect to their craft, that's their job, but would you like it if you were sister, working in intensive care or an A and E department to have your appeal judged by a plumber or a joiner and that's what's happening in the Mersey Region at the moment.
[91] We have other stupid things like a nurse training college, let's close it.
[92] So we close it down, to make it way for a new hundred bedded day hospital, which'll be not private, guaranteed, no way will it be private.
[93] But it can't be managed in this country cos nobody's got the expertise of the management of these sort of hotels.
[94] So we're bringing the Swedish Airlines to come over and manage it.
[95] So we close a nursing college and we're gonna make it into a hundred bedded day hospital and it's gonna be managed by a Swedish Airline company.
[96] That's the sort of thing that's going on at the moment.
[97] I could go on and on and on.
[98] I have to show you this, cos that is the disgrace and you all saw it, we read it on Tuesday.
[99] There's no way that child should have died, but you know what these famous words in real terms, in real terms we are putting more money into the Health Service.
[100] The people who are putting money in the Health Service, I don't care whatever city you go to, you will see an appeal for a new kidney machine, a new special baby care unit, you're the people, the public are putting the money in, because they're certainly not.
[101] The only money they put in to the chief executives and their two yearly pay re review performances that they get, for cutting other people's wages or contracting Health Services and for somebody to have to travel that distance for a, to die, is absolutely appalling and it's a disgrace.
[102] I could go on and on and on and I've listened all week to the debates and I agree with what John said on Sunday.
[103] I think a lot of people do.
[104] If we don't get together collectively to get rid this government, you and your families and Mick and his grandchildren, there won't be a health service there.
[105] I move.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [106] Comp fourteen formally seconded?
[107] Thanks very much indeed.
[108] Motion three O five to be moved by London Region.
[109] Did you formally move?
[110] Oh he's coming, right.
[111] Sorry.
John (PS2M3) [112] John from the London Region.
[113] President, Comrades.
[114] Erm, Congress, the Tomlinson review of the Health Service in London contains many questionable aspects, midst conclusions stem from the misguided belief that market forces will resolve all the problems.
[115] That's sheer and utter rubbish.
[116] This is a flawed document and indeed it comes to very questionable conclusions.
[117] The under-funding of the N H S has been the main cause of our having reached this crisis point.
[118] Closures and amalgamations are simply destroying internationally renowned centres of excellence and creating a positive area for redundancies, voluntary and compulsory, early retirements and relocation of about twenty thousand personnel.
[119] This massive attack on the labour force in the inner London, the most heavily deprived districts in the country, ignores the social dimension, the climate of deep recession and the added importance of an economic entity in local judicious management.
[120] A massive reduction in beds erm will have, no doubt, a follow up in the rest of the United Kingdom, with its inevitable result on health care and jobs.
[121] The onward march of the Trust program is destined to swallow up the N H S as we know it, health care delivery biased in favour of the money orientated, terms and conditions for the workers on a take it or leave it basis, short term contracts as the norm and reduction in sickness entitlement.
[122] Certainly longer hours and less pay, all that was hard fought for tossed back in our faces.
[123] The intent of Tomlinson will add greatly to the expected one hundred thousand job losses in the capital in nineteen ninety four, a rise of thirteen percent.
[124] Are they careless or just mad.
[125] People in poverty is no way to help the inner boroughs.
[126] The N S, the N H S employs from the highly skilled and professional to the semi- skilled, manual workers, ancillary, clerical, maintenance, nursing and midwifery personnel, mostly locally based.
[127] What's to become of the pool of labour when the heart and soul is torn from London by the ruler of the political ... obviously, no consideration for the human consequences of its policies.
[128] Major, I also mean my man, his decisions and bed closures courts disaster.
[129] Patient care will suffer, demand for care will increase and er, primary care will [...] this point again and again.
[130] While they haggle over the prices in the Trusts, you must continue to suffer and the socially deprived remained bottom of the waiting lists.
[131] Now look at the tragedy of Barts.
[132] Closure will destroy both the historical and the esteemed.
[133] The Royal Marsden, place of care and genius, to go, another victim.
[134] What about Queen Mary's, Roehampton.
[135] Hope for the limbless.
[136] I thanked him greatly.
[137] Harefields, giving life with great heartlessness and many more.
[138] Congress, fight, fight indeed with all your might.
[139] They have got it wrong.
[140] Help to put it right.
[141] All [...] must have heart.
[142] Tomlinson, John Major's government seem to be twin spirits, who know exactly the price of everything but the value of nothing.
[143] Can no one rid us of these medalling and wilful misfits.
[144] I move.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [145] Thanks John.
[146] Is that formally seconded please.
(HUEPS001) [147] No.
Dick (PS2LY) [148] No?
Eric (PS2M1) [149] Eric , London Region, Section three O five.
[150] Sorry, to take a little bit of time but I did point out we've got two motions on the Health Service and erm, I think it's a little bit more important than just er, formally seconding.
[151] The arguments in Tomlinson, too many beds in London.
[152] There's too many beds in London, there's a small outfit called the E B S, the Emergency Bed Service.
[153] Because they have so much trouble finding beds in London hospitals, they've got this little company set up to do the job for the doctors, so there is no way in the world that I can believe there's a shortage of beds.
[154] The hospitals of excellence, as some people have put them, the major teaching hospitals, all in London, nationally they import that expertise once people have done their training.
[155] You get rid of those hospitals in London, you're gonna lose the opportunity, and the colleague from Liverpool summed it up, they shut a nursing college, right.
[156] And that'll go on, and that'll continue to go on.
[157] The major training is done in London.
[158] Nowhere else will be able to afford to do it, so let's not pretend that it's not gonna affect those people outside.
[159] The Trust certainly won't train.
[160] That's an area where they're not gonna get involved unless there's an awful lot of money and yes, there is money, for them for a training budget, but certainly not enough to cover what would be lost if, if Tomlinson, and let's face it, if they win Tomlinson it will just continue.
[161] The specialist units that would go, cancer units, heart units, children's units.
[162] Colleague again showed you one, there was another one on television today.
[163] A child that's er, been unable to have an operation because of the closure of the Westminster Children's Hospital.
[164] These things are going on all the time.
[165] Other hospitals will not pick up, I don't care what the Virginia Bottomleys says, or any of the others from the Kenneth Clarkes, he's the one who did the major destruction job on the N H S.
[166] He then did it in employment, you know, it's obviously now gonna continue, I don't know quite erm, how much more damage he can do on the economy, but that's the guy who started it all.
[167] We've got a major problem in the Health Service.
[168] It's back door privatization.
[169] The are too few beds in the Health Service, whether we like it or whether we don't and what they're trying to do is force people to use the private sector.
[170] That colleagues, whether we like it or not is back door privatization and we've gotta fight to oppose it.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [171] Thanks Eric.
[172] C E C are accepting both these with a statement colleagues and I ask Edna to put that view for the C E C.
Edna (PS2M4) [173] Edna , speaking on behalf of the C E C on composite fourteen and motion three O five.
[174] Congress, President.
[175] On Sunday in his General Secretary's address, John Edmunds reminded everyone in the labour movement that we need to, need to express our arguments simply if we want to get the message across.
[176] Earlier this year, I heard the whole of the debate about health care reduced by the media to just four words.
[177] It was about the debate, about health care in America and the words were provided by an American reporter.
[178] So the fir four words need to be translated from American into English.
[179] But those fe four words tell us a lot about what lies ahead for the N H S in Britain, unless we're very careful.
[180] The words were coverage and cost containment.
[181] By coverage they meant the fact that thirty five million Americans are not covered by health insurance.
[182] They are exposed to whatever illness or injury lady luck throws at them.
[183] And the free market system doesn't protect them because they tend to be too poor or too old for health insurance cover.
[184] Either they can't afford private health insurance or the American insurance companies regard them as a bad risk to be acceptable.
[185] Today in Britain, Michael is looking for ways to make people take out private insurance against all sorts of possibilities.
[186] Poverty in old age is one.
[187] Health care must be another on his list.
[188] You can bet your bottom dollar.
[189] By cost containment, the American media meant that the U S A spends almost twice of national income on health as the U K does, but for no better results overall.
[190] Americans are no healthier on average than we British.
[191] The Americans burn up lots of their health expenditure paying lawyers' bills.
[192] Today in Britain's N H S we are spending more and more on accountants and fi financial consultants and less and less on health care workers.
[193] Since nineteen eighty nine, the number of N H S managers has risen by eight thousand, while over eight thousand nurses and midwives' jobs have been lost.
[194] All over, the Tories are trying to import Transatlantic techniques.
[195] N H S Trusts has been going out of their way to recruit managers with experience in private profit sector.
[196] They want bosses who will be in human, American human resources techniques, like things, related pay and personal contacts.
[197] One very recent in those debation at Ealing Hospital in West London, has been invited to, invited the staff to hand back this year's pay rise.
[198] In return for probably not making staff redundant.
[199] Probably.
[200] I think it's their idea of a loyalty bonus.
[201] You pay the boss instead of him paying you.
[202] We also now have G P fundholders.
[203] With these you can forget all you ever heard about health care based on medical need.
[204] Their speciality is jumping over obstacles,to jump, queue jumping to be precise.
[205] Other doctor's patients are having their operations postponed in order to allow the patients of G P fundholders to be treated first.
[206] Money talks, is exactly what we warned about.
[207] Cash coming before care.
[208] Congress, I didn't look into any crystal ball.
[209] I simply watched an American T V news item, but it gave me a frightening vision of what the future could hold in store for us, unless we fight the Tory policies with all our might we can muster.
[210] That fight will be helped if you vote for composite fourteen and motion three O five.
[211] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [212] Thanks very much, Edna.
[213] As Edna indicated colleagues, the C E C are supporting comp fourteen and three O five.
[214] We'll take the vote.
[215] All those in favour of composite fourteen?
[216] Against?
[217] That's carried.
[218] Motion three O five.
[219] All those in favour?
[220] Against?
[221] That's carried.
[222] Colleagues, just before we go on to Election Systems er, there is a meeting at lunchtime, and two of the principal speakers at that meeting is Bernie Grant MP and Billy .
[223] They're both sat at the, the back of the hall, would you extend a very warn welcome colleagues.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [224] Thanks very much.
[225] Election Systems, colleagues, motion one four eight, one four nine, motion twenty eight.
[226] Now mo motion one O three has been withdrawn by the, the Northern Region.
[227] At the end of the debate I'll call Ernie to put the C E C point of view in respect of the three motions left because they're seeking reference.
[228] Call motion one four eight to be moved by Midland.
Les (PS2M5) [229] Les , Midlands and East Coast Region.
[230] Moving motion one four eight.
[231] President, Congress.
[232] Last year at Blackpool I moved a motion calling for review of the C E C election procedure.
[233] We agreed to reference back.
[234] We agreed to reference back this year.
[235] I asked the C E C and congress to re-affirm the commitment given to us.
[236] The supreme body on this great union and the vote re vote in return reflects the fault in the system.
[237] Postal votes are a disaster.
[238] The answer that our voting is no worse than any other union's is not satisfactory.
[239] We should be in the forefront and not compare our faults with others.
[240] I'll look forward to a working party to be set up to address this situation.
[241] This should not be put on a back burner.
[242] I move.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [243] Thanks very much.
[244] Is that formally seconded?
[245] Motion one four nine, Midland.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [246] John , Midlands and East Coast Region.
[247] President, Colleagues, I'll be very brief.
[248] This motion has been put up this year because there are changing circumstances which really do require us to give elections to the C E C deeper consideration.
[249] For instance, with the merging of branches, we could find ourselves in a very enviable position of more than one members wishing to be considered as a candidate for the C E C.
[250] Therefore, it makes sense that the branch, in the first instance, should be addressed by these people so that we can make up our minds at that level as to who we feel will be the best person to start recommending to go forward.
[251] Now, I do understand that the C E C has already set up a working party to look into this whole issue of elections to the C E C, and no doubt, that will also include a review of the byelaws.
[252] My region welcomes this and hopes this motion will be given due consideration.
[253] I move, thank you.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [254] Thanks very much, John.
[255] Is one four nine er, seconded?
[256] Thanks very much.
[257] Motion twenty eight.
[258] Midland again.
Dick (PS2LY) [259] Peggy , Midlands and East Coast Region.
[260] President, before I start could you er, please ask erm, at the doors if they could keep quiet a bit because delegates can't hear some of the debates.
Dick (PS2LY) [261] You me you mean colleagues who have gone outside and they're having a chat and a smoke, what have you?
Dick (PS2LY) [262] Yes.
[263] That's right.
Dick (PS2LY) [264] Yes, if ya can hear me outside, we're watching ya.
[265] Just keep quite while Peggy's speaking.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [266] I have had some stick this week.
[267] President er, delegates.
[268] This union has done a great deal for equality.
[269] Isn't it time that members standing for C E C elections were given the same equality with Regional Secretaries, who as we all know, all year round, in all regions, when a leaflet or a booklet goes out to members, in most of them there is a photograph of the Regional Secretary.
[270] Obous obviously the purpose of this is to create an identity with the members.
[271] By inserting this an amendment to rule eleven, you'll be giving the colleagues standing in future C, C E C elections the same facilities.
[272] I understand the C E C are seeking reference.
[273] My region has agreed to er, reference, after it's been seconded.
[274] Thank you.
Dick (PS2LY) [275] Thanks very much, Peggy.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [276] Is that formally seconded?
[277] Thanks very much indeed, and I understand that the region, Midland Region, are prepared to remit one four eight, one four nine and motion twenty eight.
[278] Is that correct?
[279] Conference accept that?
[280] Thanks very much.
[281] So Ernie will be very pleased to know that he's not required to er, star this morning.
[282] [laugh] Section Secretary's report, Keith , Process and Construction Section.
Mick (PS2M0) [283] Keith , National Secretary.
[284] President and Congress.
[285] It's my privilege and pleasure to present to Congress the first report of the Process and Construction Section.
[286] Congress will recall that over the years I've made references to the close working relationship, which was developing between G M B and our German colleagues.
[287] Given this situation it's a delight to report that the launch of the section in February was accompanied by the signing of an historic partnership agreement with our German colleagues.
[288] This agreement is the most significant, bilateral agreement between two European unions in different nation states and covers some one point seven million members and I was most heartened colleagues, with the er, welcoming comments that were made by brother David from Durham City Central er, clerical branch from the Northern Region in his address.
[289] Erm, the partnership agreement er, arose from a clear conviction by both unions that positive trade union action is better than rhetoric.
[290] That it is inadequate for trade unions to merely pay lip service to a European prospective, or to be deterred by the refusal of the U K government to accept its European responsibilities and deny rights to U K workers that are enjoyed by every one of our European colleagues.
[291] We assert that strong trade union relationships, on a day to day basis, must be developed in a bilateral form and this agreement provides for substantial trade union cooperation in the European Community and beyond, and it's already materially advancing the interests of our members and assisting the development of free and independent trade unionism in Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Republics.
[292] And the importance of this work, colleagues, will become clearer later in this report, but at this point er, President, I would wish to place on record, although he's now has to leave er, to catch his plane, the attribute to my friend and colleague, who was here during the earlier part of Congress, as an honoured guest.
[293] He's one of the co-architects of the agreement and there is no doubt that his vision, energy, enthusiasm and dedication cannot be over emphasized and is deeply appreciated by this union.
[294] Congress, the section held its inaugural, National Conference in April and unanimously adopted as priorities for the section, four main areas of work.
[295] Recruitment, new agenda agreements, health, safety and environment and Europe.
[296] All areas in which the section has got a proven record of achievement.
[297] Because of time, I intend to concentrate on the European dimension.
[298] Now one of the first fruits of the partnership agreement with the Germans, is a successful initiative on joint training and education of officers and shop stewards funded from the E C fourth programme.
[299] It's a two year project, which in the first year includes three large seminars and the production of a number of booklets together with a training video.
[300] The first of these seminars was held in March, when sixteen members of the G M B, principally lay activists, and of those principally members of the section National Committee and five officers participated with an equivalent number of German colleagues erm, at the training centre in [...] .
[301] Now it was the unanimous view of the entire G M B contingent that the seminar was stimulating, exciting and laid the basis and the foundation for continuing cooperation on a day to day er, basis with our German colleagues.
[302] The second seminar will be held in July at National College and the third will be held at the Training Centre of the German Mineworkers' Union in October.
[303] A union with which we'll be amalgamated within the next eighteen months.
[304] Now, the entire project, which includes language training for, for all the union's activists, together with the conclusions reached will form a handbook on training, for distribution throughout the European community.
[305] Now, we readily recognize, Congress, that there's immense prestige attached to this initiative for the G M B and over two hundred activists will have jointly participated during the two years of its existence.
[306] Colleagues, the important thing about the agreement so far, is that we have already destroyed the myth, perpetuated by the employers, that joint work across national boundaries in Euro- multinationals are inappropriate because of differences in trade union cultures, organization and systems of collective bargaining.
[307] This materially assists all G M B members and not simply those in the Process and Construction Section.
[308] The two unions have also devoted considerable resources to promote the formation, growth and development of free and independent process trade unions in the former Soviet Block.
[309] Both unions are proud to be associated with this noble and historic enterprise, and share the view that this work is essential to assist the people in those countries to build democratic, political, social and economic systems.
[310] We're already seeing the successes.
[311] Four weeks ago in Budapest the executive committee of the World International I C E F accepted into membership from Russia alone organizations representing seven million workers.
Dick (PS2LY) [312] Wind up please, Keith.
Mick (PS2M0) [313] Congress, we'll appreciate the significance of this situation and I commend my report.
Dick (PS2LY) [314] Thanks very much.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [315] Turning to the report, colleagues, one seven three, one seven four.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [316] Yes.
[317] Yep ... President, Congress.
Dick (PS2LY) [318] Who's the biggest? [laugh]
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [319] Keith.
Dick (PS2LY) [320] Oh alright, you go on then.
[321] Certainly the cheek is anyway.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [322] No, just quicker.
[323] Northern Region.
[324] [laugh] Keith, I've had a look at page one seven four, Chemical and Allied Industries and I can't find anything in there about the recent problems that we've had at Allbright and Wilsons.
[325] So I pa I turned to page seven, one seven three, the new section for the Process and Co er, Construction er, Section and I can't find anything on there.
[326] We've had problems at Allbright and Wilsons for some time on a change of working pattern, but this is just a modern way that companies have got today of de-manning people.
[327] Now, we got permission to go ahead with a, a ballot for industrial action, which took place and although it was a majority for industrial action, it wasn't the required two thirds majority.
[328] I do have to thank on behalf of my stewards' committee er, Terry who gave us a lot of help and also the er, Regional Section who also helped us.
[329] But when it went to National, everything just gone.
[330] The question is Keith, from my committee, where the hell were you at in our hour of need?
Dick (PS2LY) [331] Thanks very much.
[332] Yes, colleague.
(HUEPS000) [333] Thanks President.
[334] Ken , Midland and East Coast Region.
[335] President, I'd like to er, offer thanks on behalf of my membership in the Process and Construction Section, on the false agreement, it was a very successful week and just to echo Keith's words, those links that we made are working and we are in correspondence with the, our colleagues in and we're picking that up in terms of recruitment.
[336] Thank you.
Dick (PS2LY) [337] Thank you Ken.
[338] One seven five,
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [339] one seven six, one seven eight, one seven nine.
[340] Keith.
Mick (PS2M0) [341] Yes, President, Congress.
[342] In answer, first of all I must thank Ken for er, his erm, his comments.
[343] Erm, the delegate from Northern Region referring to Allbright and Wilson.
[344] I think what we have to understand, colleagues, is that this report actually is put to bed, print-wise, well in advance of this Congress.
[345] It doesn't in any way claim to be an absolutely up to the minute report of absolutely everything that we've done in the previously twelve months since last Congress, and quite frankly, it just could not be that.
[346] So, we do apologize, but hope you'll understand er, the delegate particularly, that we just cannot ensure that the report has got absolutely everything in it.
[347] The involvement of brother Terry Hayes.
[348] I'm glad that you commented er, so favourably about brother Hayes' er, attendance at your headquarters conference because, of course, brother Hayes is acting on my behalf in that capacity.
[349] When you ask what happens at national level, well what happens at national level in these industries is that we have dozens and dozens of requests for headquarters conferences each year.
[350] I cannot possibly and conceivably, and no good other individual officer, actually handle all those and some them have to be delegated.
[351] In your case you couldn't have had a better officer, in my view, to handle that situation.
[352] I'm delighted that you were pleased with the response.
[353] Thank you.
Dick (PS2LY) [354] Thanks very much, Keith.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [355] Colleagues, we now have a very pleasant er, duty.
[356] I'm going to ask Tom to make a presentation.
Doug (PS2M2) [357] Thanks very much er, President er, to mark the occasion of the launching of the British er, Boxers' Association we'd like to make a little er, presentation to Barry , who's the President of that Association and erm who you know, of course, is the Chairman of the Institute of Professional Sport and the Professional Boxers' Association has got the honour of erm, immediately being part of that er, body and has the assistance, of course , of er, the many people involved there.
[358] From the G M B point of view, of course, we have quite a sporting section and we're proud to have this link er, with both of the organizations and we're pleased to have been of some assistance to the er, British Boxers' Asso Professional Boxers' Association er, in er, this launch and establishment we felt, because we've got the Scottish professional footballers, who are well established and er, are very much an integral part of the G M B and we've got the Northern Ireland er, footballers, we've got the rugby players and we've got speedway riders all of which come under [...] .
[359] Mick , the National Officer has been er, the link between these organizations and I hope that the er, Professional erm, Boxers' Association will give some credit to the G M B in erm, establishing themselves and we hope, as an organization, that in the future that they can be successful and we can be sure they will be because they've not only got the likes of Barry but they've got many other, prominent er, boxers who will, I'm sure, establish erm, the Association in a very er, positive fashion.
[360] Can I, on behalf of er, the G M B, Barry erm, make a presen presentation to you ... This is the er, first er, picture that was taken at the launch of the Professional Boxers' Association.
[361] We had it mounted and we're proud and pleased to be able to present that to you on behalf of the G M B.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Doug (PS2M2) [362] [...] , of course, will er, go down the [...] of history because it's their very first executives meeting.
[363] Many may they come back.
[364] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Doug (PS2M2) [365] We had tried to get a couple of [...] er, here in Portsmouth but he had to attend [...] , so we thought as we prepared for this conference this morning er, on the miners, that it would be appropriate to get a miner's lamp to put and have them simply inscribed with the erm, the memory of the occasion, which turned out to be
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
John (PS2M3) [366] President, Tom erm, to President and Congress, ladies and gentlemen er, I'd first of all just like to say thank you, a big thank you for your support.
[367] The Professional Boxers' Association would try er, many years ago, and it didn't have the support of people like the G M B and the S P F.
[368] Erm, I know there are a lot of genuine boxers that are members of the G M B and I want to thank you because we just want to know that [...] .
[369] Thank you very much indeed.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [370] Professors er, Congress.
[371] Just very quickly I'd just like to endorse what Barry has said, erm.
[372] I was [...] when I actually bumped into the Bishop of [...] the other day [...] .
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [373] But very, very quickly erm, I'm actually delighted that this organization has helped breathe the life into not only the Professional Boxers' Association, [...] we are extremely grateful.
[374] [...] . Thank you very much indeed.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [375] Thanks very much indeed, Barry and don't let anybody tell anybody in the trade union movement that the trade union movement is not moving.
[376] It's moving constantly and we're increasing all the time.
[377] Thanks very much indeed, colleagues.
[378] Colleagues now, back to the agenda.
[379] G M B trains a number of motions in this particular section, two four four, two four five, two four six, two four seven and two four eight.
[380] There are a number of points of view the executive want to put and I'll be calling Paul at the end of that debate.
[381] First one, motion two four four.
[382] Southern Region to move.
[383] Other movers, if they would come down to the front, it would assist.
[384] Thank you.
Edna (PS2M4) [385] Frank , Southern Region.
[386] In the past, Congress, personnel departments and management have been in the privileged position of using computer technology.
[387] In some cases, using it in a re reactionary fashion.
[388] To hance enhance, both their arguments and their presentation when dealing with us, the trade unions.
[389] Most of us here, will have experienced graphs that assess the performance of the workforce, expenditure and income of the company.
[390] Most of these are a computer designed programs which effectively help our counterparts reinforce their position concerning our members, their conditions and their output.
[391] We, we advocate training for our members, encouraging bosses to offer them more.
[392] We too need to challenge this and update our own training facilities for our activists.
[393] It's time to turn the tables on the management.
[394] The G M B and the trade union generally need to have at least the resources the management have.
[395] How can we do this I hear you say.
[396] Firstly, the primary objective for us as a trade union must to be ensure G M B activists, shop stewards and officials all have access to training and computer literacy.
[397] And adequate software must be made available to ensure G M B activists can put into practice what they've been taught and use it to the labour movement's advantage.
[398] With the right sort of software package a world of information can be at the fingertips of the G M B activists involved.
[399] Obviously, in the initial stages not all activists would have access to terminals, but most will.
[400] In national negotiations, officers should make a priority of the need for terminals for our key activists under facilities agreements, possibly under machinery for negotiation.
[401] Software, could be designed in such a way that it can be exchanged and regularly updated including information on subjects such as C O S H H, labour law and industrial relations and social groupings within the G M B structure.
[402] What I'd also like to say is I think it's e ecol erm, ecologically correct as well for us to move into computer literacy and computer designed programs.
[403] I mean, the am amount of paper pushing we do in the G M B is incredible.
[404] Coming onto the second part of this motion, language training.
[405] This is another area that looks to our future.
[406] With the present developments in European Works Councils across national borders, we should be learning other languages.
[407] We will meet more trade unionists from other countries in the future and as Keith was saying early on, our link up with German trade unions is very favourable, it's a very positive step.
[408] However, will we follow the traditional British concept and ignore other languages being disrespectful at other nation's cultures and backgrounds?
[409] ... We need to set an example as well, at this present time M S F are already in a position where they're training their activists in other languages.
[410] What we need to do is get our members and make them feel that they're part of Europe, not dispossessed by it, at this moment in the time there's not a lot for them in consideration of Europe.
[411] We need to try and make sure from the grass roots level up, we have involvement.
[412] To coin a phrase by John , I live in a very small house said Confucius, but my windows look out on a very large world.
[413] And that's what the G M B need to do, to grasp the nettle to move forward.
[414] Both these concepts, computer literacy and language training are ways of attacking present pessimism and mobilizing the will within our movement.
[415] Support these motions for a better future, arming our grass roots has never been more important.
[416] I move these motions.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [417] Is there a seconder, formally seconded?
[418] Pardon.
[419] Yes, formally seconded.
Les (PS2M5) [420] No, no, seconded.
Dick (PS2LY) [421] Why don't you want to formally second it?
[422] You're just deliberately being awkward all the time.
[423] Can't win 'em all.
Les (PS2M5) [424] Mr President, Congress, Steven , Brussels Branch, Southern Region.
[425] Seconding motion two four four.
[426] Many delegates have talked about Europe this week, about the E C, about the directors' laws and regulations come out of it.
[427] One general line of agreement between all delegates is that we need to develop our links in Europe.
[428] We're in Europe, our role in Europe can only increase.
[429] What we should be looking at is how to maximum our potential to further the trade union interests in the process of European integration, because one thing's for sure.
[430] If the evolution of the E C continues, and it will, working people must be as organized as possible to ensure that trade unions are not forgotten in the race for a single market.
[431] So how do we get organized?
[432] We must continue to forge links with sister unions right across the E C, and what better ways to target our priorities in this area, by targeting the languages, training in the union.
[433] Especially for young members.
[434] This union aims at increasing the skills of its members with various training and education schemes.
[435] Let's look at how we can get tr language training incorporated into these schemes to give, particularly our young members, an additional skill to use in their trade union work.
[436] We must work together in Europe, colleagues.
[437] We must work with trade unionists of different nationalities and language groups to make sure that European movement is united and speaks with one voice.
[438] The British do not have the best reputation for language skills, in fact, we probably have the worst.
[439] Let's be progressive enough to show our commitment to sister unions in other European countries by giving our members the language tools needed for the European trade union movement.
[440] I second the motion.
[441] Please support.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [442] Two four five?
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [443] Mel , Lancashire Region, moving motion two four five.
[444] President, Conference.
[445] The withdrawal of public funding for trade union training is yet another attack on the trade union movement within this country.
[446] In particular, an attack on this very union, the G M B.
[447] I say in particular our union because everyone here knows we probably have the largest and best training programme of any other union in Britain today.
[448] But there is a cost to that training, a large cost, and to some extent the allocation of public funding money offsets that cost.
[449] As I understand it, nearly a hundred and fifty thousand pound is allocated each year to the G M B.
[450] As that money disappears it will inevitably put more of a burden on the union.
[451] We need to ensure that we take the opportunity to look hard enough at the decisions which are to b er, to be made, to reassess how our training is to be provided.
[452] We've got a number of motions on the agenda asking for the C E C to look carefully at the cost of training at the National College and at the regional education courses.
[453] We had a motion which was put before Conference last year and it was carried and it was asking for a similar review to what's being asked for this morning.
[454] The cost of training should be very carefully considered.
[455] In that review which is being sought in the motion we need to think strategically, not just about our own provision, but to ensure that a large scale T U C provision is maintained.
[456] The T U C courses that are equally under threat, as pum public funding is withdrawn from them.
[457] The reality is the T U C provides training for more G M B representatives than does our own training programme and very often at considerably less, less cost, and certainly in my region, where we have a very close relationship with the T U, T U C, the training is of a very high standard.
[458] We must ensure that the T U C tr er, programme remains, otherwise the cost to our union funds will be astronomic.
[459] Therefore, we've got to review the training programme.
[460] We've got to grasp the nettle.
[461] Yes, there's going to be pain, but it's our future, what is at stake, when we talk about the education training of the activists within this organization.
[462] I call for, therefore for the C E C to bring back to Conference next year, a full report on how training should be given to the education and maintaining the activists of this union.
[463] Next year at Conference.
[464] Thank you.
Dick (PS2LY) [465] Thanks Mel.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [466] Formally seconded?
[467] Formally seconded, thank you.
[468] Motion two four six, Education, Birmingham Region.
Dick (PS2LY) [469] John , Birmingham Region, moving motion number two four six.
[470] President, comrades.
[471] In nineteen eighty nine, Mrs Margaret Thatcher said, I do not see why we should pay for the education of conflict.
[472] And for once in her misbegotten life she was right.
[473] Because trade union education is conflict based.
[474] It's based on the fight for better working conditions, it's based on the fight for health and safety and it's based on the fight for fair laws.
[475] What Mrs Thatcher and those who followed her did not say, was that it would be Tory Party policy to cause conflict, in their unremitting attack upon our movement.
[476] Examples of their prejudice are contained within the anti-trade union legislation passed and the shame of the treatment meted out to our brothers and sisters, in such places as Dover, G C H Q, Timex, local government and the present piecemeal destruction of our National Health Service and the attendant deaths that go with it.
[477] You look round, you can see the results of this misery that they have caused on any housing estate in the country, in the eyes of our youngsters condemned to a life on the dole.
[478] To our men and women chucked on the redundancy scrap heap.
[479] Yes, Mrs Thatcher spoke the truth all right, but it was her truth, not ours.
[480] In nineteen seventy nine the grant for trade union education stood at one point six million.
[481] That may seem a lot of money.
[482] But not when you put it into context with the vast sums of money spent supporting privatization, or the salaries of over privileged, so called captains of industries, industries that once belonged to this nation.
[483] The grant has not improved in any real sense to today's figure of one point seven win wrong one point seven five million and now it's the government's intent to reduce the grant by stages until nineteen seventy, nineteen ninety seven it will be removed completely.
[484] This is the continuance of Thatcher's truth, passed on by Major and his gang of incompetents.
[485] It is the attempted destruction of our ability to educate each other.
[486] Why should they be interested in our education?
[487] It's simple.
[488] The first line of defence for the trade union movement is you.
[489] You're the ones who defend the grievances and the disciplines, you're the ones who prepare the information for the industrial tribunals and there's no doubt about it, comrades, this one is aimed at you, the representatives.
[490] If your ability to gain the skills and information needed to combat the many complex issues that you have to deal with is impaired, then the government and employers will have what they want.
[491] A workforce kept in ignorance and unable to organize.
[492] This is the goal of the government's plan.
[493] You'll not hear from them about the confusion methods used to present figures on profits or unemployment.
[494] You will not hear about the inequality shown to our women, nor will they tell you about the workers killed by unsafe standards.
[495] You will not see government courses on combat and crisis management.
[496] No, comrades, the only place you'll receive such training is with our union.
[497] No wonder they choose to attack it.
[498] This motion is about recognizing what they're up to and also the valuable service offered to stewards and members through our regional and national education courses.
[499] It's also about the advancement of your personal skills.
[500] Many of you who come to this rostrum this week will have been trained in the democracy of congress before you got here.
[501] Our training is the best that any union can offer.
[502] It's the training of equality, the training of research and a measured approach ...
Dick (PS2LY) [503] Could you wind up now please.
Dick (PS2LY) [504] Right, President, and a measured approach to responsibilities and trust that is placed in you.
[505] I call upon you to maintain and improve that standard, to ensure that this government does not succeed in its attempt to deny working people the most valuable asset they can attain, knowledge.
[506] And with knowledge the result of fight for fair treatment for all workers.
[507] Okay President
Dick (PS2LY) [508] Colleagues, thanks very much indeed .
[509] Thanks a lot.
Dick (PS2LY) [510] I move.
Dick (PS2LY) [511] Thanks very much.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [512] Two four six seconded formally?
[513] Formally seconded, thank you.
[514] Motion two four seven, Lancashire to move.
Mick (PS2M0) [515] John , Lancashire Region, moving motion two four seven er, the one you've all been waiting to support.
[516] Congress, colleagues, I wanna begin by stressing that this motion is not about reducing the level of training the G M B offers its members.
[517] What it is about is using our members' money to benefit the people who represent them ... by moving the responsibility of training from national to regional level.
[518] That in, in turn will allow the C E C to dispose of the National College and in the process it should ensure this future is safe.
[519] We have real difficulties getting financial information regarding the National College.
[520] You will be aware that the National College warrants a whole page in the General Secretary's report.
[521] From that page eight, we can gleam the fact that seven, seventeen hundred stewards attended a total of a hundred and twenty four courses in nineteen ninety two.
[522] That is less than fourteen students a course.
[523] Also, a total of thirteen thousand, three hundred and fifty three delegates used it as a conference centre.
[524] In the mid eighties we invested our members money in a National Education Centre, and now ten years later it's become a Conference Centre and a hotel and we're not fully booked, can be used for training the stewards, along with the occasional Regional Council meeting for the Lancashire Region.
[525] Can I make a point to ya.
[526] Normally, or sometimes rather, we use the college for our Regional Council and I, I think on the last meeting we were discussing, the Regional Council members were discussing, the er, the amalgamation.
[527] And we were, how we were gonna combat it, and in the very next room were [...] or rather holding a conference on how to do us in.
[528] But, in our own college.
[529] Congress, the G M B is renowned for its ability to represent people.
[530] Trust House Forte is equally famous for providing conference centres.
[531] Colleagues, the membership is going down, the contributions are going up, the education grant will be history by nineteen ninety six.
[532] The National College has now become a financial liability that this union can no longer justify.
[533] Regional training is the answer, where stewards will receive training based on the need of the industries they are employed in.
[534] This motion is not seeking to score points off anybody.
[535] What it is doing is hoping that the college, our union's future will be secure.
[536] Support the motion.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [537] Two four seven formally seconded?
[538] Formally seconded, not formally seconded, Steve.
Eric (PS2M1) [539] I read no prejudice cos I'm not allowed to so.
[540] Steve , Lancashire Region.
[541] I'm at the rostrum this morning, supposedly seconding motion two four seven.
[542] The Lancashire Region, as the last speaker said, has tried through the proper channels to seek full financial information on the cost of running the college, and its finan financial burden on the union.
[543] It soon became apparent the way we were being footed about, we would have more chance of convincing Rupert Murdoch to stand as a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party.
[544] So, what's the reluctance to publicize the information we want?
[545] All we have in the General Secretary's report is one page.
[546] If you miss it it's on page eight.
[547] Yes, it tells us six hundred and forty seven thousand pound was raised to offset the G M B cost of retaining the college.
[548] The operative word being offset.
[549] What we wanted to know was how much does offset come to?
[550] In simple terms, what does it cost the union to keep the college open?
[551] If it's a great financial burden as we believe it is, that money, along with the money generated from the sale of the college, we will be better used spent on setting up regional ar educational system.
[552] Now I know this may cause a terrible dilemma for Alec and Bet Gilroy from, the proprietors of the Rovers Return, and you may well ask me, what's that got to do with this motion?
[553] For those of you that didn't know, several scenes of the National College are actually displayed in Coronation Street, so now at least you've got some useful information this week.
[554] Now, I've gotta tell ya, that in itself is enough for me to say close it, anything that's related to Co Coronation Street.
[555] Personally, forget as I say, I say it's enough for me.
[556] But seriously, I follow this report along with the Lancashire Region, the comments made by the mover of this motion and in the interests of financial commonsense, I urge the conference to support this motion.
[557] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [558] You're speaking in opposition Bert, are ya?
[559] Well, come to the rostrum, I just wish to make a point first.
[560] Now colleagues, after the S O C report this morning, I indicated that we had a lot of business to complete, today and tomorrow.
[561] Now, most delegates so far this morning, have in fact cooperated with that.
[562] But we can't have a situation where people are picking and choosing, because everybody'll want to do it.
[563] Now, I know colleagues some would like to stay till Sunday, or maybe even Monday next week, but we're not in that situation, so I again, I do appeal to all colleagues, all colleagues, you know, to assist in formally seconding, and to thank those that have done it so far.
[564] Bert.
(HUEPS000) [565] Yeah.
[566] Bert , the Fulham One branch, London Region.
[567] Erm, speaking in opposition to the motion to shut down the college.
[568] Mike in the audience and he'll probably give me a rollicking afterwards, cos I haven't prepared anything about this and I suspect I won't be able to speak till the red light.
[569] The college is not is not an ideal site for education.
[570] The architect of the college built the hotel, a bar and stuck a couple of classrooms on the end.
[571] Not withstanding that, I think it plays an extremely valuable role in the education and the training of our activists.
(HUEPS000) [572] It should not be looked upon as a cost, as a burden, but as an investment for our continuing prosperity in the trade union movement and more specifically the G M B.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
(HUEPS000) [573] People like myself, wouldn't have had the bottle, wouldn't have dreamed of coming up here if it hadn't been for the good work of people like Mike and Harry , who in my opinion do a superb job in training me, you, all of us in this union.
[574] Uniquely within the trade union movement, the G M B has a centre of excellence in Manchester, because that's what it is.
[575] As I mentioned those tutors are possibly unrivalled in the world of trade union education.
[576] Of course we should try and cut costs.
[577] People like me in the past used to rail that we had commercial enterprises using the college.
[578] I'll accept that, if we can nick some money from the private sector to educate our activists, so be it.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
(HUEPS000) [579] Naturally, I understand the balance of, the balance has got to be kept right and we shouldn't sacrifice the training of our activists to get more revenue in by renting it out to commercial firms, UNISON, I don't know, the Pet Food Retailers' Association or whatever.
[580] It's got to be kept in perspective.
[581] But I've just briefly looked at the education and training part of the General Secretary report and it says here, National College rammed a hundred and twenty four courses over a thirty week period attracting approximately seventeen hundred G M B representatives, a wide range of residential courses.
[582] Well, that's not bad is it for starters?
[583] And there's something else you should bear in mind as well.
[584] I do understand the need for regional education because clearly it's less expensive, but it's not just what you learn in that classroom at National College and any of, anybody who've been there will know that.
[585] You learn just as much in the corridors, in the bars, in the grounds, talking to your colleagues, fuelling each other 's enthusiasm and I certainly, every time I go to that college, I come back home full of renewed hope, fire and passion.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
(HUEPS000) [586] Oppose this motion.
Dick (PS2LY) [587] Two four nine, Birmingham.
Doug (PS2M2) [588] President, Congress.
[589] Cliff er, Birmingham and West Midlands Region, moving motion two four nine.
[590] This is addressed to an area which we seem to miss in our training.
[591] Some four and a half years ago when I was elected as a branch secretary of a fairly substantial branch in the Birmingham Region, I had two hours with the then finance officer and he said, well it didn't last the two hours, and he said er, well you know all there is to know now, about how to run this branch.
[592] If you've got any problems have a look and see what people have done before, but if you make any mistakes, we'll write and tell you what you've done wrong.
[593] I haven't had a lot of letters from Regional Office, I've had one or two.
[594] Er, I know I've made some mistakes which they've missed and I've managed to put those right as I went on.
[595] It is difficult, especially with larger branches who still retain some considerable cash collection, I turn over somewhere in the region of eight thousand pounds a year, which isn't bad in, in this day and age.
[596] I've got to advise auditors er, how they can do their job,
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [...]
Doug (PS2M2) [597] I've gotta advise people of the correct forms, the correct er, way of going about things and what benefits there are available.
[598] A lot of the benefits, yes we know about.
[599] But there are things that we're not avail er, we're not aware of and I'm looked on as something of an expert, so God help those people who come and ask me er, what there is, what forms they should use and what is available on the, in the organization, if I'm looked upon as an expert.
[600] What I want to, for you to do, is to pass this and for the C E C to look at providing some education specifically to the administration and the running of branches.
[601] Let's become professional at branch level, because at branch level is where we carry the administration of this organization.
[602] I move.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [603] Motion two four nine formally seconded?
[604] Thank you very much.
[605] I call Paul to put the C E C position.
[606] A jogging Paul . [laugh]
John (PS2M3) [607] Erm Paul , London Region er, putting the response from the C E C.
[608] Can I first very quickly er, congratulate Sue and Eddie on behalf of the London Region.
[609] We understand they're about to or shortly become grandparents.
[610] Erm, well done er, the only thing that Eddie now needs is Hughie 's elocution pack and all his Christmases will have come at once.
[611] Erm, Congress C E C has asked you to accept motion two four four with the qualification, support motions two four five, two four six and two four eight and accept motion two four nine also with the qualification.
[612] We are seeking the withdrawal of motion two four seven.
[613] Motion two four four deals with the fundamental issues of new technology and developments towards greater union cooperation in Europe.
[614] The issue of technology training is currently under review and the G M B, W E A partnership in establishing the Labour Telematics Training Centre at National College for a pilot project lasting twelve months is proof of how seriously we take this subject.
[615] Frank , an initial training project er, language training project in support of the G M B initiatives is shortly to start at National College.
[616] We really need a bit of time to evaluate that and that's the qualification that we're putting on that.
[617] The idea of financial and administrative training in motion two four nine is a good one.
[618] However, it would be virtually impossible to force that onto people, on the branch officers and we recommend acceptance again with that qualification.
[619] Just er, slightly deviating, I come to motion two four seven, which asks the C E C to dispose of the National College.
[620] We recognize, all of us I'm sure, that during periods of tight, financial stringency most sectional activity is beyond examination and inspe inspection ... as Mel who moved two four five requested.
[621] But you know erm, the training committee's view that National College has already achieved savings and approved efficiency while mainin maintaining standards, and the huge number, over seven thousand G M B members participating in some form of activity at a National College last year.
[622] The college provides a National vocal point for the G M B and to both National and International vis visitors, symbolizing the best of this organization stands for.
[623] I think, that the movers of two four seven did not create, or seek to create an intention of concern, but you know there's something else that many speakers have done this week when they've come to this rostrum.
[624] They've talked about the way that employers, that employers treat workers, and do you know what that resolution does, because it's printed in the preliminary agenda and I make no apologies for saying this.
[625] Printed in the preliminary agenda and the staff who work diligently on your behalf all the year round, see a resolution like that on the conference floor, about whether or not they're gonna have a job at the end of this week it's not the best way to do business.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
John (PS2M3) [626] I don't believe John, that that was the intent of the resolution, I'm certain of that, that is the effect and I think in the interests of everybody, I'd ask you on behalf of the C E C to withdraw that motion.
[627] If you won't, I hope you, if you won't, then I'll ask Congress to oppose.
[628] Thank you very much President.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [629] Colleagues, I put the motions to the vote.
[630] First one's motion two four four.
[631] That's being accepted.
[632] All those in favour?
[633] Against?
[634] That's carried.
[635] Motion two four five is being accepted.
[636] All those in favour?
[637] Against?
[638] That's carried.
[639] Motion two four six is being accepted.
[640] All those in favour?
[641] Against?
[642] That's carried.
[643] Motion two four seven, John, you're being asked to withdraw.
[644] Right.
[645] C E C are therefore asking you to oppose the motion.
[646] All those in favour of the motion?
[647] Against?
[648] That's lost.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [649] Motion two four nine is being accepted.
[650] All those in favour?
[651] Against?
[652] That's carried.
[653] Thanks very much indeed colleagues.
[654] Colleagues, we now come to part of our agenda that's extremely pleasant.
[655] As I mentioned to you on Sunday morning we usually deal with, usually deal with this particular matter on Sunday morning, but we decided that because our new young members' section is growing in its influence and activity and, of course, we now have resolutions on the agenda that this now warranted er, separate attention er, on the agenda.
[656] And I refer, of course, to the G M B youth award.
[657] And of course, if this union and the trade union movement is to prosper then we must encourage our young people to come through.
[658] To come through, to become conveners, branch secretaries, yes regional secretaries and occasionally general secretaries of the union, and we need more women.
[659] So I'm particularly pleased this morning that the award is going to a young woman and I'm equally more pleased that it's going to a young woman from the Lancashire Region.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [660] And I'm more pleased that it's going to a young member in the textiles section because that's a very difficult section.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [661] We all know textiles has had the grind for years and years and years and all our activity, all our activists, the shop stewards and the branch secretaries and conveners in that particular section, they need a lot of support, especially the young people.
[662] And in this connection, the award this year goes to Catherine who already has got a fairly formidable pedigree in the movement, shop steward, member of a branch committee, trades council, young members' advisory committee, the National Committee but I think best thing so far, she's actually chaired the T U C young members' conference and that's an achievement for this union as well.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [663] So, I hope she goes places, I really do because young members and young trade unionists in this union are gonna get this union's support so, go back to your branches and tell everybody that.
[664] We want 'em to come through.
[665] Colleagues, it's my pleasure to make the award to Catherine on behalf of your, your union.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
(HUEPS001) [666] Thank you.
[667] Er, I'd like to say thanks to me branch for nominating me up first place for this award.
[668] I'd also like to say special thanks to me Regional Secretary, Ernie and also Regional President, Mel .
[669] Er, special thanks also to Neil for all support and encouragement that he's given me.
[670] I'd like to say that I do sit on T U C youth forum and the G M B have the strongest, most active youth section so let's keep it that way and give our young members all the support and encouragement they deserve.
[671] I would just like again to say special thanks to Ernie, Mel and Neil for all their support and I hope they're gonna be first in bar to buy me a drink.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [672] Okay, now in this connection colleagues, the Deputy General Secretary's report, pages one O eight, one O nine, one one O, one one one, one one two and one one three, and I call composite motion number nine, unemployment of young people, Southern Region.
Les (PS2M5) [673] Congress, Mr President, Steven , Brussels branch, Southern Region.
[674] Congress, there's a very familiar phrase which is often used in the English language, a phrase which many of you may have used yourselves from time to time.
[675] Youngsters today, it is said, have never had it so good.
[676] You've all heard it and many of you may still believe it.
[677] But what young members, what young people find ironic, is that the same people who are telling them they've never had it so good, in the same breath accuse them of being responsible for high community crime levels, drug and alcohol abuse and the violence.
[678] But the funny thing which strikes many young people is that they are being made scapegoats, then it is certainly not because they've had it so good.
[679] One million of them are under twenty five years of age, a disproportionately high number, you'll agree.
[680] This figure is a national disgrace and reflects totally the continued failure of this government to invest in high quality education and training for young people.
[681] Despite all the fine statements that young people are the future of the country, they are still a disadvantaged group and will remain so until they are made a priority policy target.
[682] One million youngsters unemployed, colleagues, what a waste of human talent and energy, what a waste of a vital community resource.
[683] And imagine the demoralizing effect that this is having on them.
[684] Young people three, four years out of college and have never had a job.
[685] Is there any wonder that their attention and energies are diverted to elsewhere.
[686] But for those who do have a job, it's hardly plain sailing.
[687] Cheap labour, low pay and conditions er, poor conditions are all characteristics of the young person at work.
[688] They are discriminated against because of their age.
[689] We can all think of spec specific cases, I will describe just one.
[690] Jim left school at sixteen, joined a Y T S scheme, years ago, with an electrics company.
[691] He was on the scheme for a year and then stayed as a trainee earning thirty pounds a week.
[692] He stuck this out for three years and finally qualified as an electrician in his own right.
[693] The same firm immediately sacked him, because they would have to increase his wages and he's never had a proper job since.
[694] Just one example of how vulnerable the young person is in the workplace.
[695] We can all think of other examples.
[696] Colleagues, young people need the special and particular protection of the unions.
[697] They must be a priority target group, so we can prevent exploitation and discrimination and provide them with adequate training in health and safety and other matters.
[698] In this context the campaign for a minimum wage has never been more urgent.
[699] But this union does have a good track record in campaigning for young people.
[700] The young members section has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years.
[701] Young members have this excellent magazine, Issue, which you'll find in front of you this morning.
[702] It is the only union youth magazine which exists in the U K and it specifically addresses young people's problems, fears and hopes.
[703] My only criticism is that it doesn't come out often enough.
[704] We need more issues of Issue, Mr President.
[705] But let's look at how we can increase young peop members' participation in this union, at how we can address the problem of recruiting young people.
[706] Fourteen years of Tory government have taken their toll on the impression, on young people's impression of trade unions.
[707] These impressions are more likely to be negative than positive, or even neutral.
[708] Never forget colleagues, that there are thousands and thousands of young people in our society who are frustrated, disappointed, angry and in desperate need of union protection.
[709] They are the future of the G M B, let's get them in and let's keep them in.
[710] I move.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [711] Comp nine formally seconded?
[712] Formally seconded?
[713] Thanks very much.
[714] Motion two four eight.
[715] Youth G M B Scotland to move.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [716] , G M B Scotland, moving motion two four eight.
[717] President, Congress.
[718] We must recognize the need to encourage a youth of the G M B to participate more fully within the union.
[719] The G M B is now the leading union in youth affairs.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [720] Recruitment of the young into the G M B is essential, as youth represents the future of this country as well as the future of the union.
[721] However, the reality for young people whom we represent in the nineteen nineties is that they face the prospects of having to survive in a declining British economy.
[722] Youth unemployment is now a serious problem in Britain and many under the age of twenty five have never had a real, permanent job.
[723] According to a Labour Par a Labour Party survey based on information from Scotland's job centres, eighteen to twenty few twenty four year old out of work has risen by twenty eight percent since nineteen ninety.
[724] Many youngsters have never known the satisfaction of being handed a wage packet and it can be so soul destroying for them.
[725] The feeling of helplessness must be so overpowering as young one, as one young man told me, we are the forgotten ones.
[726] This government is doing nothing to give them hope and their pride back.
[727] The G M B is a legal union in youth affairs.
[728] We have appointed a National Youth Officer and we have been there leading the way, ensuring that young people have a voice in Britain's second largest union.
[729] Every region round the country now has a regional advisory youth committee and nearly all has an annual youth conference.
[730] More training of young members should be provided as well as distribution of literature aimed at young people.
[731] We must encourage a youth to become shop stewards and safety representatives.
[732] We must ensure that black and ethnic minorities are represented in our youth section and those with disabilities who are very often forgotten about.
[733] The youth represents the future of our country and our union.
[734] Educate them early of the benefits of being in a trade union.
[735] We would also benefit from their outlook and their fresh ideas.
[736] The young will encourage their friends and workmates, not only increasing the membership but mating, making our union stronger.
[737] I move.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [738] Two four eight formally seconded?
[739] Formally seconded, thank you.
[740] Motion four three four, Northern Region to move.
Les (PS2M5) [741] President, Congress.
[742] Sean , Northern Region, moving motion four three four.
[743] Congress, any delegate who lives in a university town or who has a son or daughter at college can testify to the special promotions that all banks offer to students.
[744] Some banks, colleagues, offer twenty five pound when the student first opens an account.
[745] Some offer a free filofax, and others offer book tokens or record vouchers.
[746] Banks offer such goodies, not because students are rich and represent good business to the banks, not colleagues, because out of the goodness of their hearts they believe students need a helping hand.
[747] No, all of Britain's high street banks offer special rates and free gifts to students because they know that those in training and attending college are a, are the prospective workforce of tomorrow.
[748] They also know that once a person joins a bank, in most cases, they do so for life.
[749] In short, colleagues, it's an investment.
[750] Motion four three four, Congress, calls upon the C E C to adopt the same attitudes as the banks.
[751] Not to give freebies but to invest in the workers of the future.
[752] After all colleagues, General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army said, why should the devil have all the best tunes?
[753] Congress, I urge you to support motion four three four.
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LY) [754] Four three four formally seconded?
[755] Thanks very much.
[756] C E C are seeking reference for four three four and I call Paul .
Unknown speaker (HUEPSUNK) [757] Paul , Southern Region, speaking on behalf of the C E C.
[758] President, Congress.
[759] The C E C is asking you to support composite nine, motion two four eight and refer motion four three four.
[760] Composite nine is about putting young people back to work and that has to be a priority in a year which has seen youth unemployment hit the one million mark.
[761] Our own young members' section earlier this year, highlighted the plight of those hundreds of thousands of sixteen year olds, who started nineteen ninety three without a job.
[762] This summer there'll be trying by thousands more as they come out of school and straight into obscurity.
[763] Victims of the government's youth training guarantee.
[764] The unset seen scandal of Major's Britain, a hundred and twenty thousand, sixteen to twenty four year olds, not on the register, not in a job, no scheme to join and no benefit available.
[765] A recent survey found one in six young people, including some of school age, earning less than one pound an hour.
[766] What sort of employers are there out there, that exploiting these young people?
[767] It's a disgrace and we should campaign and find out where these employers are and publicly put 'em to shame.
[768] What a way to treat young people.
[769] What a way to run an economy.