Trade Union Annual Congress. Sample containing about 13718 words speech recorded in business context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C785

PS2HY X m (Dick, age unknown, president of trade union) unspecified
PS2J0 X m (Mick, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2J1 X m (Duncan, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2J2 X m (John, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2J3 X f (Sally, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2J4 X m (Frank, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2J5 X f (Avril, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2J6 X m (William, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2J7 X m (Paul, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
KLYPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
KLYPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100909 recorded on 1993-06-07. LocationHampshire: Portsmouth ( The Guildhall ) Activity: trade union congress speech

Undivided text

Duncan (PS2J1) [1] Region I want to make some comments about the UNISON er section of the report, because er I think it's concerning me that er we're basically not getting our act together.
[2] July the first [...] more members er in, in, in local authorities than er than we've got in the whole of our union right and we've got twenty five per cent of our membership in, in local authorities and we're getting hammered and we're also getting at the same time [...] privatization, we're seeing local authorities being broken up and we're seeing a creation of large numbers of employers.
[3] In my, in, in Manchester we've got two hundred and fifty odd [...] in our Council which means we've two hundred and fifty different employers.
[4] It's when they start getting round to looking at our facility agreements, start looking at how we're organizing, the councillors, even if it's the Labour Council as it is Manchester, will soon cotton on to the, in the, soon cotton to their, their, their potential power in terms of threatening our ability to organize and UNISON won't actually be that far behind persuading them to do, to do that because they want to see the G M B getting smashed in local authorities up and down the country which means as far as I can see, we need some resources coming in to assist in our branches with local authority membership pretty damn quick, because otherwise we, come July the first, we're gonna find we'll be up against it.
[5] Already we're seeing [...] sector the er, those er [...] new independent colleges coming along and saying [...] do you recognize, er G M B and er during the single union agreement with UNISON and we've gotta get our act together cos the [...] only with thing that's going on, we're seeing local authorities getting smashed up and we're seeing UNISON which will be going right across the board.
[6] It'll put us when we've been in the majority er in manual workers in local authorities.
[7] If we're not careful they'll be demanding single table bargaining and they'll be then putting us in the minority in local authorities and we're gonna see this union under tremendous offensive as a quarter of our membership in local authorities, so we need to get our act together and get on top of this now.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [8] Mick to respond.
Mick (PS2J0) [9] Thank you President.
[10] I'll er respond to er to Phil from Southern Region to the first comment that er that, that, that she made.
[11] Yes, we do need to fight and I did make reference that we need not just to organize and cooperate with other public sector workers, but we actually need to build a campaign with the users of the services.
[12] We actually need to be out in the community working with people who are dependent upon those services and at the same time we've got to recognize that our nationally agreed terms and conditions are under serious threat.
[13] We need to inform and to educate our members and as Duncan said we need to get the resources down to local level.
[14] Liz makes the comment about care in the community and the back door to privatization of our care services.
[15] Yes, that is on the agenda for the Tory government.
[16] Care in the community?
[17] Yes we all agree with the principle.
[18] Unfortunately yet again the servicer has been denied the adequate resources available to implement decent care.
[19] It's ironical that only last week the National Association of Private Residential Homes were saying that they will be going bust as a result of inadequate funding.
[20] In respect of in public services, it was a minefield for a long time and perhaps we did not react as we should have done in the early eighties.
[21] Hopefully, I know we've got problems with those er colleagues who lost their jobs since that time, but we now feel that we are providing the best advice, the best service in respect of advising members on [...] and the acquired rights directive.
[22] At the Congress today, there are copies of the new updated briefing pack.
[23] It's our intention to take our researchers and our legal department around the regions to speak and to advise their representatives' elected members on issues relating to [...] .
[24] Bert made the comment about the front bench.
[25] Erm we're not always privy to what goes on with the front bench, but yes we have established regular dialogue with Jack Straw and the environment team, in order that we make sure we are saying the same thing.
[26] The A M A clause which has been included now in many of the contracts and the tender documents was a clear demonstration of the work done between the front bench, Walworth Road and the local government trade unions.
[27] Duncan asked about UNISON.
[28] Yes it is gonna a huge organization.
[29] We have got the expertise to cope with the changing face of local government.
[30] We have discussed as Duncan knows at the National Committee a strategy in order that we can address key issues and get the resources down to where they actually are needed and increasingly that is gonna be at local level.
[31] I think President that covers most of the points.
[32] Thank you.
Dick (PS2HY) [33] Thanks very much Mick.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [34] Colleagues we now turn to the Public Services Debate and in this particular debate propose to call composite twelve Transfer of Undertakings E C Acquired Rights Directive, motion two nine four Compulsory Competitive Tendering, motion two nine five Local Government Severance Schemes, composite thirteen Cuts in Council Services, motion two nine eight Local Authority Wage Restraint, motion two nine nine Pay Policies, motion three O two Protection for Residential Workers and emergency motion one the Crawley Dispute.
[35] I now call composite motion twelve to move by London Region, Liverpool Region to second and colleagues it would be helpful if the movers and the seconders of all the other motions would come down to the front.
John (PS2J2) [36] Er John London Region moving composite number twelve on the Transfer of Undertakings and Acquired Rights Directive.
[37] President, Congress, brothers and sisters the G M B is a general broad-based union, so the people here, the delegates here from the private sector may wonder what the fuss is about, as my colleague from London asked why wasn't all this kicked about twelve years ago?
[38] The problem is the government said that non-commercial undertakings as they define them, local authorities, health authorities and the Civil Service were exempt from the regulations.
[39] This was along with their miscarried philosophy of private sector good, public sector bad.
[40] The, the, the anomaly here [...] this is when they set up the C C T legislation, all the services contracted out had to make a [...] of return that's a profit in any language and that to me is a commercial decision and should never have been exempted from the very start anyway.
[41] Recent decisions from Europe give clear rules as far as the union's concerned and I hope the Labour Party.
[42] It protects the pay and conditions.
[43] The government is obviously trying to muddy the waters, they're claiming that if we put clauses in the contracts, [...] contract is to bid for the tenders, it's [...] competitive.
[44] This is nonsense.
[45] They're now even [...] on to the vile Trade Union Reform Bill, they're accepting it admittedly but [...] but they're accepting it, but it's in the wrong Bill it's in the wrong place it should be up in the front.
[46] They claim C C T was about efficiency, Compulsory Competitive Tendering.
[47] This now gives the light to it.
[48] This was only here to drive down wages and conditions of our members.
[49] It didn't matter to be honest in some contracts whether we won or lost [...] against other people low paid workers, exploitation by the contractors.
[50] The reason I joined the G M B and I'm sure most of you was, in good times the G M B looks for improvements in pay and conditions, in bad times we look for holding on to what we have got.
[51] This gives us the chance, this helps us but that's all it does.
[52] The union itself, the members will also have to do something about this as well.
[53] Local authorities have been subject of budget cuts, rate cutting and unfortunately redundancies over the last dozen years or more.
[54] The G M B and other unions, but principally the G M B cos that's one I'm concerned about, needs to pressurize councillors and officers because councillors and officers have been bombarded with almost as much legislation as the trade unions have had from the Tory government and most of them actually just want an easy time, so you've got to hassle them, you got to harass them what they do.
[55] We have done this locally in my local authority.
[56] We've got to spend the award of the contract the day before because I put the leader of the council on the spot.
[57] They took legal advice and now they're going to re-do the tender with the clause in it, we done it locally.
[58] We've also [...] in London, the London Region took, took [...] tribunal for caretakers who were, who were not transferred from a school and we won that tribunal.
[59] It can be done, we need to move this up internationally because what we need to do is show the members that we can fight back.
[60] This gives us something that hangs, hangs the legislation on, this gives us a chink of sunshine in all the doom and gloom.
[61] C C T to some extend preceded the recession because it brought on members down to conditions that other people are now suffering.
[62] This was what a boost to when we won that thing at [...] to the stewards and the members, it really was it was an uplift.
[63] People were saying the union can do something we can fight back and we need to translate that right across the country.
[64] As Mick said, it's not a [...] it's not the end of things, C C T will remain until the Labour government get back in.
[65] However, and it also has a down- side because now the contractors will be able to see the information which used to be confidential that local authorities will be putting on the table, but the point is it's a chink, it's a way forward we need to build on this.
[66] Let's exploit this,let let's use this not just for the existing members, let's use this as a recruitment tool.
[67] We can go out and say we can fight them now, we can do it, we can use this legislation.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
John (PS2J2) [68] I say we should [...] this we should publicize this because we can win on this.
[69] I move.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [70] For the seconder of composite twelve, formally seconded.
[71] Thanks very much.
[72] Motion two nine four G M B Scotland to move.
Sally (PS2J3) [73] Sally Pickles, G M B Scotland moving motion two nine four Compulsory Competitive Tendering.
[74] President, Congress, since nineteen seventy nine local authorities and public services have been under attack from the Tory government.
[75] Attack after attack through privatization, compulsory tendering and hospital opt- outs.
[76] These attacks and ... these attacks and the anti-town hall and pro-Whitehall legislation has resulted in many G M B members suffering drastic cuts in wages.
[77] Er, women workers mainly part- time and school cleaning and school meal services have had fundamental changes in the conditions of service.
[78] Privatization for our members has meant more work for less pay with less people and with less time to complete the work.
[79] The, the Tories claim that that local authorities must be more competitive than the market place.
[80] Well we don't disagree with that.
[81] We all share the view that local authority services should be provided by highly motivated, highly trained professional staff but local authorities have had their budgets cut from central government over the last thirteen years which has restricted the amount of finance available for training and has cut to the bone the finance available to provide efficient and effective services to the consumer.
[82] Congress, the, the blatant exploitation of, of our members is totally unacceptable.
[83] We should debate and argue at, at every level to ensure the local government receives the money available to provide efficient, effective services and, and not be subject to the whims of the market economy where cowboy contractors can come in and undercut in-house tenders in order to gain local authority services.
[84] Whilst computing was the cowboy contractors in ... in order for our members to keep their jobs hours have been cut, bonuses have been cut and arrangements for a working year have been changed and many many other things have been altered in order for people to save their jobs within local authority services.
[85] Compulsory competitive tendering is not the way forward, what is needed is quality services provided by a quality workforce.
[86] The G M B must continue to argue at every ... at, at every level locally, regionally and nationally to ensure that our members are properly trained to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
[87] President we should be under no illusion that this reactionary government will continue to attack local government ... to attack local ... to attack local government our public services are at the mercy of the fast-buck merchants within the private contractors who are bidding for council services.
[88] We should continue to debate with local authorities to ensure that quality is included in the specifications for direct works.
[89] Quality that means providing a quality service with a quality workforce.
[90] President what this motion is calling for is a political backing required to remove compulsory competitive tendering.
[91] In the meantime, the G M B will continue to take a high profile and negotiations in order to fulfil our members' expectations.
[92] Thank you Congress.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [93] The seconder of [...] formally seconded.
[94] Formally seconded.
[95] Thank you very much.
[96] Motion two nine five Local Government Severance Schemes G M B Scotland to move. ...
Frank (PS2J4) [97] Frank G M B Scotland motion two nine five Local Government Severance Schemes.
[98] [...] some of you may not know the history of this decision.
[99] [...] reports for nineteen ninety one to nineteen ninety two the Metropolitan Borough of [...] the outcome of which [...] local authorities [...] in redundancy pay.
[100] This is quite clearly a case of discrimination.
[101] Discrimination between local authorities in the private sector, the private sector being allowed to set their own levels of redundancy payments, the local authorities having to stick to statutory [...] .
[102] The discrimination between the local authorities throughout the country and the London boroughs ... [sneeze] pardon me are not included in this decision, in fact they're exempt from it.
[103] Colleagues this is taking away the trade union's right to negotiate a redundancy package on behalf of our members ... we need to negotiate a package when it's required for the members and for the members being forced out of their jobs with just a statutory [...] they should recompense [...] their service.
[104] Congress we in the public services have failed, have faced imposed redundancies since the introduction of C C T.
[105] We're under the constant threat of job losses.
[106] Redundancies brought about spending cuts to the public sector and by the extension of C C T.
[107] We have a government who are intent on privatization at whatever cost, a government with no consideration for the people of this country.
[108] We now even have a situation where some of our members [...] that the local authorities have now been given guidelines to recover the monies paid to them and [...] .
[109] All this decision means was in the public services there [...] much greater use of a compulsory redundancy that reduces job security and results in much lower redundancy payments.
[110] It also makes local government less attractive [...] employer.
[111] We in the public services provide a higher standard of efficiency and quality, in fact we provide a service that's second to none.
[112] We shouldn't have to compete with anyone.
[113] What we need is a good employment practice, not shifting of a goal post at every turn.
[114] Just to finish up colleagues this should not be seen as a willingness for local authority workers to give up their jobs, but it needs to be sorted so that our brothers and sisters who are forced into redundancy receive fair recompense for their loss.
[115] I move.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [116] Seconder two nine five.
[117] Formally seconded.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2HY) [118] Thank you.
[119] Composite thirteen Cuts in Council Services, Liverpool Region to move, South Western Region to second.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [120] Liverpool, North Wales, Irish Region.
[121] President, Congress, we move this motion, er I'd just like give you some examples.
[122] Being a local councillor [...] suspended and I've been up and down like a yo-yo, as regarding the principles of this government.
[123] [sniff] What's happening to the local government this time [...] of the democracy and they have been savagely attacked [...] savagely attacked at the locally controlled Labour councils.
[124] The standard spending assessments doesn't take into account the influence to spend, especially on the economic, unemployment and health issues.
[125] The government has drastically underfunded the [...] in the community programme, the government is [...] programme.
[126] This will have a major effect on the jobs and services councils will not be able to raise cash by other means.
[127] Compulsory competitive tendering is seen by the government as a means of eroding the working conditions.
[128] Conditions of brothers and sisters [...] for many years.
[129] Competition within the white collar section is another nail in the coffin and an attempt to reduce to the paying conditions.
[130] The Citizens' Charter was introduced [...] local authorities money to achieve.
[131] The issues of education, schools now are in control over their own budgets and if not handled properly will become a recipe for disaster.
[132] Prospects of wholesale changes in working practices and conditions of services, if we will be if we are able to compete with the private sector in an aggressive market.
[133] I call on the C E C and if you can find any Labour MPs to ensure maximum publicity to expose the cynical corrupt activities of this Tory government by mounting a campaign to make its government provide adequate services.
[134] I move
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [135] Thanks colleague.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [136] The seconder for composite thirteen.
[137] The seconder for composite thirteen.
[138] Can I just say colleagues before you, you second the motion, there is this hubbub again that's growing, I mean it seems to go down and I don't know perhaps it's like the tide but can we try and keep it a bit lower, especially when colleagues are trying to make a speech from the rostrum.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Avril (PS2J5) [139] Thank you President.
[140] Avril , South Western Region seconding composite thirteen.
[141] President, Conference motion two nine six condemns this government's scandalously low spending levels imposed on local authorities causing drastic cutbacks in social services, who provides facilities for society's most vulnerable citizens, the old, sick and disabled.
[142] To show how safe services are in the hands of this government, you only have to study John Major's speech to the Society of County Treasurers at his Annual Dinner in London last December and I quote, together we have achieved much over the last decade to improve the services we provide for the people we serve and the environment in which they live, unquote.
[143] Well colleagues, he's achieved a lot of things, but it hasn't been in cooperation with local governments.
[144] Cooperation means working hand-in-hand, not hand-to-mouth.
[145] It's been in contradiction to the wishes of the voters of this country.
[146] Conference he's pushed up unemployment, he's achieved cuts on training budgets and used training enterprise councils.
[147] He has cut public transport funding and cut in the number of people employed in the public transport service.
[148] He has cut the number of schools and colleges and increased the size of classes.
[149] He has watched homelessness rise and yet he has cut public building programmes.
[150] Low cost housing has become less and less available, as councils have been refused the resources to build ... and of course this savage and unwarranted cuts in the social services.
[151] While councils are striving to avoid compulsory redundancies and adopting restrictions on recruitment, freezing posts and voluntary severance as alternative, compulsory redundancies are taking place.
[152] The scale of the [...] mean that virtually every service is affected in one part of the country or another.
[153] President, the Association of Directors of Social Services recently published the results of its survey on Social Services Department nineteen ninety three budget plans.
[154] With a response rate of seventy eight per cent the A D F F survey reveals that in eighty two per cent of the eighty four authorities that replied, budget reductions were planned and in a further eight per cent a standstill budget was expected.
[155] Conference, I ask you, with that response what does that hold for our social services within our communities and how hopelessly helpless we must feel that given we will certainly not?
[156] Colleagues, this motion falls upon the C E C and Labour MPs to mount a campaign to pressurize the government into providing adequate funding to not only maintain, but to improve much needed services.
[157] Please support.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [158] Two nine eight Local Authority Wage Restraint G M B Scotland to move.
William (PS2J6) [159] William G M B Scotland moving motion two nine eight Local Government Wage Restraint.
[160] President, delegates, when this resolution was drawn up and passed by my branch at the latter part of nineteen ninety two, we understood the text of Chancellor Lamont's Autumn Statement regarding public sector workers and a ceiling of one point five per cent on pay increases starting in nineteen ninety three.
[161] It was to drive another nail into the coffin, into the public service's coffin, to go alongside compulsory competitive tendering, erosion of working conditions and compulsory redundancies just to satisfy their own political dogma not caring about the citizens of this country, whose quality of life depends on them the services provided by the public sector.
[162] Since the government's Autumn Statement we have seen increased health service charges, transport increases etcetera and now we hear in the recent Budget the result of Black Wednesday in September nineteen ninety two of which billions of pounds were thrown down the drain that workers will be expected to bear the burden once again.
[163] VAT to be imposed on gas on electricity bills and many other items, too many to mention at this rostrum.
[164] Delegates, this resolution is about uniting all of the unions in the public sector, after all we did it in nineteen seventy nine and as we all know that was against our Labour government, with one aim, to reject this government's pay policy and to combine and fight for a pay increase which we'll endeavour to counter the savage attacks which are being made against public service workers.
[165] [...] every local authority and this is where the sponsored councillors can play a major part in this campaign, to fight for justice on behalf of their employees.
[166] Let's also use our union [...] and other publications to publish details of their campaign.
[167] Let's have major demonstrations and all of the major [...] with the regional and national leaders to the forefront and highlight to the people what our case is about and seek their support.
[168] Congress, I know I'm speaking to the [...] team, but it's up to us and the activists who are not here to motivate our members and get this campaign off the ground and by supporting this motion, we will be putting the first foot on the ladder to defeating the government's pay policy.
[169] Congress, please support the motion.
[170] I move.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [171] Is there a seconder for two nine eight?
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2HY) [172] Formally seconded.
[173] Thank you.
[174] Motion two nine nine Liverpool Region to move. ...
Paul (PS2J7) [175] President, Congress.
[176] Paul , Liverpool, North Wales and Irish Region.
[177] I welcome the opportunity to discuss the motion on pay policies.
[178] Judging by the mood of the Conference and the [...] realities, er [...] realities see more [...] than ever before.
[179] Week after week, year after year, the economic failures of the Tories are apparent and every day of the failure we have seen the most valued assets, the people of this country, bear the blame and pay the price.
[180] The Tories' reduction of public borrowing has been [...] [cough] excuse me has seen many public services destroyed or disappeared forever.
[181] Yet what workforce is left is asked, no it's told that one point five is a sufficient pay rise given the present economic climate, the catch being up to one point five, not one point five.
[182] We all know that one point five of thirty thousand pound is far better than one point five of three thousand pound, yet with the present government crisis the T U C lacks in leadership in building a campaign to reject the pay policy.
[183] The issue needs to be pushed to the front of the T U C agenda and a rolling programme of industrial action in key services nationwide throughout the public services should take place.
[184] There also needs to be collective approach so every union worker in this section rejects the present derisory offer and builds on a campaign run by the Fire Brigade Union.
[185] An acceptance of this offer without a fight will certainly lead to the future offers of any, if any being even lower.
[186] I move.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [187] [cough] Ian Liverpool, North Wales and Irish Region.
[188] When the Tory government announced the one and a half per cent pay ceiling for public service workers, many public service workers quite rightly so, were angry.
[189] There's an old saying don't get mad, get even, and the only way we're gonna get even with this government and we have to learn a lesson from history, is to do to this government what unfortunately we had to do in nineteen seventy nine and if any government deserve to be taken on, then it's this Tory government.
[190] The thing that saddens me is that we're supposed to have a T U C, that organization is supposed to draw together the various trade unions and what are we seeing, an ideal opportunity slipped from our grasp when the miners were facing the issue of jobs to public service workers should have linked up with the miners and we should have took the government on
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [191] on the question
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [192] of pay
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping] ...
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [193] and because of the ineptitude of the leadership of the T U C, that opportunity has been lost and what are we also seeing in the public sector?
[194] That group after group have capitulated.
[195] They've not capitulated because they've not been prepared to fight, they've capitulated because there was no coordinated er, organizations to pull them together.
[196] I honestly believe that the rail workers wouldn't have accepted the one and a half per cent, other workers wouldn't have accepted the one and a half per cent if they believed that they were on their own that they were gonna fight in isolation.
[197] Sadly we've lost the opportunity with a couple of groups, but there are still other group left in the fight, this union has the ideal opportunity to spearhead that fight and I ask Conference to support the motion.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [198] Motion three O two Protection for Residential Workers, Birmingham Region to move.
[199] Formally moved, is that formally seconded?
[200] Thanks very much indeed.
[201] I call emergency motion number one the Crawley Dispute to be moved by Southern Region. ...
Dick (PS2HY) [202] Colleagues, Dermott , Southern Region moving emergency motion one Crawley Dispute.
[203] Tylers the Company that won the tender when Crawley District Council put it out of a bunch of gangsters ... and on the first of February Crawley District Council awarded under C C T their refuse contract to Tylers as the cheapest tenderer.
[204] Tylers have never recognized any union and are well known for the low rates and poor conditions that they impose on their workers.
[205] They are also totally anti-trade union, even half of the contractors think they are cowboys, gangsters amongst cowboys.
[206] For many weeks prior to the first of February we attempted to get a district council, a Labour council to agree that [...] should apply in the case.
[207] They refused on the advice from the Department of the Environment.
[208] The first step taken by Tylers was to impose substantially reduced terms and conditions, the next step was to tell G M B members that they must work as many hours as necessary to complete their refuse tasks.
[209] Even though the waste tip was closed and to leave refuse overnight in public places is a breach of the Environmental Act.
[210] So much for standards.
[211] Our members would not breach the Health Act and five G M B members were instantly dismissed.
[212] The union immediately attempted to get talks going with the company, even resorting to ACAS, but Tylers would not talk to no one.
[213] We immediately authorized a ballot and we are now in our sixteenth week of the strike.
[214] We have started all legal steps open to us, for example industrial tribunal claims, we have given the council dozens of examples of breaches of the contract by Tylers, but they do nothing.
[215] We have obtained much support locally from other trade unionists and residents, we are attempting to meet the leaders of the Labour group.
[216] We are now at the crossroad, we need wider support and help both moral and financial and there will be a bucket collection at the end of this session.
[217] A victory for the G M B is essential, Tylers must be defeated.
[218] A Labour Council must get off the fence sack Tylers
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [219] Now I love the Labour Party and a lot of what was said this morning was painful.
[220] We adopted the position and as soon as the [...] issue's resolved the better ... so I'm somewhat reluctant in saying that Jack Straw could be less equivocal about C C T rather than concerning himself with what is written on the back of his party card.
[221] C C T has the potential to rip the guts out of the movement due to the density of public sector trade unionist membership.
[222] It is imperative that we fight.
[223] A victory for the twenty one members at Crawley will be a victory for all workers in the public services.
[224] I salute you
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [225] and I move.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Mick (PS2J0) [226] Right, Phil London Region with an L Mick.
[227] Alright?
[228] Er, you've all seen this haven't you?
[229] It's a lie and I tell you why it isn't the southern problem, it's every region's problem.
[230] Every region here got this problem because all of you, every one of you have got local authority workers and other workers and Tylers is like a flea on a dog's back it's creeping in and they going, getting everywhere.
[231] Now I work for a local authority so I've got a big interest in this, but I've also been involved as John will remember in a strike.
[232] I stood outside for fifteen months with some girls from Barking Hospital, some of yous people might remember that.
[233] Ninety women that have all been forgotten, just like these twenty three could be forgotten today if we don't do something about it.
[234] The Tories are useless, everybody keeps telling us that, but are they?
[235] They're picking us off like flies they can't be that bloody useless can they?
[236] It's about time we realize they're not useless and done something about them because there are people that are listening to them and there's people that are voting for them and while people do that, Tylers will get a foothold because they've already got quite a big one, they're a big multi-national company and know what they're doing.
[237] They're not idiots either John.
[238] Right this big union, and it is a big union innit, big Labour Party what are they doing what are we doing to help people like these up here?
[239] Let me tell you about the Barking women most of them are dead, some of them are working for local authority.
[240] The Steward, Alice she's dead, she stood out there for fifteen months, she got very ill and she died and one officer from this union turned up at her funeral.
[241] She said to me, Phil, they can't [...] my spirit, but they really took the heart out of me.
[242] Well what about this union are we gonna let it take the heart out of us?
[243] For Christ's sake, we gotta do something haven't we?
[244] John came down to Barking, he wasn't a General Secretary he was just an officer, and I remember cos I've got a good memory John what you said to me.
[245] You said er, I told, I told him I was fed up with the General Secretary of this union that hadn't given us any backing and you said sorry Phil, but I'm not the General Secretary.
[246] Well you bloody well are now John! [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [247] The London Region was good to me in those days and the London Region are gonna put their money where their mouth is today.
[248] Now we're gonna make a start in London by offering a thousand pound today to those people up there to help them.
[249] Now how many other regions have got the guts to do that and if you do it, come on we can ask the General Secretary to double everything you do [laugh] now come on
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [250] give these people the support they need
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [251] no matter what you've heard about John , I know he's a man of his word he's an honest man and he won't say that he didn't say that to me will you John.
[252] So, we're home and dry with some help for these people.
[253] Come on, make the man stand up and put his money where his mouth is.
[254] Make this union as big as John tells us it is
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [255] Thanks very much colleagues, er, that concludes the debate, but the C E C are er, are recommending exceptions of every motion, but in respect of some are asking for a statement to be made so I call Mick to respond. ...
Mick (PS2J0) [256] Thank you President.
[257] Mick responding on behalf of the C E C.
[258] C E C is asking Congress to support composite twelve, support motions two nine four, two nine five.
[259] Support composite thirteen, support motion two nine eight, we support with qualification motion two nine nine and support motion three O two.
[260] The C E C welcomes composite twelve on the Transfer of Undertakings and the Acquired Rights Directive.
[261] As a union we've successfully argued albeit belatedly at some times, that TUPE protects public sector workers in all cases of contracting out.
[262] That has threatened the whole concept of compulsory competitive tendering and we will keep threatening the government's compulsory competitive tendering regime by using TUPE and the acquired rights directive as the legal shield to protect our members' jobs and public services from the Tylers of this world.
[263] The recently launched G M B, T and G information pack on the acquired rights directive has been well received all over the country and a revised pack is available here at Congress today, giving negotiators and stewards the latest information and arguments to use to protect members' jobs and conditions.
[264] So Congress please support composite twelve.
[265] Motion two nine four refers to the damage that C C T has done and in particular the effects upon women.
[266] Success for contractors has meant unemployment for all, but for women work council workers in particular.
[267] Women who are employed by contractors have often faced worse conditions and even lower pay.
[268] Many of them are part-time workers and many have had their already small number of hours reduced further.
[269] Private contractors we all know cut corners, services decline and women, customers and users of the service suffer.
[270] Most elderly people in this country are women.
[271] Many rely on council day centres, home helps and Meals On Wheels.
[272] Many of these services have been axed or reduced.
[273] Congress, we need good quality public services.
[274] Women and men who provide these services deserve decent pay and decent conditions.
[275] The C E C will campaign for that so please support motion two nine four.
[276] Motion two nine four refers to the discrimination council workers face as compared to private sector employees particularly in relation to redundancy schemes.
[277] Council workers outside of London and increasingly within London are no longer allowed to er, receive enhanced redundancy schemes.
[278] The C E C believes that this is not only unfair, but it interferes with local government democracy and free collective bargaining and should be opposed.
[279] We fully support the idea of campaigning to change the law to give local authorities the, back the power towards enhanced redundancy payments.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [...]
Mick (PS2J0) [280] Composite thirteen outlines the cur current round of government cuts in local government spending and the impact of this on services and on local democracy.
[281] The C E C wholeheartedly condemns these cuts.
[282] As I said earlier, our community watch has demonstrated the double-whamming of service cuts and job losses.
[283] We need to put the blame
Dick (PS2HY) [284] Mick could you wind up please
Mick (PS2J0) [285] where it belongs on Whitehall and not the Town Hall.
[286] Congress, the C E C is asking you to support composite twelve, support motions two nine four, two nine five, support composite thirteen, motion two nine eight with the qualification, two nine nine and three O two.
[287] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [288] Would all the motions to the vote colleagues, composite twelve have you recommended to accept?
[289] All those in favour?
[290] Against?
[291] That's carried.
[292] Motion two nine four recommended acceptance all those in favour?
[293] Against?
[294] That's carried.
[295] Motion two nine five recommended to accept all those in favour?
[296] Against?
[297] That's carried.
[298] Composite thirteen you recommended to accept all those in favour?
[299] Against?
[300] That's carried.
[301] Motion two nine eight all those in favour?
[302] Against?
[303] That's carried.
[304] Motion two nine nine you recommended to accept all those in favour?
[305] Against?
[306] That's carried.
[307] Motion three O two recommended to accept all those in favour?
[308] Against?
[309] That's carried.
[310] Emergency motion number one recommended to accept all those in favour?
[311] Against?
[312] That's carried.
[313] Could I just say colleagues that the the General Secretary is proposing that we're having, we, we, we're gonna, we gonna have the bucket collection as has been referred to during the course of the debate and it's recommended that whatever is in the buckets that the union actually doubles the collection.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [314] Right colleagues, I now propose to call the Deputy General Secretary to move a further section of the report pages ninety to one hundred and four.
[315] Tom
Duncan (PS2J1) [316] Formally move er President pages ninety to one hundred and four [...] my section of the report.
Dick (PS2HY) [317] Thank you very much indeed for that Tom.
[318] Page ninety, ninety one, ninety two, ninety three, ninety four, ninety five, ninety six, ninety seven, ninety eight, ninety nine, one hundred, one hundred and one, one hundred and two, one hundred and three and one hundred and four.
[319] Colleagues, I now propose to call motion four three seven Education Birmingham Region to move.
[320] Formally moved, formally seconded.
[321] Thanks very much.
[322] The C E C are asking for reference of this particular motion and I ask Ann to put the C E C view. ...
John (PS2J2) [323] Ann C E C.
[324] The C E C is asking you to refer motion four three seven.
[325] The motion calls in the G M B to affiliate [...] .
[326] This is an organization which provides study schools and briefing materials on international issues.
[327] It may well be obvious to the union, but at the moment we have too little information to judge.
[328] G M B Scotland and Lancashire Region are considering affiliating.
[329] The C E C recommends that we look at the experience of these regions before we take any decisions nationally.
[330] If we refer this motion to the C E Cs the International Committee will investigate this matter fully, once we get reports from Scotland and Lancashire.
[331] Please refer motion four three seven.
Dick (PS2HY) [332] Thanks very much Ann
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [333] Do Birmingham, Birmingham Region accept reference?
[334] Conference agree?
[335] Thanks very much indeed.
[336] Colleagues, it's approximately four twenty five, what I propose to do is to go on for a short period and to take in the resolutions on the, on your erm Maastricht erm and then we'll have a look at the time, but I think we should be able to get those in within a, a relatively short period of time.
[337] But colleagues it's now my very great pleasure indeed to ask Steven Hughes Member of the European Parliament who's Deputy Leader of the European P L P er to address Conference.
[338] Can I say that
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [339] can I say that it gives me particular pleasure to introduce Steven not least, because Steven Hughes is one of our colleagues in parliament who does a fantastic job for the trade union movement.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [340] Another thing about Steven Hughes Conference is that he knows what he's talking about,on on shop floor iss issues like health and safety and those colleagues who were present at the launch of the G M B's National Health and Safety Campaign will confirm that especially the way he described the Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive.
Dick (PS2HY) [341] Colleagues ... Steven Hughes.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Sally (PS2J3) [342] Thank you President and Congress for granting me the honour to report back on behalf of the ten G M B Members in the European Parliament.
[343] We make up more than a fifth of the European Parliamentary Labour Group in Europe, which in turn forms a quarter of the socialist group the biggest political block in the European Parliament and G M B Members cover the full range of parliamentary committees over the years we feel that a vast range of queries and questions whizzed by the G M B membership.
[344] It hasn't all been smooth running of course, I mean working in a parliament with eighty separate national political delegations, working in t nine languages, I have to admit we've made the odd slip.
[345] I will remember one G M B Member pronouncing on the shift in political scene in the U K through the miracle of instantaneous interpretation.
[346] Quite what the House [...] when he pointed out that in the U K the turd is tiding remains
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [laugh]
Sally (PS2J3) [347] remains something of a mystery, but perhaps they took it as a reference to our well-known problems with fractured sewer pipes and the [...] directive from Europe.
[348] Or there's the celebrated case of one of our members speaking in last year's debate on the maternity leave directive.
[349] She informed an astonished House that each year in Britain forty four thousand women get pregnant while at work
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [laugh]
Sally (PS2J3) [350] until then the French and Italian and other delegations had us down as a quiet reserved nation
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [laugh]
Sally (PS2J3) [351] I suggested that perhaps there was a need to amend er Europe's personal protective equipment in the workplace directive
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [laugh]
Sally (PS2J3) [352] to take account of this previously unforeseen workplace hazard, but so far the Commission have brought forward no proposals.
[353] But seriously the work we do for the union is only one part of the equation.
[354] G M B is very busy and very influential on your behalf at European level and we appreciate what G M B does for us.
[355] It's the first and so far only British union to employ a full-time officer in Brussels, giving you direct access to the law-making process and E C funds to set up to benefit trade unions.
[356] Kathleen Walker-Shaw is that officer in Brussels and is doing a magnificent job on your behalf.
[357] The, in the last few months alone, we've also had visits to Brussels by the General Secretary, the Deputy General Secretary, a number of Regional Secretaries, political officers, training officers and others.
[358] They've made hectic visits to Brussels registering your interests and meeting with those with greatest influence in the E C institutions.
[359] Also officers of the union play an active part in the work at the E T U C, its industry committees and the full range of E C consultative bodies and I think all of that work pays dividends.
[360] I'm a practical sort of person and perhaps I can refer to my area of work as the President said since nineteen eighty four I've concentrated on health and safety and workplace legislation.
[361] During all of that time my greatest ally and adviser in moulding the laws passing through the Parliament has been Nigel G M B's Director of Health, Safety and the Environment.
[362] Some sixty per cent of the amendments that we've adopted in this field have been incorporated in the finished legislation and that means in reality that much of the content of these laws has come from Nigel's pen, the pens of the other trade unionists inside and outside the G M B that he's plugged in to that system extremely worthwhile.
[363] We have been fairly busy.
[364] Six months ago six major E C Health and Safety Directives came into effect covering workplace safety, machinery, protective equipment, manual handling, work with computers and word processors, they've built on a framework directive giving workers new rights to consultation and the right to stop the job and the union has been watching the government and the H S E and me as well, in their attempts to water down the requirements of these directives and we might well lodge a formal complaint with Brussels that could land the Tories in Europe's Court of Justice.
[365] Another thirty Health and Safety proposals are on the way such as that on working time in the news last week and another to restore the protection for young people at work which we've lost over the last decade, and just as important the union has just n not just reacting to what's coming out of Brussels, it's actually helping set the agenda.
[366] Due to work by the union, the community is now set to act on repetitive strain injury, something we've campaigned on for years and in late June the E C's Head of Health and Safety will share a platform with John and Nigel in Brussels to launch G M B's campaign to create working environment funds at E C level to channel money to unions and their health and safety work.
[367] Our health and safety is only one G M B success story.
[368] I could refer to the work of our other G M B M E Ps.
[369] Carol Tongue's outstanding work on the European car industry.
[370] Hu Hugh dogged pursuit of social legislation.
[371] Gary Tiddley's work in highlighting the impact of developments in Eastern Europe and E F T A on European, on European industries.
[372] The work of Michael Hindley on [...] and the developing world.
[373] Alan Donnelley's work on ship building and the maritime industries.
[374] Barry Sealsworth on the aerospace industries.
[375] Henry leading work on safety in the offshore industries.
[376] Lindon Harrisson's work tackling the problems our young people face and the ongoing work of David Martin to democratize the European Community institutions.
[377] Or indeed the work that you've just been discussing that we've all pursued jointly in pinning down the government on the transfer of undertakings directive.
[378] Helping bring their compulsory competitive tendering and privatization plans to a halt up and down the country.
[379] As Deputy Leader of the Labour Group in Europe, I look after liaison between our group, the Parliamentary Labour Party, the T U C and individual trade unions, but I can say in all honesty that the individuals just listed play a very important role in giving you access to the possibilities which exist to further your aims in Europe.
[380] And let me say in a personal capacity that if this link between my group in Europe and the trade union movement at home is important, I think the lin link between the trade union movement and the Party at home is of crucial importance.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Sally (PS2J3) [381] To weaken that link would be [...] disaster in my view.
[382] But what of the broader picture?
[383] Well I can't unfortunately avoid mentioning Maastricht.
[384] It looks as though it will be through ratification in all member states by the end of the year.
[385] The clear majority view in my group in Brussels is that though not perfect Maastricht takes us a step in the right direction, setting about building the sense of a community on the market place created by the nineteen eighty seven Single Act.
[386] Not everyone has shared that view of course, two big questions have caused some to hesitate over Maastricht.
[387] Some of you will still be worried that the targets for [...] reunion limiting public borrowing might lead to cuts in social spending.
[388] If that does concern you please get hold of the recent T U C pamphlet,sum summarizing advice on the subject from Chris Boyd, Jacques Delors's economic adviser.
[389] That makes it clear that the public debt targets are not rigid, they can be ap applied flexibly to take account of unemployment.
[390] It also makes it clear that those artificial targets can be revised and that should be the focus of our campaign to make sure that they are revised, to make sure that they take account of the real concerns in the real world.
[391] Levels of investment, levels of unemployment.
[392] The other cause for concern is the opt-out on the Social Chapter and some have said that should have been enough to cause us to reject Maastricht.
[393] I'll make just three brief points on the Social Chapter.
[394] First I think it would run completely counter to our internationalist traditions to say that because we have a temporary difficulty, we don't want the workers of the other er other eleven member states to benefit from a new Social Chapter.
[395] We should instead encourage them to press ahead, because it is a temporary difficulty, the clock is ticking towards the day when John Smith is Prime Minister, will convert that opt-out into an opt-in.
[396] Second, the opt-out will soon begin to fray at the edges.
[397] The Commissioner has already made it clear that if it needs to bring its works council proposal on where the consultation and multi-nationals through the new Chapter, it'll include workers in British plants and calculating which firms have to comply and U K firms operating plants on the continent will have to operate the directive there.
[398] And third, for every new piece of legislation under the new Social Chapter, there'll be a queue of continental employers and governments lodging cases in Europe's Court of Justice over the U K's anti-competitive behaviour.
[399] The opt-out will be unsustainable and I applaud John 's sturdy determination to go to the Luxembourg Court if necessary to win the benefits from the new Social Chapter for British workers.
[400] We shouldn't forget either though that we already have a Social Chapter from the ni nineteen eighty seven Act, it's not to be sniffed at, it's given us the directive on the protection of pregnant women at work.
[401] It's also given us the new agreement on working time which our own government have tried to work against consistently for the last two years, they now say they'll challenge it in Europe's Court of Justice, well what they seem to forget is it's gotta come back to Parliament for a second reading yet and they've created such ill feeling in the Parliament and among the Commission, that it's likely to be strengthened, we're gonna end up with a strengthened agreement on working time by the autumn of this year.
[402] So President to conclude, I think it's now necessary to look beyond Maastricht, to look to nineteen ninety six and the next set of inter- governmental conferences and beyond.
[403] As a movement we need to campaign to make sure that the convergence criteria of the monetary union reflect our concern and not of the monetarists.
[404] We need to press the case for the Social Chapter, but above all else, we the Left need to take the initiative in pursuing a strategy for employment and growth in Europe.
[405] As members of the Party of European Socialists, we are taking the lead in that campaign.
[406] With twenty million unemployed in the European community, the response from the Edinburgh Summit was pathetic.
[407] What was agreed there will lead to an injection of no more than twenty four billion into the European economy.
[408] That compares to the seventy billion pounds that Japan recently injected into its own economy on feeling an economic cold coming on.
[409] The complacency of national governments is fuelling the fear, the desperation and hopelessness which feeds the Front Nationale in France, the Republicana Party in Germany, the Blands Bloque in Holland and the other strains of neo-fascism throughout Europe.
[410] We must defeat that fear of desperation and hopelessness, especially among the young.
[411] We must reject absolutely a Europe where your freedom of movement will depend on the colour of your skin.
[412] The Party of European Socialists is constructing a European programme for jobs, growth and recovery to be channelled toward employment, intensive areas of growth, to tackle the pattern and distribution of work, to increase opportunities for employment rather than re-cycling unemployment and all of this to recognize that growth alone will not be enough.
[413] We will put opportunity in place of despair, renewal in place of decay and hope in place of fear.
[414] In this I look forward to our continued partnership G M B and the labour movement.
[415] Next year we have the European Parliament Elections, the only national test before the next General Election.
[416] I know you'll be there to play your part in that campaign.
[417] Sisters and brothers let's continue to work and campaign and together to create a Europe with a future, rather than one locked in the past.
[418] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [419] Thank you.
[420] Thanks very much indeed Steven.
[421] Colleagues, er there are a number of motions that I have mentioned on Europe the first one being motion four one O, the Treaty on European Union be moved by Southern Region.
Frank (PS2J4) [422] Congress, Mr President Steven Southern Region moving motion four one O on the Maastricht Treaty.
[423] Colleagues, if we believe in playing the full part in the European community then as Steven Hughes has just said we as a union must back the Maastricht Treaty.
[424] The Maastricht Treaty is the only framework which currently exists for consolidating the European community's role in furthering European integration.
[425] It extends important responsibilities to the European community in the key areas of consumer policy, research and development, education and training, industrial policy, the environment and citizenship rights.
[426] For the first time colleagues, the community will be able to legitimately address these issues and initiate action into ensuring the E C is a people's Europe and not just a business Europe.
[427] Poorer regions of the community are specifically addressed in the Treaty to the establishment of a new [...] fund which will help kick-start industry in those areas which are disadvantaged, due either to failing industry or to their position on the [...] of Europe.
[428] Not only that, but all regions will have a direct say in European affairs at E C level, thanks to the creation of a new community institution the Committee of the Regions.
[429] The G M B should welcome this move which will give elected regional representatives a direction say in issues affecting their region and we should recognize the successful efforts made by Labour in the House of Commons to ensure the democratic accountability of these representatives.
[430] Of course Maastricht's attempts to deal with a number of important political issues.
[431] Colleagues, don't be fooled by the anti-Europe brigade who believe that the Treaty is about [...] and hopelessness which feeds the Front Nationale in making the existing institutions more democratic.
[432] Too much power lies with the Council of Ministers who meet in secret, making it almost impossible for the public, national governments and the European Parliament to follow their decision making process.
[433] Such secrecy mitigates heavily against democratic scrutiny and it is unacceptable in a modern democracy.
[434] Maastricht deals directly with its problem by giving new powers and scrutiny to the European Parliament which means that decisions cannot be made unless both Council and Parliament agree.
[435] Of course there are weaknesses in the Treaty particularly from a U K point of view and it would be wrong to lead this union to believe otherwise.
[436] Steven mentioned the constraints that the E M U may impose on the economy, but the biggest single issue is the scandalous position in which this government has placed British workers by opting out of a Social Chapter and thus denying the right and protection at work which are granted, taken for granted as minimum basic conditions in all other member states.
[437] But as Steven also said, this was no reason for Labour to vote against the Treaty.
[438] What this, this union must do and what Labour must do is campaign for the earliest possible opt-in to the Social Chapter.
[439] To conclude colleagues, the Maastricht Treaty the dynamic evolution of the European community from where the single act in nineteen eighty six left off.
[440] The Treaty is not written on tablets of stone, it allows for changes and improvements as early as nineteen ninety six.
[441] Our European priorities now should be to campaign for the sort of policies and changes we would like to see in nineteen ninety six and seek the earliest possible opt-in to the Social Chapter.
[442] This is a battle which must be fought and won by the trade union movement now in post-Maastricht Europe.
[443] I move.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [444] Seconder for four one O.
Avril (PS2J5) [445] Charlie , Southern Region seconding motion four one O.
[446] The reason the trade union movement should support the Maastricht Treaty is it's the only Treaty that is on offer, there's nothing else on offer but it's a reasonable Treaty, it has differences in the U K and the reasons it has differences in the U K is the one Mr Major came back last December tell us what a wonderful opportunity it was for Britain, what a wonderful success it was for Britain that he'd opted out of the Social Chapter.
[447] Yet the other eleven nations of Europe opted into the Social Chapter.
[448] What's so different about workers in the U K to difference of workers in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Greece?
[449] Workers in the U K demand the protection of the Social Chapter.
[450] What the European movement needs to do, the labour movement in Europe, Labour and Socialist Parties in Europe is to monitor the Maastricht Treaty, because it is not necessarily the best thing since sliced bread, there are problems with it.
[451] Full and economic monetary union could be a problem, handled in the wrong way this could create large unemployment in countries.
[452] It could give and take away the rights of states to alter currencies and problems, but handled correctly it can be dealt with properly.
[453] It's an issue we need to monitor but the best way forward is for us to do that under the labour movement.
[454] Next comes the Social Chapter.
[455] Why, why are we different in the U K, why can't we have our rights?
[456] The easiest way we can get back into the Social Chapter is to accept Maastricht, without Maastricht there is no Social Chapter, with Maastricht we can opt back in to the Social Chapter.
[457] Now a couple of weeks ago a man called Mr Lamont actually resigned I understand or was he sacked I'm not quite sure, but when he disappeared off the scene, Mr Major said I am still keeping forward with my policies.
[458] Well if he's keeping forward with his policies, why did he have to sack the man?
[459] The man forgot one issue, the European Monetary Union, it was Mr Major that took us into the Economic Monetary Union at the wrong way, he took us in on a political decision on the last day of a Labour Party Conference in Blackpool and he's forgotten that.
[460] Now it was also interesting that after he forgot that two weeks ago we had his own Minister, David Hunt, crying on the steps of Brussels about the fact that the forty eight hour week had been passed by a majority vote, with only him opting out.
[461] He was really upset about that, but Maastricht gave us the ability that we could ex have that in Britain on a majority decision.
[462] I think we should support Maastricht, I think it's the only way forward.
[463] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [464] Motion four one one Midland Region to move.
[465] ... [...] just wait there.
William (PS2J6) [466] Congress, President, Ed , London Region Westminster Trade union Political Staffs Branch er, speaking on a free vote for the London Region but speaking in opposition to motion four one O.
[467] Congress, before you vote on this motion, I think you should read it carefully and consider er the, what could possibly happen if it's passed.
[468] The G M B if it passes this motion we welcoming a proposal to extend majority voting in the Council of Ministers to new areas.
[469] Now at the moment that might seem quite a good idea, we have a very right-wing Tory government and Europe seems very reasonable.
[470] In a few years' time hopefully, we might have a different situation where we have people like Helmut Cole and the right wing in France trying to block things that er, a British Labour government wants to do.
[471] With majority voting the European Commission and the Council of Ministers can put things through that may not be in the Labour Party's and our interests.
[472] Secondly I, I'd point out that it welcomes the community becoming more involved in industrial policy.
[473] Now this also could mean that under a future Labour government if they wish to support certain industries, they will not be allowed to do so by the European community.
[474] Thirdly, and I find it most worrying, it states here ... that this motion welcomes the concept of European citizenship, which throughout th through the Maastricht's Treaty will give E C citizens the right to vote and stand in European and local elections wherever they reside in the community.
[475] Now colleagues, at the last elections we lost two or three seats on votes of overseas British citizens.
[476] It's not beyond the wit of the Tories to move in European people into the country, into this country in certain seats from the right in Europe to make sure those seats are won for them again, and I think it's an extremely dangerous precedent to allow European voting if you're not, if you're just resident within Britain rather than a citizen.
[477] Lastly, it urges the House of Commons to proceed the to the earliest possible ratification of the Maastricht Treaty preferably with, but it doesn't say definitely with, the Social Chapter.
[478] Now the Maastricht Treaty without the Social Chapter is just a charter for business.
[479] It takes away any
Dick (PS2HY) [480] [...] can you wind up, you've now got the [...]
William (PS2J6) [481] it, it, it takes away all the rights from British workers, because the other eleven will have it and we won't and will make it a sweatshop economy.
[482] I urge you to consider very carefully before you vote and to oppose.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [483] Motion er, four one one Europe, Midland Region. ...
Paul (PS2J7) [484] Linda , Midland and East Coast Region.
[485] Motion four one one Europe.
[486] President, Congress.
[487] When this resolution was put together, my branch was very disillusioned with Maastricht.
[488] I stress we are not anti-Europe and nor was this meant to be a mischievous motion, but we are very distrustful about any deal negotiated by any member of this government.
[489] They play musical chairs in the Cabinet, but the same backsides are still there with one notable exception, but they're still bad people.
[490] John, some time this week you will tell us in the Midland Region that a package is just that, no picking the bits out, you either vote for the package or against.
[491] Maastricht was a package and Major kept the bits in he wanted for his supporters and opted out of the things that he didn't want, first and foremost being the Social Chapter.
[492] He said it would cost industry too much, he wants to keep a low wage, low skill labour force.
[493] Constantly in fear of losing their jobs and joining the massive ranks of the unemployed, but an employment is bankrupt in this country, unemployment caused by Tories and which we all know brings suffering to our people, and let's face it, how long is the rest of Europe going to put up with Britain attracting overseas companies because they can get away with abusing and underpaying our workers?
[494] A united economic policy in Europe depends on all countries adopting the Social Chapter and its provisions.
[495] At the G M B Centenary Congress I spoke from the platform, seconding a document on Europe and I expressed my fears and hopes along with a lot of other delegates.
[496] Without the Social Chapter a lot of our hopes cannot be fulfilled.
[497] Why didn't we start raising hell straight away after Maastricht?
[498] I could weep with frustration when I go around seeing the conditions some of our people work in, the pittance they have paid, young people hung around on street corners with no job and no real training.
[499] We need the European Social Chapter to bring unscrupulous employers into light.
[500] We can only go so far as union negotiators.
[501] Voting for Maastricht and hoping that the Tories can be beaten at a later date on the Social Chapter was a decision I found difficult to accept and I have done my homework on this issue.
[502] I felt once again the working class in this country has been let down, but I am aware that the Treaty has gone through the Commons, making this motion out of date.
[503] President, with a very heavy heart and bitter disappointment for all our people out there, who are depending on the Social Chapter to give them dignity, safety and a reasonable standar standard of living, I reluctantly withdraw this motion, but I will say this, we live to fight another day.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [504] Was the mo was the motion formally seconded before it was withdrawn?
[505] Formally seconded.
[506] Thanks very much.
[507] We we'll come back to er, whether you accept that or not.
[508] Motion four one three E C Works Councils Lancashire move er, Region to move. ...
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [509] Wallace Lancashire Region speaking on motion four one three.
[510] President, Congress.
[511] European Work Council's probably a subject of which, which most people here know very little.
[512] So briefly, it was started in the er, late sixties early seventies, companies with over a thousand employees which had their member states er, at least nine hundred of them at the moment [...] that particular covering at least thirteen point six million people.
[513] Well this is growing all the time due to mergers and takeovers.
[514] At the moment they're just a voluntary body, but it looks as though works councils will become mandatory for eleven of the twelve states in the E C, with the implementation very soon of the European Social Works Council Directive, Britain as usual being the odd one out, because of course it's part of the Social Chapter.
[515] Gillian Shepherd told other E C Ministers
Dick (PS2HY) [516] Wally, Wally I'm sorry to interrupt you, colleagues, you're starting to babble a bit, I know you all want to get to the European Fair and the wine and the cheese and all that sort of thing [laugh] just bear with us for about ten minutes.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [517] Thank you [...] er, Gillian Shepherd told other E C Ministers that she and virtually every employer's organization in Europe remained strongly opposed to the proposals and said it should be left to companies at local level [...] to council workers.
[518] However the European Commission and most E C governments refute this and contend that legislation is needed to ensure that workers are not kept in the dark about decisions taken elsewhere in the community that could affect their livelihoods.
[519] Now, colleagues we come to the thorny question of election to these bodies.
[520] This is why the resolution was placed in the agenda in the first place.
[521] Your question of how people come to be members of these bodies seems to be shrouded in mystery.
[522] I've heard from people who have visited Brussels that meetings were being cancelled because the British Delegation were not even members of the trade union, but looking at the structure of the works councils in the U K this is no wonder.
[523] Could I please quote from the Bargaining Report Document dated twenty seventh of April nineteen ninety three which says, and I quote, works councils, elected bodies representing the whole workforce are becoming an increasing interest to the U K trade unionists and this par this in part because of the growing awareness of industrial relation structures in the rest of the E C.
[524] Well this form of employee representation is common, but the prospect that it be could begin to be introduced through the European Works Council Directive.
[525] What's interesting also growing cos the election employee representation is something which trade unionists are beginning to face as a result of initiative they'd taken by U K employers.
[526] These bodies are often called company councils, employee councils, advisory councils as well as works councils and as yet are far removed from the works councils elsewhere in Europe.
[527] A group of unions has endorsed proposals put forward by the Involvements and Partnership Association a document towards industrial partnership was signed in September nineteen ninety two, by the General Secretaries of the A W E U, A U T, B I F U, the G M B, I M S F, N C U, U C W, and [...] .
[528] This document accepts that the traditional trade union approach to employee representation has been that the single channel for th for the representation should be through trade union membership now just listen to this colleagues.
[529] A non-unionist should have no right to representation, but believes it is now time to change to change this attitude.
[530] It therefore states that many British trade unionists now suggest that we need a new industrial relations institution where a wide agenda of issues can be discussed between managers and employee representatives that work [...] company level.
[531] It considers that in return for this new institutional arrangement, many trade unions have accepted the idea.
Dick (PS2HY) [532] Wally I think you're gonna need to wind up, you're getting close to your time.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [533] Well er, basically, the ... I want to ask our General Secretary,i if this is the case er, non-trade union members can [...] indeed elect represent representatives in councils and I say that there should be any election to these bodies should be by the usual manner by union representatives in the workplace I move.
Dick (PS2HY) [534] Thanks Wally.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [535] Jimmy okay.
[536] Well, I think Paul on behalf of the C E C will pick that particular point up that you made and respond to it.
[537] Yes Jim.
[538] [laugh] It's alright [...] you always wanted to be a star.
[539] Right Jim
Dick (PS2HY) [540] Right.
[541] Lancashire Region Sect er, seconding motion four one three.
[542] President, Congress, most councils may well work to the good effect in Germany, France and other E C countries, but with the Tory government in Britain it would be foolish to believe the trade union would play a great major role in those works councils.
[543] I am not sure at the moment if the labour are sure if they would work under the Labour government.
[544] As of the Tories as we're not going to [...] for non-trade unions where employees are hand-picked by their employer.
[545] Therefore I must ensure that trade unions of representatives at works councils are not [...] trade unions.
[546] I support.
Dick (PS2HY) [547] Thanks Jim
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [548] Motion four one four Liverpool Region.
Mick (PS2J0) [549] Ken Liverpool, North Wales, Irish Region moving motion four one four.
[550] President, Congress, Conference I know we will all welcome all the pressure that we can be brought to [...] this government and its pursuit of policies if that's the right world, policies that don't have a direction would just have them [...] from one crisis to another.
[551] Bill Clinton's victory was a victory for morale, while European law is a more practical help in our efforts.
[552] Leading up on this as the members state at the E C, I believe we should not only have [...] for the benefits of the European legislation to protect employees, but also to seek, form and strengthen links with the European union.
[553] If multi-national companies exist and [...] dividing frontiers against workers for their own games we should organize, cooperate and perhaps even amalgamate to resist the combat, to co to combat common problems and disputes [...] second or third class nation will not service British workers but will undermine the nations.
[554] We would not and do not like them ma [tut] manipulation and extortion of workers anywhere in the world.
[555] We must investigate and act to utilize what ways we can to defeat such abuse and division.
[556] [...] traditional stance of unity.
[557] Crossfires of [...] water and sea ... to [...] is that unity is strength and workers of this union, this country and Europe and even beyond.
[558] United we will never be defeated.
[559] I move.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [560] A seconder for four one four.
[561] Formally seconded.
[562] Thanks very much.
[563] motion four one five Eastern Europe, London Region to move.
Duncan (PS2J1) [564] Dave , London Region moving er, whatever it is!
[565] [laugh] As the trade union movement has found out in recent times, sometimes to its painful cost, modern capitalism and exploitation does not recognize international frontiers and employers and their political supporters are not slow to export their practices to countries whose borders have previously been closed to them.
[566] The opening of East European borders has provided new opportunities for rampant free-marketeering and with it the exploitation of the workers in these countries.
[567] Right- wing politicians including our own Tory Party and those with even more dubious cre credentials and European employers are already active and working under the guise of economic liberators and democratizers.
[568] As an internationalist labour organization we must also stretch our wings and offer help and expertise to our fellow workers in these countries.
[569] Whatever nationality, workers share common problem and fears, low pay, poor health and safety, job security, poor training and poor social conditions.
[570] These are all international problems combatted only by cooperation and solidarity within the labour movement.
[571] Western trade unions have both the resources and the expertise to assist the workers in forming active free trade unions to combat from counter-balance the free market economy now being constructed in Eastern Europe.
[572] Help and advice will also be needed in their input in setting up a democratic political system, allowing them and their members full expression and protection.
[573] It is incumbent on us to be part of this assistance, whether it be financial, practical or political.
[574] The consequences of ignoring their plight will not only weaken them, but it will strengthen employers as they take the opportunity to export jobs to wherever labour is cheapest and protection weakest.
[575] West German trade unions have already had to take action to re to prevent their government from denying equal conditions to workers in the former East Germany.
[576] We too must play our part.
[577] It will not always be easy, attempts are always made to divide workers, whether by nationalism, racism or corporatism.
[578] Colleagues, do not let us shirk from our responsibilities to our fellow workers and this attempt to [...] international solidarity.
[579] Support this motion.
[580] I move.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [581] Thanks very much
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [582] Is that seconded?
John (PS2J2) [583] Alan , London Region seconding motion four one five Eastern Europe.
[584] President, Congress, already for former communist countries of Eastern Europe are attracting invest investment from multi-national companies from the West who see rich pickings from the those foot-in-the-door investments.
[585] Once they have a controlling interest, they will want a very high return for their money and the cost, well that will be borne by the workers in terms of lower health and safety standards, massive labour cuts from industry that is admittedly out-dated and labour intensified.
[586] In Poland for instance the approach to work is a much more leisurely one.
[587] That would change with labour cuts, er sorry, that would change with labour costs roughly one sixth of that in the U K.
[588] The door is wide open for their exploitation, Britain is being hailed as the Taiwan or the sweatshop of Europe and the government are extolling the virtues of investment in Britain for its cheap labour costs, well, how much more then do the workers of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania and rest need protection from the money-hungry, the power-crazy multi-nationals of the West?
[589] There is a parallel between East and West a slippery slope that we dare not set foot on.
[590] A competition for companies to follow the cheapest labour could well ensue ... and the loser, the labour force, both East and West.
[591] The input from our union er, suggested by the motion is needed now.
[592] Eastern European workers must be informed on what to expect and how best to deal with it.
[593] The need for that is plain, the time for that is now.
[594] This must be an ongoing and er, this must be an ongoing commitment by the G M B and we would ask that the executive report back on the situation in Eastern European regularly and at least at every annual congress.
[595] Please support the motion.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [596] Thanks very much.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [597] Colleagues, the C E C are now accepting all the motions and I call Paul er Paul to put a view concerning a qualification with one of them.
[598] Paul. ...
Sally (PS2J3) [599] Thank you President.
[600] Erm Europe a very complex issue.
[601] The resolutions and the speakers' contribution show that very clearly.
[602] As the President said the C E C are asking you to support four one O, four one three er with the qualification I'll give you later four one four and four one five and er just thank you Linda for making me write up all the notes about that resolution and pulling out at the last minute.
[603] Thank you very much mate, very pleased.
[604] You know we're only gonna get the best from European initiatives when we start realizing we must deal with the present, in order to shape the future remembering the cruel lessons many of us have learned, particularly during the last twelve years.
[605] I admit to being a healthy Euro-sceptic at times, distracted by fears of the disappearance of my prawn- flavoured crisps, the great British banger, that's a sausage not Norman Lamont!
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [laugh]
Sally (PS2J3) [606] Well I dunno though.
[607] Yes Norman Lamont [laughing] you're right [] erm even the demise was suggested that the square sausage, which seemed possible on the basis of the conversion of metric tables and if you don't know what the square sausage is, the G M B Scotland delegates will only be too happy er to give you the answer.
[608] Ed spoke erm from my own region in opposition to four one O.
[609] Ed erm you spoke on the basis of concern for the future.
[610] Ed I've got some news for ya, there's actually need every scrap of help we can get right now and anything that comes out of Europe that gives us that assistance needs our support.
[611] European directives on acquired rights and the transfer of undertakings regulations have given public service shop stewards their first glimmer of light over C C T which they fought for a decade with little more than their own bluff and courage.
[612] The House of Lords today will see Tebbit and Thatcher that pair of b b b banshees!
[613] I nearly slipped up there Dick I, I,ick I nearly slipped up there President and called them slippery dog-eared toe-rags, I'm glad I avoided that one
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Sally (PS2J3) [614] the demand for a referendum over Maastricht is described as a healing, positive thing for the Conservative Party.
[615] Healing, I wouldn't give it penicillin if had Vietnam [...] of toothache and in-growing toenails all at the same time.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Sally (PS2J3) [616] Now I'm going to try and deal with the qualification.
[617] Four one three, the C E C agrees with the movements of motion four one three that European Works Councils should as far as possible be made up of elected trade union representatives, but the European directive needs to take account of different industrial relations traditions in different countries.
[618] British trade unionists have therefore been pushing for a slightly different wording that European Works Council Representatives should be elected by current workers' representatives wherever they exist.
[619] This would ensure that the organized sites at least representatives would be an elected trade unionist.
[620] That's the qualification from the C E C.
[621] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [622] Thanks very much Paul.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [623] Colleagues I propose to take the vote.
[624] C E C are recommen recommending acceptance of four one O all those in favour?
[625] Against?
[626] That's carried.
[627] Motion four one one the region have indicated they'd prepared to withdraw.
[628] Does Conference accept withdrawal?
[629] Thanks very much.
[630] Motion four one three [...] recommended to accept?
[631] All those in favour?
[632] Against?
[633] That's carried.
[634] Motion four one four [...] to accept all those in favour?
[635] Against, that's carried.
[636] Similarly four one five you're being recommended to accept.
[637] All those in favour?
[638] Against?
[639] And that's carried.
[640] Colleagues just before we adjourn till nine thirty tomorrow morning, I would just like to make one one or two comments.
[641] Er don't forget the Crawley strikers, the bucket collection will be taken at the door as you go out ... every pound is worth two as the General Secretary has generously said.
[642] Don't expect that to continue by the way.
[643] Don don't forget as well colleagues [...] the Euro-Fair evening when you can meet the new European Officer for the union ... that's er commencing immediately after this session being held in the Lord Mayor's Banqueting Hall, guest speakers include Steven Linden Alison and Barry .
[644] Samples of European food and wine will be available in what quantities I do not know.
[645] There'll be a fringe event on the Child Support Act between five thirty and seven thirty er in Commission Room number three.
[646] Some colleagues are giving me some messages to read out it wouldn't be appropriate to do so today because colleagues they er forget them, so I'm gonna do them tomorrow which will be more appropriate so please don't think that I've er forgotten them.
[647] Colleagues, equally I want you to extend a warm belated welcome to two of our Parliamentary MPs that support the trade union movement, George Robertson and Gerald [...] colleagues.
Unknown speaker (KLYPSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2HY) [648] Anybody interested in going to the theatre from tonight onwards a member of the G M B if they've produced a ticket, you'll get it for half price at the King's Theatre.
[649] That means delegates will only pay one seventy five and two fifty er produce your credentials and you'll get it half price.
[650] Conference stands adjourned till nine thirty tomorrow morning.
[651] Thank you very much.