BNC Text KM0

Trade Union Annual Congress. Sample containing about 12866 words speech recorded in business context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C786

PS2L2 X m (Dick, age unknown, president of trade union) unspecified
PS2L3 X m (Tom, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2L4 X m (Nigel, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2L5 X f (Theresa, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2L6 X f (Maureen, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2L7 X m (Kevin, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2L8 X f (Sheila, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2L9 X f (Dorothy, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2LA X f (Joanne, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
KM0PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
KM0PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100914 recorded on 1993-06-08. LocationHampshire: Portsmouth ( The Guildhall ) Activity: trade union congress speech

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [1] The legal and political context within which they operate has changed dramatically with more legilay legislation.
[2] Since nineteen seventy four over two hundred separate regulations have been introduced and increased European influence has seen ov over thirty new sets of regulations and amendments currently in the pipeline.
[3] As these regulations come into force, shop stewards, safety reps and members place extra demands on the specialist providers of the union's health and safety service.
[4] But to our disgust, and as Nigel mentioned, also that we have seen a demise of factory inspectors, and this is borne out by the fact that figures at the present time show that an average workplace can be expected to be visited once in eleven years.
[5] There can be no doubt in anybody's eyes that the failure of the H S E to enforce the law along with unscrupulous employers, exploiting low inspection rates, mean that the role played by G M B safety reps and those who provide our backup service, are more important than ever before.
[6] With increased accident rates and the ever increasing development of small workplaces, with little health and safety protection where, where our members are mainly women, part-time workers, in addition to the growth of sub-contracting and competitive tendering, and the increasing number of home workers, mean that we have to re-evaluate our priorities, and as such our health and safety service must be equipped to provide all the necessary support and information to underpin our activities in these vital areas of recruitment and growing sections of employment.
[7] The introduction and distribution of safety representative kits is an important factor in the role of G M B members at local level, and I'm proud to say that in my own region, ninety three percent of the reps receive their kits.
[8] And it should be used not only to enhance the role of health and safety standards as well as business performance.
[9] Throughout the review which is clear that the un where the union's information and the role of the regional health and safety officers secured a high profile, then we were successful in getting across the message.
[10] We, in the Midlands, support the role that the Health and Safety Review document puts forward, and in concluding, President, I would just like to pay tribute to my regional committee and the work that they did, in getting the review off the ground in the first place.
[11] Colleagues, to all of you I would say, support the Health and Safety Review, come back next year, let's do a good job throughout the next year.
[12] Thank you
Dick (PS2L2) [13] Thanks very much Ken
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [14] Tom ...
Tom (PS2L3) [15] President, er Congress, Tom , Liverpool, North Wales and Irish region [clears throat] Congress, it is well known in the trade union movements that the G M B is the leader on health, safety and environmental issues.
[16] In the scale of unnecessary occupational accidents and disease, we must ensure our service support effective activity at the workplace.
[17] At work, every week in the U K, there are around eleven people killed, six hundred seriously injured, and there are around ten thousand reported injuries where people are off work more than three days.
[18] Figures from the nineteen ninety Labour Force Survey estimates that a true figure of one point six million accidents occur every year.
[19] These accidents result in over thirteen million working days lost through work-related injuries.
[20] The survey also indicated that around two million people per year suffer from illnesses that are caused or made worse by their work.
[21] At the beginning of this year, new regulations covering the management of health and safety, all work equipment, manual handling, workplace standards, display screen equipment and personal protective equipment were enacted in the U K.
[22] These resulted from European Health and Safety Directives.
[23] In November last year, at a conference held by the G M B we highlighted the priorities needed to deal with these regulations.
[24] The scale of death, injury and disease in the U K and the implima implementation of new regulations should demand priority action from the government, yet their actions look set to attack health and safety standards.
[25] They've cut the Health and Safety Secretary's budget for this year, they're looking to privatize many of the H S E's functions, they've set up a review to identify health and safety legislation that is a so-called burden on employers.
[26] They will eliminate the grant for safety representatives' training by nineteen ninety five, how will any of this improve health and safety at the workplace?
[27] Congress, it won't.
[28] The government don't insist employers comply with the law, they encourage the law to be ignored.
[29] Such is the U K's contribution to European Year of Health and Safety.
[30] The government are failing in their duty to protect people, the employers are failing in their duty to protect people.
[31] The G M B must continue to fight for the best health and safety standards at the workplace.
[32] This special report provides a base from which we can develop our health, safety and environmental service into the next century.
[33] It will be needed when we consider the challenges to workplace standards that exist.
[34] On behalf of the Liverpool, North Wales and Irish region, I move in support of this special report.
Dick (PS2L2) [35] Thanks very much Tom.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [36] Congress, thank you very much indeed for that debate.
[37] It seems to me that there're just one or two points in which Nigel er needs to respond, so I'll ask him to do so briefly.
[38] Nigel.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...]
Nigel (PS2L4) [39] Thank you Mr President, just two points.
[40] Erm, there was a specific point raise re raised from Lancashire region, regarding briefing sessions for branch secretaries.
[41] That is our intention, er we are organizing briefing sessions for officers, and taking an approach which we want to get the information distributed to the workplace and that is clearly an area that we wanna develop.
[42] Erm, in the point that was raised from the London region, talking about resources in dealing with er regional health and safety officers and their time, part of the er document itself, is looking at consultation, so that the resource implications and the necessary action that we have to take in identifying priorities, deals with those things and those things are now opened up to discussion, er by accepting the report, and we'll be looking at that over this next year.
[43] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [44] Thank thanks very much Nigel.
[45] Colleagues I put the special report to Congress, all those in favour?
[46] ... Against?
[47] ... That's carried.
[48] Thank you very much.
[49] I now call motion two five eight, Cancer screening to be moved by the Liverpool region.
[50] ... Mentioned earlier, colleagues that erm, there are a number of motions, so if the movers and supporting speakers could come down to the rostrum, it would be er helpful.
Theresa (PS2L5) [51] President, Congress, Theresa , Liverpool, North Wales and Ireland moving motion two five eight on cancer screening.
[52] It is a national disgrace, the U K is the only country in Europe to deny this facility to its citizens.
[53] Employers are prepared to spend millions of pounds on new technology, new machines, at the same time, not one penny on our members' health.
[54] Do these employers not ... realize these machines need us to operate them.
[55] They need our hands, our feet and most of all our minds, colleagues, what we are asking for is not a lot.
[56] The right to time off with pay for cancer screening.
[57] Colleagues, what we are speaking about here is death.
[58] The death of a member, the death of a person, the death of a mother.
[59] Colleagues, I move.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping] ...
Dick (PS2L2) [60] Do you want some steps Maureen?
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [laugh]
Maureen (PS2L6) [61] Thanks
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [62] Why did you say that?
Dick (PS2L2) [63] I'm sorry I'm gonna pay for that, and I'm sorry about that Maureen.
Maureen (PS2L6) [64] President, comrades President, Congress, Maureen , Liverpool, North Wales and Irish region seconding resolution two five eight.
[65] Conference, hundreds of young women could be suffering from br breast cancer with little chance of it been detected.
[66] Startling evidence that the National Health Service cancer screening programme doesn't go far enough was revealed last November, with the release of shock figures from Action Cancer in Belfast.
[67] They found that two thirds of women who contracted breast cancer were outside the recognized screening age bracket of fifty to sixty four.
[68] In the past three years some nine hundred and thirty seven women have died from the disease, a hundred and forty six of them were under fifty.
[69] More than five hundred of the deaths were in the sixty four plus group.
[70] Under the present system, women aged between fifty and sixty four are routinely invited to be screened by the Health Boards.
[71] Action Cancer screened seven thousand three hundred and forty women at its Belfast clinic from January ninety one until March ninety two.
[72] Of these fifty five percent, fifty five percent were under the fifty were under fifty, another forty one percent fell inside the N H S brackets, with the remaining four percent sixty five years and over.
[73] The incidence of breast cancer detected is at odds with the government's claim that its programme has sufficient safeguards.
[74] Of the under fifties, it was found fifteen had breast cancer, compared to sixty in the fifty to sixty four group.
[75] This means that only a third who were found to have breast cancer would have been detected by breast screening.
[76] Conference, these statistics have been proved in one small area of the United Kingdom, the results if the same exercise was carried out across the length and breadth of the country would be frightening.
[77] But maybe if we did this exercise, countrywide, and enough people exer exerted pressure, then possibly we could force this government to do yet another famous U-turn, and start to inject some real money into the N H S.
[78] Just think what we could achieve with enough investment.
[79] Doctors could buy the much needed equipment, they wouldn't have to work such long hours, there would be no need to close down wards, aye or even hospitals.
[80] There would be no need for patients to be turned away through lack of beds.
[81] Congress, support the resolution, I second.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [82] Thank you Maureen.
[83] Colleagues, on composite motion thirty two, Toxic Shock Syndrome, I notice a number of colleagues went to the, the meeting that was held in the Conference Hall at lunchtime, and certainly for a few minutes, I had the opportunity to listen to some of the discussions that took place.
[84] Erm, I'm bound to say to Congress, that under normal circumstances, we don't take additional supporting speakers on resolutions, er and the reasons for that is very obvious, it's because of lack of time.
[85] However, I've got to say to Congress, that I consider this particular resolution and this particular matter very serious indeed, and I do know in fact, that there are certainly delegates, who're actually suffering today er from this particular er disease.
[86] So what I would like to suggest, on this, on this one occasion only, and without any, setting precedents for the future either at this congress or future congresses, that we make an exception, and that in this particular deb debate we take additional speakers.
[87] I hope that Congress would support that.
[88] Is that agreed?
[89] Thanks very much indeed.
[90] Kevin
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Kevin (PS2L7) [91] President, Kevin , Lancashire region, in the light of your comments, I must admit I don't expect anything less or more of G M B than what it always does, and that's put its actions where its words are.
[92] Today, the eighth of June, should have been, in Manchester, in Urmston in fact, for the family, there should have been a birthday party.
[93] A young girl, Alice, would have celebrated her seventeenth birthday today.
[94] Sadly, in that household today, there'll be no party.
[95] Let me tell you Alice's story.
[96] Alice , she could be your daughter, your girlfriend, your wife.
[97] ... Alice, in November nineteen ninety one, twenty fourth, the Sunday, she had a headache, wasn't feeling too great, during the evening she was able to watch television, but she was a bit sick during the night.
[98] Although very pale on the Monday, like many of your sons and daughters now, she decided it was more important to go to school to sit her mock G C S Es.
[99] So she went off to school.
[100] She was sent home after a short while because she was suffering what it looked like, a flu symptoms.
[101] She came home, went to bed.
[102] That evening she still wasn't feeling too great, but nevertheless was able to talk about the television she'd missed, the programmes she'd missed on telly.
[103] She took another aspirin, went to bed.
[104] At seven P M, she started to talk about the evening things and went to sleep.
[105] At ten P M she didn't seem too great either, her temperature had gone up a little bit, but nevertheless, she slept on.
[106] The next morning when her mother came to talk to her to see how she was, Alice's breathing was very shallow, and she had a very high temperature.
[107] The emergency doctor was called, the doctor phoned for an ambulance, and for Alice to be taken to hospital, but when the ambulance staff tested for her blood pressure, it was so low they hardly got a reading.
[108] She arrived at the hospital at nine A M, and her condition was diagnosed as toxic shock syndrome or meningitis.
[109] She was transferred to intensive care, her breathing gave great concern and therefore she was put on a br ventilator.
[110] Sadly the strain was far too much for poor Alice.
[111] Two heart attacks later, she died at one P M.
[112] It took less than forty eight hours for Alice to die.
[113] That's the reality of toxic shock.
[114] On my way to conference this morning, I went in and bought a packet of eight tampons.
[115] On the back is a warning, if you've got a magnifying glass that is.
[116] They finally put it on after pressure from the campaign.
[117] Inside you take the leaflet out, after you've taken all the other tampons out of course, because they block the removal of the leaflet, you get a leaflet like this.
[118] It's in eight different languages.
[119] In fact, it's in English down one side here.
[120] I'll tell you what you need even better mike er magnifying glass to read it.
[121] Toxic shock, the symptoms.
[122] I'll tell you what, me eyesight isn't great, but nevertheless I struggle with that.
[123] It's there, it's that little section in all of that.
[124] That's the safety warning.
[125] That's what we're calling for.
[126] Alice's parents didn't know about toxic shock, and the fact it could be related to using a tampon, but also the parents of some other children, other women didn't know either.
[127] Their daughters also died.
[128] It's caused by a bacteria that's on many of our skins.
[129] In fact you find it high up in your nose, remember that next time you pick your nose.
[130] In thirty five percent of women it's found in the vagina as well.
[131] The use of the tampon creates the right atmosphere for that bacteria to breed, and they very quickly start to attack the immune system of the body.
[132] It enters the body in the bloodstream through the vaginal wall.
[133] It attacks vital organs.
[134] Those who have survived this horrible, horrible illness, in fact, have often lost vital organs, have been left with a legacy that will last for their lives.
[135] One parent described the condition of her daughter in hospital, when she saw her, who was also suffering from toxic shock.
[136] There was a brown poison oozing from her eyes, nose, her ears, her gums.
[137] The smell was unbelievable.
[138] Lauren was rotting away in front of me.
[139] That is toxic shock syndrome.
[140] We're asking that you educate people about the symptoms.
[141] Thank God it is rare, but sadly attacks those who are young.
[142] Often, they're most at risk, and yet the manufacturers promote their products quite extensively in many hous of our schools, up and down this land.
[143] All we're asking for is a sense of balance, all we're asking for is for the facts put in there, so at least if the symptoms are made aware, then at least people are aware to do something about it.
[144] Because as I've described, time is of the essence, because if people don't realize the symptoms, then often the opportunity is missed.
[145] We're asking for a union campaign, and I've got to applaud Mick and APEX at the APEX conference, we are at the forefront of this issue, we've worked hard with that family, Jenny and Peter to bring this issue to the, to national attention, through that, our Euro M P, through Denise there, Denise has brought it into Europe.
[146] Today at the fringe meeting where seventy odd people attended, I've been inundated by people who've come forward and said we wanna raise it, we wanna put instructions on the machines that dispense these.
[147] You've heard the talk, the family their son, her brother, has helped to produce a video.
[148] He is nineteen.
[149] There'll be no birthday party in Manchester, but please God, Alice's memory will live on, and please God, maybe somebody else's daughter will be saved.
[150] Conference I thank you.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Sheila (PS2L8) [151] President, Congress, Sheila , South Western region, pleased to second the composite.
[152] Delegates, can you see what I'm holding.
[153] Some of you probably can't, it's small.
[154] But this is a tampon and as I said, it's small.
[155] But the danger that it threatens is no small matter, and conference, it doesn't only affect women, because if you lose a child or a partner, a cousin, an aunt, or a sister, then brothers, it affects you.
[156] Toxic shock syndrome, T S S is a very rare complaint, linked with the use of vaginal tampons.
[157] It is a deadly and a serious one.
[158] It has killed three young women in Britain, in the past three years, and put many more in hospital.
[159] Deaths have also been reported in the United States, and if recovery is possible, then vital organs such as the liver, kidneys and lungs are badly damaged.
[160] Conference, young people especially need to be informed, as free samples are being given out in schools and colleges, and often the family of these young girls are unaware that their daughters are using these products even doctors and hospital staff fail to ask the question when these cases are admitted, are you using tampons?
[161] President, the under twenty fives are thought to be particularly at risk.
[162] Whilst there is no way at present to test whether this bacteria is carried, or if immunity to the toxin is low, awareness of the problem can minimize the risk, or the decision to use the tampon can be taken.
[163] Conference this motion calls upon Congress to organize a campaign to provide legislation to regulate all aspects of manufacture, coordinate research, and to raise awareness throughout the G M B membership, and also the general public.
[164] Please support the composite.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dorothy (PS2L9) [165] Dorothy , Birmingham West Midlands region, supporting composite thirty two, speaking without the support of my region, but only because we didn't get around to discussing it, but we will, we will.
[166] Eight years ago, no nine years ago, I lost a three year old grandchild from something very much like T S S, and that was erm streptococcus septicaemia.
[167] Twenty four hours from onset to death.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...]
Dorothy (PS2L9) [168] And because of a very mild T S S infection, it's very unlikely that my daughter will ever have another child, so I wholeheartedly support the composite motion, but want to emphasize what we as individuals must do.
[169] Yes, we do need new legislation.
[170] It's bad enough that unlike razor blades, which are zero rated, sanitary protection attracts seventeen and a half percent V A T because it is not classed as a medical necessity.
[171] Try telling that to a woman who bleeds five days in every month for thirty, thirty five, forty years of her life.
[172] Now we learn that tampons are not classed as medical appliances and therefore not subject to the same stringent government legislation on manufacture and sterility which applies to say condoms which when you come to think about it are destined for the same anatomical region.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [laugh]
Dorothy (PS2L9) [173] Yes, we do need a union led campaign to reach our members, but that is not enough.
[174] We all have a part to play.
[175] Just look at the T V hype on sanitary protection, especially tampons and see who it is aimed at.
[176] According to T V ads women do not menstruate if they are thirty, or forty, or fifty.
[177] We know they do.
[178] They don't menstruate if they're fat, or plain or disabled.
[179] The T V image woman does not push a buggy or a vacuum cleaner, or a lawnmower or a shopping trolley.
[180] More importantly from our point of view, she does not operate a press or a lathe, nor a welding machine or check-out till, nor a typewriter or computer, or an industrial sewing machine.
[181] She is not a home help or a hospital ancillary worker, in short she does not work, she is not in a trade union, so she will not read our journals.
[182] She is young slim and beautiful.
[183] She leads a glamorous, active exciting life.
[184] Indeed, if I used Tampax I might go hang-gliding this weekend.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping] [laugh]
Dorothy (PS2L9) [185] No, the image is aimed at the most vulnerable.
[186] Young girls eager to break into the heady delights of adult freema freedom and excitement.
[187] Who can't be bothered to read health warnings on cigarette packets let alone tampon packets.
[188] We have to reach them, but how?
[189] If you're a school governor or a member of a P T A or just a parent, you must demand that the real facts of life and death are part of sex and hygiene education.
[190] If you have daughter or a granddaughter, or a niece, you must speak out.
[191] If you are involved with a youth club, or guides, or venture scouts or whatever, anywhere you can reach the ears and minds of young girls you must speak out and tell it how it really is.
[192] Tampons are not smart.
[193] Tampons are not glamorous, they are truly bloody dangerous.
[194] Congress, delegates, please support, and please remember, and please, please act.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [195] Go on
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping] ...
Joanne (PS2LA) [196] Joanne , Lancashire region supporting composite motion thirty two.
[197] President, Congress, I am a sufferer of toxic shock syndrome.
[198] Late last year I was getting terrible stomach pains.
[199] They started at the beginning of one week, by the Thursday, the pain and the sickness were so bad they took me to hospital.
[200] There, they gave tests and examined me.
[201] They could not find nothing wrong for why I was so ill.
[202] The doctors firstly thought I had food poisoning.
[203] They asked me personal questions that I could not even repeat here today.
[204] Finally after more tests, a nurse, not a doctor, asked if I had used tampons.
[205] I said yes, so she informed the doctor, who ordered some more tests.
[206] By this time, my temperature and blood pressure was so high I could not even be given a proper anaesthetic.
[207] I underwent the most frightening time of life, and all this was because of ignorance.
[208] We need to campaign, to urge, no urge is not strong enough, to insist that tampon manufacturers clearly highlight the symptoms and risks to users.
[209] I was told that my chances now have been greatly reduced of ever having my own family.
[210] At twenty five this is a very hard thing to be told.
[211] What future do I now have?
[212] I hope that by telling you my personal experience it will help to save others.
[213] Congress, please support this motion.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [214] President, Congress, Denise , from the South West region.
[215] Firstly, thank you very much Kevin, for the tribute, but there's a heck of a lot more people need their names included in that list and I think one of them's just joined it.
[216] I like to address this Congress very briefly, and I'd like to address the men.
[217] Please don't be embarrassed about this subject.
[218] I know it's not something that most of you are used to talking on a day to day basis, and if you go back to your workplace and you happen to be in a very male dominated workplace, it's not necessarily gonna be the easiest thing to broach with your colleagues when you get back.
[219] A little while ago, we heard about something called AIDS, and it's something that's terrified most of us in one way or another.
[220] When I first heard about it, someone said to me, within the next ten years, one of ten of us will know of someone who's died from it.
[221] That was about six years ago, I heard that, and I've heard of one person already that I've personally met.
[222] We've all come to use the word condom in public conversation and nobody gets embarrassed about that any more, and that's what has to happen now.
[223] Condoms are something that everyone uses every day.
[224] Tampons are something that only women use, but it's something that must become part of our voc vocabulary if we're to save lives.
[225] By avoiding this situation and pretending it's not happening means that we can actually be risking the lives of one our friends, one of our family.
[226] Please think about that.
[227] The legislation that we're trying to put into progress, through the cam campaign is obviously gonna take a long time to achieve, so word of mouth is absolutive absolutely vital.
[228] Please, I'll pass on the information that you've received, contact Kevin or myself for the details that are on the leaflets we've put about.
[229] If you want the information.
[230] The video is available.
[231] Please get your branch to buy a copy, ten pound is hardly any money at all from branch funds, so that you push this round and get it shown.
[232] As has been suggested by earlier speakers, please pass it on through schools, colleges wherever you might be active within the movement, or through children in local schools.
[233] I'd lastly like to say a thank you to Kevin, because I think, as a man, it is obviously more difficult for him to broach this subject, and he's been pursuing this through APEX through for a very long time, and has worked extremely hard, so I'd like to say thank you to him, and thank you to you now for taking the message back home.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [234] Hear, hear.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [235] Before we vote, I'll take one more speaker, Ken. ...
Dick (PS2L2) [236] President, Congress, Ken , Midland and East Coast region.
[237] Congress, I've come to the rostrum today because, some weeks ago, as Chairman of er Grimsby Constituency Labour Party, this leaflet arrived on the desk of our office.
[238] It somewhat shook me rigid, and through my colleague, Peggy who received a gold award this week, we got some of those leaflets, that were sent to us, and Peggy wrote a letter, around to the workplaces in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, and as a role, as trade union liaison officer with Grimsby C L P, she sent it to the workplaces within Grimsby.
[239] When I raised it as Chairman at the General Management Committee, I was disgusted to find that people laughed at the very subject that was so important to women who've come up here today to let us know the consequences of what was happening.
[240] I had to bawl those people out for not having due consideration to the effects of other human beings and the problems that they have.
[241] But from that meeting some good came, because thanks to Peggy , and the rest of the lady delegates from the G M B on the executive of the Grimsby C L P which amount to sixteen, I've managed to get two thousand toxic shock syndrome forms around United Biscuits, Ross Group, S G M Chemicals, the whole of the Humber bank, and everywhere else that we can get it into.
[242] I've also instructed the secretary of Great Grimsby C L P to write to the Education Authority, to get us into schools and colleges and when we received a reply from the Education Authority, to my dismay, they didn't know anything about it.
[243] Conference, I think you can see that we in Grimsby, have done a little bit, we would like to do more, we support the composite, and we support the lady speakers that've come up here today.
[244] I support.
Dick (PS2L2) [245] Thank you Ken.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [246] Colleagues, motion two six one, hormone replacement therapy, to be moved by G M B Scotland ... If the seconder and also the mover of two six nine from Yorks, would come to the front as well, and the Midland region who are moving comp six along with the C E C speaker Sue , we'd be very grateful.
[247] Time's moving on, colleagues, now. ...
Tom (PS2L3) [248] President, Congress, I'm Morag , G M B Scotland, moving motion two six one.
[249] It's hormone replacement the therapy, it's better known as H R T.
[250] Congress, the woman worker is often low paid, and suffers from the menopause symptom and has to pay the full prescription charges for a treatment of H R T.
[251] Every woman at Congress will sooner or later suffer through the menopause.
[252] Colleagues who suffer through the menopause sometimes can't afford to pay the high cost of a pre-paid prescription charge.
[253] It's about fifty pound now there somewhere, this is unfair of this Tory government, who by the way doesn't agree with women in the front benches.
[254] Virginia Bottomley, she'd get more sympathy to the women of Britain and give the treatment free of charge.
[255] Mrs Bottomley do you suffer with these symptoms of the menopause?
[256] I wonder.
[257] I would have this country,con congress, to support this motion for the health and welfare of women members of the G B M B trade union, I move.
[258] Thank you very much for listening.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [259] Seconder for two six one
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [260] , Chair, Conference, seconding motion two six one.
[261] H R T contains es oestrogen, which is highly beneficial to older women at the change when they lose their natural supply.
[262] It gives them energy and helps them in general physical and mental health.
[263] It's also good for the skin.
[264] Above all, it strengthens bones and prevents brittle bone disease.
[265] Hip replacement operations are gone with it.
[266] Think of the cost of these on the National Health Service, it's costing a fortune.
[267] H R T will avoid these problems for most women.
[268] Some sources argue, it slightly increases the risk of breast cancer.
[269] What doesn't nowadays?
[270] Free H R T could save the National Health Service millions by keeping women healthier, happier and active.
[271] It also means women workers having less time off sick, having more energy and more strength throughout the menopause.
[272] It costs more than a normal prescription, two or three times as much, one charge for each hormone they contain, yet means the difference between health or serious illness and peace of mind for you and your partner.
[273] I second.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [274] Motion two six nine, Yorkshire. ...
Theresa (PS2L5) [275] Maureen , Yorkshire, North D Derbyshire region speaking in support of motion two six nine, Working Women's Safety.
[276] There has been a marked increase in the number of women working in isolated areas and the G M B has been campaigning for improvements in safety on public transport, a campaign which must continue.
[277] Employers must also real realize their responsibilities in ensuring that their employees do not work in fear of attack.
[278] If employees, employers put the same importance on the safety and security of their fav female employees as they do on the security of their property, there would probably be an instant improvement.
[279] Women who work in community are particularly at risk, housing wardens and particularly home care assistants, who work in some of the worst inner city areas are very often called out at night to attend someone who has been taken ill and yet no thought is given to the potential danger they could be facing in carrying out their job or what, to or what preventive measures can be taken.
[280] Whilst we appreciate the financial constraints being faced upon the public sector, we must not accept this as a reason for doing nothing.
[281] The importance of women's safety at work cannot be underestimated, and we need to pursue this issue in the workplace, in the community and at local national level.
[282] Safety represen representatives should place women's safety on safety committee's agenda and it should remain there until improvements are achieved.
[283] Further pressure should be brought to bear through local and national negotiation ma machinery.
[284] Lobbies of local councillors for improvements in street lighting should be organized, campaigns organized in conjunction with trade councils would raise awareness of the general public and we should also involve the transport unions.
[285] And last, but not least, everyone in Congress has a responsibility to go back to their workplaces and communities and begin the campaign, not next year, or the year after, but next week.
[286] Congress support.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [287] Thank you very much [...] seconder for two six nine
Maureen (PS2L6) [288] Linda , Yorkshire and North Derbyshire region seconding motion two six nine on Working Women's Safety.
[289] President, Congress.
[290] Rapes, murders, assaults, kidnaps and muggings are reported daily in newspapers and in the media.
[291] Violent crime is increasing at an alarming rate, and more and more of our members are at risk of becoming victims.
[292] I work at a distribution centre, where there is continuous shiftwork, which means that women and men are walking home at all hours of day and night often taking short-cuts across playing fields and waste land, totally unaware of the potential dangers.
[293] If we have our own transport, our car is in the darkest, remotest area.
[294] I'm sure this sounds familiar.
[295] Isn't it strange that the well lit, easily accessible car park is reserved for managers?
[296] Many regions have produced guidelines on personal safety, and have advised branches where personal attack alarms can be purchased at a very reasonable cost.
[297] This should clearly demonstrate to employers that the G M B takes this issue seriously and negotiators at all levels should be encouraged to approach employers to purchase personal attack alarms for their employees at risk.
[298] My region and the G M B are very concerned for our members' safety.
[299] Employers should also be concerned.
[300] There are several ways in which employers can take a positive lead in, lead by organizing awareness training.
[301] Assistance can be sought through community police departments, who will usually provide a speaker to talk to employers and their employees about all aspects of risk.
[302] Employers could also provide extra lighting in car parks and on paths on their premises, and to consider providing free transport to and from work, particularly for evening and night workers.
[303] The cost of these actions would not be prohib prohibitive, and would be offset by the savings achieved in increased morale and not having to subsidize violent crime through sick pay schemes.
[304] Congress support.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [305] Composite motion six, to be moved by Midlands, seconded by Southern. ...
Kevin (PS2L7) [306] Peggy , Midlands and East Coast region, moving composite six, Harassment and Bullying at Work.
[307] President, delegates, harassment has been clearly defined, and c can take a number of forms.
[308] It can be sexual, racial, physical, verbal or bullying.
[309] It can come from various sources, bosses, colleagues, customers, clients or the public at large.
[310] Harassment is perhaps the most widespread problem in, in Britain today.
[311] Managers con who constantly pick on individuals sometimes resulting in sudden and unsupportable dismissals.
[312] The more vulnerable the person is at their place of work, the more often harassment takes place.
[313] The victims of harassment are reluctant to make a complaint for a number of reasons.
[314] They are embarrassed by the conduct, and don't want to talk about it.
[315] They fear victimization especially if the harasser is their boss or someone senior to them.
[316] They hope that if they ignore the, the behaviour it will stop or they don't believe their complaint will be taken seriously or that any action will be taken at all.
[317] President, colleagues, as most of you are aware I work in the food industry, in, in this industry the majority are female.
[318] Some of the horror stories that I hear are horrendous, but I want to tell you three issues that I do actually know about.
[319] I know of a young female who had to show a leading hand a tampon out of her pocket, to prove that she needed a toilet.
[320] I know of a manager who seems to get great pleasure by bullying females and male w and male workers.
[321] I know of a female member of this union who was sexually abused by her male colleagues, who I might add, are members of the G M B.
[322] She made numerous complaints to her manager, who happened to be male, what did he do?
[323] Nothing, nothing at all.
[324] He ignored her complaints.
[325] What did she do?
[326] Who could she turn to?
[327] She turned to the union.
[328] The G M B, who have taken up her case, which is still ongoing today.
[329] President, colleagues, this harassment has got to be stopped.
[330] There must be hundreds of females and males out there too frightened to speak out in case they lose their jobs, because let's not forget there have been many cases in which males have been harassed or are being ha harassed.
[331] Conference, I was pleased to read that British Gas has implemented an employee harassment policy and procedure scheme, to help employers deal with this issue.
[332] Since it started in December nineteen ninety one, two hundred and sixty nine workplace counsellors have been trained to help employees with this problem.
[333] In most cases, problems have been resolved informally.
[334] To date, four cases have gone through the disciplinary procedure.
[335] Conference, you have the composite in front of her, in front of you, you've heard the facts from myself, please support the composite as it can and it will affect you all.
[336] I move.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [337] Will the seconder from Southern.
[338] Formally seconded.
[339] Thank you very much indeed.
[340] Call Sue to put the C E C position. ...
Sheila (PS2L8) [341] Sue , speaking on behalf of the C E C and it's nice to be back, and it's nice to be feeling well again.
[342] In respect of these erm motions, I'd like to make a couple of points on each one.
[343] The cancer screening, everybody must remember as Kevin said on the toxic shock erm motion, that it's your wife, your sister, your daughter who needs the cancer screening, the same thing applies to the toxic shock syndrome.
[344] It applies to health right across the board.
[345] As far as ho erm the H R T is erm here we go you see, this is post-natal illness this is right, we need one on that as well, but what we need to know, and what we need to be aware of, is that the discussion has to be actually put out through the members in the same sort of way as Ken and Peggy have done in the erm Midland and East Coast region and also on Working Women's Safety, it needs to be taken on board that we are absolutely fed up , sick to death and absolutely running out of patience at having to hammer home this thing about equality.
[346] There is no need for us to actually have to drill into people, that we don't want to be bullied, pushed around, and that nine times out of ten, the violence or the bullying is male to female.
[347] It's not always that way, but we are absolutely sick and tired of it and it's about ... [tape change] and sisters, that whenever we come across it, we make sure that those people don't continue that type of harassment.
[348] With apologies for not being a perfect speech, but without any apologies for the symptoms that I'm suffering too, because you all need to know about that as well.
[349] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [350] Colleagues, the C E C are supporting all the motions that have just been debated, and I propose to take the vote.
[351] Motion two five eight, all those in favour?
[352] ... Against?
[353] That's carried.
[354] Composite motion thirty two, all those in favour ... Against?
[355] ... That's carried.
[356] Motion two six one, all those in favour?
[357] ... Against?
[358] That's carried.
[359] Motion two six nine, all those in favour?
[360] ... Against?
[361] ... That's carried.
[362] Composite motion six, all those in favour?
[363] ... That's carried, anybody against? ...
Dick (PS2L2) [364] Er, colleagues, health and environment, composite motion five, to be moved by Midland, motion two six four, green issues in the environment, Lancashire region to move, motion two six five, noise pollution to be moved by G M B Scotland, motion two six six, Birmingham personal injuries disclaimers.
[365] Motion two six eight, alcohol in the workplace, Birmingham to move.
[366] Comp seven, Lancashire region to move.
[367] Now, that obviously means, colleagues that we're, we're going over for a period of time, but we're er slightly behind this afternoon, so certainly need to be trying to pull some work back.
[368] So, it's comp five, Midland region to move, Northern to second.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [369] Thank you very much
Dorothy (PS2L9) [370] Keith , Midland and East Coast region, moving composite motion five.
[371] President, Congress calls upon all regions within the G M B to ensure that all safety reps and activists are supplied with all relevant information and details regarding the introduction of the new E E C directives on health and safety, which was introduced in the U K in January this year.
[372] We must put a stop to employees being put at risk, and being pressurized by ruthless employers to work unsafe, under the threat of if you don't do it, then we'll get somebody that will.
[373] We've all heard haven't we?
[374] We know employees are being blackmailed with their jobs to risk life and limb so employers can make a fat profit at our expense.
[375] But when companies are fined for breaking the health and safety laws, they only get fined a pittance, compared to what damage is caused to employees through companies' neglect and law breaking.
[376] The new directives should go a long way to ensuring that employers do not abuse their employees in terms of unsafe working practice, practices.
[377] With [...] health and safety legislation, safety reps would have the law on their side when challenging these employers.
[378] With implementation of these new directives, hopefully it will eliminate such instances as the Y T S worker who was instructed by his employer to weld a petrol tanker which had not been properly cleaned out, and still contained dangerous fumes, which resulted in the loss of a life.
[379] In this case, the employer was fined two thousand pound, the maximum fine.
[380] Such employers should be made to pay the price of the crime, they should be fined heavily, or even imprisoned.
[381] The maximum fine shouldn't be two thousand pound but at least twenty thousand pound, equal to that legislated for breaking environmental and food hygiene laws.
[382] This union needs to ensure that all our safety reps take advantage of the new directives, because with a reduction of health and safety inspectors, health and safety has never been so bad.
[383] I ask you to support this motion.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping] ...
Joanne (PS2LA) [384] President, Congress, Ron , Northern region seconding composite five.
[385] Congress, we are now enjoying probably the best legal protection ever to safeguard our health and safety at work.
[386] Since nineteen seventy four and the implemation implementation of the Health and Safety At Work Act, we've seen new legislation in the form of safety reps, safety committees, COSHH regulations, and of January this year, the introduction of six European directives on health and safety.
[387] All these regulations, colleagues, do you feel any safer?
[388] Legal protection at work that has ignored.
[389] We have seen dramatic increases in serious fata and fatal accidents occurring in British industry, our legal departments continue to cover millions on behalf of workers who suffer injury, disease and even death.
[390] L l employers pay lip service to health and safety.
[391] In the last ten years we have seen a fifty percent rise in serious and fatal accidents, at whose expense colleagues?
[392] The Tories continue to block, water and water down protection,desi sorry, down protection designed to safeguard our members, the idea that a safety rep should have the right to stop the job in the interest of safety, is almost a feasible offence.
[393] The fact of the matter is, the safety rep is probably the best trained member of the workforce, able to deal with health and safety problems in the workplace, and safeguard our members from hazards.
[394] Safety reps are entitled to training.
[395] This provides background knowledge so that often not only spots a hazard, but actually saves a life.
[396] Congress, our laws are weakened at the Tories request, and recent announcements that the public funding of trade union education is to be stopped has even brought a c cry of outrage from the Health and Safety Executive.
[397] The right to stop the job has to be our campaign cry, lay officials and full-time officials must integrate the priority of health and safety issues.
[398] Our political allies in the Labour Party should spell out exactly what it means to work in an unsafe environment, and last but not least, we should push the message of the National Health and Safety Conference of last year, better safe than sorry.
[399] Thank you colleagues.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [400] Motion two six four, Lancashire region. ...
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [401] Pam , Lancashire region, moving motion two six four.
[402] President, Congress, whatever happens over the next few years, one thing is sure, the environment is here to stay.
[403] The environment whether at global level, community or the workplace level, affects all our members.
[404] Trade unions have been slow to develop their own approach, [...] is coming, and the G M B should be at the forefront.
[405] We will delev develop a collective approach.
[406] At workplace level, we start our own health and safety issues, in the community we can support the local environment protection issues, and at international level, we too can have the influence.
[407] We are about the only organization that can operate at all these levels.
[408] You can now see why we wish to commit the G M B to extend the role of health and safety representatives, to embrace environmental issues.
[409] To do this, we need to develop our training accordingly.
[410] This may be done directly by us, or through the T U C and that way we would save some of our vital resources.
[411] Meanwhile, our employers are becoming more involved, and for a variety of reasons.
[412] One is to get a marketing edge on their rivals.
[413] Secondly, some are concerned that they cannot go on plundering our planet without costs escalating, and thirdly others realize that international laws are here to stay, so they may as well accept them.
[414] But one further development is the British Standard, the B S seven seven five O, and seeks out to set the systems of environmental management.
[415] It is compatible with the recent E C Audit and Management Regulations, and it deals with all the partners a company may have.
[416] Not just its customers, but those partners include people in the local community and ourselves.
[417] We should be approaching selected companies now, and finding out whether they wish to develop this standard.
[418] We can then be involved in the setting of performance indicators and carrying out audits, much like we carry out our safety inspections, and that way we may be able to work on joint policies on the environment.
[419] But you all may be thinking, that is all well and good, but where are we going to find the time, the support, and the resources to do this.
[420] We are already too stretched, and the law does not give us automatic ex access to time off for training, but we have got to ask, and we should commit the G M B to lobby for an extension of existing laws, and to lobby for various E C funds, and then we can begin to make a real impact on the environment.
[421] I move.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...] ...
Dick (PS2L2) [422] President, Congress, Les , Lancashire region, speaking in support of motion two six four.
[423] This motion calls for safety reps to be given the right to be involved in all workplace environmental issues, including inspections of all plant and equipment, assessing the compliance with company policies and the regulatory requirements.
[424] The employers will tell you that environmental auditing is solely a management tool, but, B S seven seven five O, and the Euro Community regulations, should lead to increased employee and T U involvement.
[425] If an audit shows that a practice, substance or plant is an environmental hazard, then the results of the assessment should available for all employees and reps alike.
[426] We're calling upon the G M B to incorporate environmental training and awareness in health and safety courses, thereby enabling our safety reps to address the issues with their employers, and stress the need to establish environmental policies.
[427] We are also calling on the G M B to pursue this issue through the T U C and any other avenues that may be open in the hope that, as a result, we can enjoy a better environment and quality of life at work.
[428] In taking up on green and environmental issues, it will give the G M B a much higher profile, and make non-members and the general public alike more aware of the good things that we are striving for on their behalf.
[429] This can only be good for the G M B and it would hopefully bring on board some, if not all of the doubting Thomases, that have said in the past that we do nothing for them.
[430] Please support this motion, and go for a better life for all.
[431] I support.
[432] Thank you.
Dick (PS2L2) [433] Thanks Les.
[434] Motion two six five, G M B Scotland to move, and as the mover is coming to the rostrum, just by way of a change, colleagues, can I extend on your behalf, a very warm welcome to one of our women M Ps?
[435] Member of this union, Brigitte Prentice from Lewisham East.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [436] Okay colleague.
Tom (PS2L3) [437] President, colleagues, Margaret , Scottish region, moving motion two six five.
[438] The main objective of this motion is to create conditions that our members will not suffer deafness because of industrial noise.
[439] Over the years our members have suffered massive damage to their hearing.
[440] The forerunners of the campaigns and fights to introduce legislation to prevent the continuation of this disease, was the Technical Craft section, previously the Boilermakers.
[441] But even with the successful, and still limited legislation, backed up with the pressure of millions of pounds recovered in compensation by our union, we still have a long way to go.
[442] We believe that prevention is better than losing one of our senses that denies our members a major part of their quality of life.
[443] We therefore ask conference to support this motion.
[444] Thank you.
Dick (PS2L2) [445] Thank you very much.
[446] Is that seconded?
[447] Is that seconded?
[448] Formally seconded?
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2L2) [449] Thank you very much.
[450] Motion two six six, Birmingham region to move. ...
Nigel (PS2L4) [451] Congress, President, Cliff , Birmingham and West Midland region, moving motion two six six.
[452] This motion is the disgraceful practice by certain insurance companies, of having settled a claim for personal injury, get a person to sign a disclaimer.
[453] Then the company puts them back on the same job and they further injure themselves.
[454] Immediately you put in another claim, and the insurance company turns round and says hard luck mate, you've signed away to say that was the settlement for that injury for once and all time and we won't accept another claim for the same injury.
[455] I believe that the C E C is accepting this, and I just want to say to the branch secretaries out there, do what I do, tell every member grab the cheque and throw the disclaimer in the bin.
[456] I move.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [457] The seconder for two six six.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2L2) [458] Formally seconded, thank you.
[459] Motion two six eight, Birmingham region to move.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2L2) [460] Formally moved.
[461] Is it formally seconded?
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [462] Here
Dick (PS2L2) [463] Thank you very much.
[464] Composite seven, Lancashire region to move, Yorkshire region to second.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2L2) [465] Formally moved, formally seconded.
[466] Come on George run, come on.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...] ...
Theresa (PS2L5) [467] George , Lancashire region moving composite seven.
[468] Erm, ... for those of you, and it seems to me that there's not many people been upstairs and collected these things, but this er motion is covered by two G M B documents that are upstairs and for the people to catch with us.
[469] One of the things I found out about this one, is that, welder's lung is still not recognized as an industrial disease er of all this time, and yet, if you have welder's lung by er using stainless steel, it is, but it comes under asthma, so that's something that we feel that should be being pushed by the G M B.
[470] Erm, ... the composite asks for erm, this document to be pushed with all employers.
[471] Well, the only way you'll do that is by giving them a copy.
[472] That's my feelings erm.
[473] I move.
Dick (PS2L2) [474] Thanks very much indeed George.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping] ...
Maureen (PS2L6) [475] Kevin , Yorkshire and North Derbyshire seconding composite seven, prescribing industrial diseases.
[476] President, Congress, carpal tunnel syndrome is just one of a large family of painful, uncomfortable, and distressing work related upper limb disorders.
[477] These diseases create a great deal of pain and suffering to our members.
[478] They cost the country a small fortune in lost time and health care every year, but only a limited few of prescribed ind industrial diseases are recognized.
[479] Carpal tunnel syndrome has recently been recognized and added to the list of prescribed industrial diseases but only when linked to vibrating hand tools.
[480] This is ridiculous.
[481] The pain from this condition is the same whatever the cause.
[482] Everyone knows that you don't have to play tennis to suffer from tennis elbow, likewise carpal tunnel is not the cause by vibrating hand tools.
[483] The G M B must continue the campaign for recognition of the many still unrecognized upper limb disorders, and all the causes of these painful conditions.
[484] Yes, we do need a common approach throughout the E E C to these conditions.
[485] We need a common and comprehensive list of prescribed industrial diseases and a common procedure for dealing with them.
[486] Anyone confirmed as suffering from a prescribed industrial disease should receive compensation for their condition without having to wait for the findings of a long drawn-out court arguments.
[487] This union's campaigned tirelessly for recognition of industrial diseases and their causes, this campaign must continue.
[488] Please support the composite.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [489] Thanks very much indeed colleague.
[490] Erm, I call upon Mark to put the C E C position in respect of motion two six four.
[491] All the other motions are being accepted by the C E C.
Kevin (PS2L7) [492] President, Congress,
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clears throat]
Kevin (PS2L7) [493] Mark , Northern region, speaking on behalf of the C E C.
[494] Congress the C E C are asking you to support motions two six five, two six six and two six eight, and composite motions five and seven and to support motion sixty four, two six four with a qualification.
[495] Composite five calls of safety reps to have legal rights to halt hazardous operations in workplaces.
[496] This is something that the G M B have been campaigning for since nineteen ninety.
[497] Our workplaces kill campaign says that safety reps should have the right to stop the job when workers are in serious danger and where employers refuse to act.
[498] We have not given up that demand.
[499] There are still reckless employers who will place our members at risk.
[500] As long as they exist, we call on safety reps to have the legal right to stop the job without fear of intimidation or victimization.
[501] The G M B also want employers who flout the law to be properly punished, not a slap on the wrist which many hand out, we want imprisonment for serious offenders, and fines which will make potential offenders think twice before cutting corners and putting our members at risk.
[502] As composite seven points out, when our members are injured or made ill by their work, they should not have to wait years for compensation, we need a system which is swift, fair and comprehensive.
[503] Our President, Dick , sits on Industrial Injury Advisory Council, and does his utmost, but as Dick knows only too well, that the system is tangled up in red tape, and also Tory ministers who are busy cutting costs at the expense of injured workers.
[504] Unlike this government, the G M B gives practical help.
[505] We have just produced a new rights guide, called Accident and Diseases at Work, which is available, hot off the press, on the health and safety stall.
[506] This explains the compensation and benefits system, and will help those who need to make a claim.
[507] Motion two six four, quite rightly recognizes that environmental issues are a growing concern.
[508] The intention of the motion is sound, but the C E C are of the view that the environmental activities will need to be properly supported, for instance, safety reps have no legal rights on the environment, as they do with health and safety, and this may cause problems.
[509] Congress, is asked to accept this motion, with a qualification that the union will need to develop a framework of support for workplace environment activities.
[510] This will take some time.
[511] Just one item also on composite seven.
[512] The carpal in er tunnel syndrome, as from April the nineteenth, was declared a pr prescribed industrial disease.
[513] Congress, please support motion two six five, two six six, two six eight and composite motions five and seven and motions two six four with qualifications.
[514] Thank you.
Dick (PS2L2) [515] Thanks very much Mark.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [516] As Mark has said, colleagues, the C E C are recommending your support on all the motions.
[517] I propose to take the vote.
[518] Composite motion five, all those in favour?
[519] ... Against?
[520] ... That's carried.
[521] Motion two six four, all those in favour?
[522] ... Against?
[523] ... That's carried.
[524] Motion two six five, all those in favour?
[525] ... Against?
[526] ... That's carried.
[527] Motion two six six, all those in favour?
[528] ... Against?
[529] ... That's carried.
[530] Motion two six eight, all those in favour?
[531] Against?
[532] That's carried.
[533] Com Composite motion seven, all those in favour?
[534] ... Against?
[535] ... That's carried.
[536] Colleagues, we've now got two motions on the T U C, motion three eight eight, T U C Conference to be moved by the London region. ...
Sheila (PS2L8) [537] Congress, President, er Bert from the London region moving motion three eight eight, and President with your permission, three eight nine simultaneously because
Dick (PS2L2) [538] Yes
Sheila (PS2L8) [539] the arguments are in fact the same
Dick (PS2L2) [540] yes indeed that'd be very helpful Bert.
Sheila (PS2L8) [541] alright
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [laugh]
Dick (PS2L2) [542] We're not supporting him, but it'd be very helpful
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [laugh]
Sheila (PS2L8) [543] That's a surprise Dick, innit?
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [544] Bert, is it a sort of composite?
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [laugh]
Sheila (PS2L8) [545] Well, no it's not actually John.
[546] Don't try and muddy the waters, please.
[547] We've had enough of that this week already.
[548] Right, er.
[549] I, I
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [laugh]
Sheila (PS2L8) [550] I came here last year on behalf of the London region er with this particular er issue.
[551] We did ask at the annual conference, that the trades council be reinstated
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [552] They refused the composite
Sheila (PS2L8) [553] er, that in future, said conference would be able to pass at least one motion to the T U C Congress elect delegates to the same.
[554] This year the Trades Union Council Conference was held in Birmingham, and it congratulated the decision of the nineteen ninety two T U C Congress, to re-establish the national trade union council structure.
[555] At that conference, there was a motion from Merseyside, recognizing the shift in the T U C's position, but asking for what we're asking for today.
[556] Let me quote you part of that motion.
[557] It went [reading] this conference believes, that the role of trade union councils at local level, whose value is clearly acknowledged, must be strengthened by being given the right to express a view through its democratically elected delegates at annual conference within the framework of the T U C.
[558] Conference believes that if we are to be truly representative, with full democratic involvement within the movement, then the T U C should allow this conference the right to send two motions and delegates to the T U C Congress each year.
[559] Such a development can only encourage participation in trades union councils and thus help to strengthen the entire movement at grass root level [] .
[560] In other words, by agreeing the Merseyside motion, or in this case, three eight eight, and three eight nine, the democratic process would be complete.
[561] After all, trades councils are the local versions of the T U C, and so it would seem appropriate that they get a say at the T U C Congress itself.
[562] Now you could just vote for m motion three eight eight, and to which would say that delegates from the T U the trades councils could go to Congress, but not actually speak on any motions or you could vote for three eight eight and three eight eight and three eight nine, which of course, I'd like you to do.
[563] Now, doubtless you are aware, that the C E C is opposing both.
[564] That came as a great surprise to me I can tell you.
[565] Last year it not only opposed these proposals, it sent Alex , er a T U C hack if there ever was one,
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [566] Oh, come on
Sheila (PS2L8) [567] up to the rostrum to put the boot in.
[568] Now let me remind you what he said.
[569] He said, ... trades council delegates can hardly be deemed to be representative of the broad interests of our movement.
[570] Now let me ask you, a lot of you this, some of you have been coming to Congress year after year, you probably come from branches from five hundred, a thousand, fifteen hundred people, but how many people actually go to the branch meetings to elect you to come to Congress?
[571] Are you representing the broad interests of your branch?
[572] It's a spurious argument on Alex 's behalf.
[573] He also said, I mean groups of people who are not answerable to wider collective membership.
[574] Of course we're answerable.
[575] We don't go to trades councils as individuals, we're there as representatives of our individual trades unions, and we have to abide by those rules.
[576] Of course we're accountable.
[577] Lastly, he said, we are committed to try and keep the trades council movement alive.
[578] That's very reassuring isn't it?
[579] It's like putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [laugh]
Sheila (PS2L8) [580] Anyway, look, it's not for him to say that he's gonna keep the trades council movement alive, the trades council movement can well look after itself, without the interference of the dead hand of the T U C.
[581] Now the reason I mention last year's events, is that I suspect that the same arguments are gonna be trotted out again.
[582] The hidden agenda was and is, to get rid of trades councils to save money.
[583] Well, I've got a better idea.
[584] Let's get rid of the T U C itself in its present form, then we'd really save some money won't we?
[585] When Norman Willis, the fat friar, finally shim shimmies off into obscurity, he should take the melancholy monk and all the rest of the Bloomsbury tales with him.
[586] We'd save a nice few quid then, wouldn't we?
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...]
Sheila (PS2L8) [587] We could turn Congress House into a night shelter for the homeless instead of what it is now, a refuge for the gormless.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping] [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [588] I hope you're not taking this personally?
Sheila (PS2L8) [589] The trades council movement is alive and well all over the country.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [590] I'm a bit worried about that
Sheila (PS2L8) [591] Activists are helping comrades in dispute, be they miners, railway workers, bus drivers or whatever.
[592] And let's face it, not many other bodies are doing anything, certainly not the T U C.
[593] The T U C is a national institution, bit like the F A cup final really, a sell-out every year.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [laugh] [clapping]
Sheila (PS2L8) [594] Maybe we've just misunderstood, even though we've been around for a long time, my own trades council in Battersea and Wandsworth celebrated its hundredth anniversary this year.
[595] That makes it even more important for the trades council rank and file to be represented at the T U C Congress, so people know what the reality is.
[596] So never mind what the executive amends, recommend, stick your hand up for three eight eight and three eight nine and give a bit of power back to the people.
[597] I move.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [598] Is John from the T U C in the house today?
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [599] He will be in a minute, he will be in a minute
Dick (PS2L2) [600] Was those motions formally seconded?
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [601] No, no
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [602] Fine
Dorothy (PS2L9) [603] President, Congress, Keith , London region, seconding motions three eight eight and three eight nine.
[604] Congress, trades councils are the grass roots of the trades union movement.
[605] Their delegates are rank and file activists at the cutting edge of industrial relations.
[606] The gap in understanding between trade, the ordinary trade unionists and the so-called barons appears to be widening.
[607] Sending delegates to Congress would be a small step in the fight against centralization.
[608] Debate in trades councils is more wide-ranging, reflecting a diversity of views, that are always found in a more parochial environs of Labour Party, and individual trade union branches.
[609] There is nothing to fear from this motion Congress, and it can only benefit the trade union movement.
[610] I second.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [611] Diversity of views
Dick (PS2L2) [612] Frank to put the C E C view.
Joanne (PS2LA) [613] Thank you President, no hype, and no boot, just a bit of common sense I think.
[614] Trades councils where they exist, do valuable work in coordinating the efforts of our political and industrial sections without doubt, on many issues affecting their local, their local areas.
[615] The value of this work is recognized [...] councils are the local versions of the [...] council aware, however, that in reality, the national cover of active trades councils is, to say the least, patchy.
[616] To suggest that delegates from a conference of existing trades councils would reflect a truly national view, would be misleading.
[617] However, that's not the main concern of the C E C.
[618] The T U C Congress is made up of bone fide delegates from national trade unions.
[619] Those delegates attend on behalf of their unions, governed by national policies, set by their appropriate executives and by their conferences.
[620] Yes, you, you here.
[621] A very clear, easily understood position.
[622] Those unions are also responsible for funding and implementing the decisions of that conference.
[623] Colleagues, to allow a trades council delegate to represent a trades council view, which could mean an official or member of a trades union speaking in opposition to its national policy, would be unacceptable.
[624] Conference, the view of the C E C is quite simple.
[625] The T U C is made up of national affiliated unions, the delegates to its conference should be from those unions, the C E C ask you to oppose three eight eight and three eight nine.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [626] Thanks very much Frank
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [627] I think Frank'll get it right next year won't he?
Sheila (PS2L8) [628] Well, this is a bit of re-run of last year again, and I've got a feeling we're gonna lose the replay an' all, but, I'll give it a go.
[629] Erm, I don't, I don't know what er people are er afraid of, or frightened of really,j just by sending a couple of delegates from the trades councils that would er voice the concerns of the rank and file, it's not going to er set any dangerous precedents, and let's, let's not forget that those people would be from recognized trades unions as well.
[630] I mean, I take the point that there might be an opposition to some of their national officials, well it's quite a good idea really the more I think about it [laugh] erm, but I just really don't see what there's anything to be frightened about.
[631] Even if you go halfway, and just say that the trades council conference could send two delegates, not to put trades council motions, but to give the trades council's view on important issues because the trades council representatives are representatives of the rank and file, they are the activists, they are the people like you, and I think they deserve a voice on a wider platform.
[632] I urge you to support both these motions.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [633] As Frank has indicated colleagues, the C E C are, are asking you to oppose both of these.
[634] I'll take the vote, three eight eight, all those in favour?
[635] ... Against?
[636] That's lost.
[637] [laugh] Three eight nine, all those in favour?
[638] ... Against?
[639] ... That's lost.
[640] ... Colleagues, er it's now my very great pleasure to welcome Doreen , secretary of the G M B, Retired Members and Spouses Association.
[641] A tremendous fighter on behalf of our retired members, one of the growing sections of the union.
[642] Doreen Scott, colleagues.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [643] President, friends and colleagues.
[644] In this the European Year of the Older People and solidarity between generations, I bring you greetings from the pensioners.
[645] We realize and experience with you the difficulties that most working people have these days.
[646] We have children and grandchildren who face unemployment, high mortgages, worries with the health service, and violence on the street, and we compare it with our own youth which was spent in fighting a war, with rationing, air raids and separations.
[647] But, we always thought then that it was going to bring about the end of all these things and result in a future where
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [648] [...] Trades councils
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [649] there would be security, full employment, and a great health and welfare service, where we would all be looked after in dignity in our old age.
[650] We did have that for a while, and we remember with pride, how the country was rebuilt and our health service was the envy of the world.
[651] Our children were fit and had opportunities for travel and a university education was there for those that wanted it.
[652] Unhappily now we are older it has all disappeared, and we must fight again just to retain the few rights we still have, such as state pensions and what is left of the health service.
[653] The pensioners' movement in which the G M B retired members play a part, is now widespread throughout the country.
[654] Those of you who remember Fred will know how he worked to start the British Pensioners and Trade Union Action Association as far back as nineteen seventy two.
[655] It was always his ambition to form a G M B Retired Members section, and this was accomplished seven years ago.
[656] We are grateful to our union for making this possible, and for sponsoring the retired members in this way ever since.
[657] We have adopted aims that may not win the war against poverty, but we hope we'll win battles to ease the burden on those older pensioners, especially those living alone on low incomes.
[658] Such battles as the abolition of additional charges made on telephones, gas and electricity bills, and now to add insult to injury, V A T.
[659] This government have to be made to realize what a cruel blow it has struck on the very weakest sections of the community, the unemployed and the five and half million pensioners living in poverty.
[660] Lack of travel concessions are another area involving burdens for many pensioners who cannot afford cars and have to rely on public transport.
[661] Last August, we were lucky enough to have John with us when we marched through London and delivered a petition of five hundred thousand signatures, requesting the Prime Minister to implement the British Pensioners' Charter.
[662] It was a great day, and best of all we even made it on the nine, on the six o'clock news.
[663] G M B pensioners were represented on the first delegation to visit the E E C in Brussels, in an effort to secure parity with the pensions in other European countries, and we also took part in the pensioners parliament in Luxembourg last year, to help to draw up a Pensioners' Charter for Europe.
[664] In March, as in past years, we had two members in the delegation that met with the all party committee for pensions in the House of Commons where we raised many of the matters that are worrying our generation including community care.
[665] Our present campaign is waged against targeting or means testing of benefits and pensions.
[666] We maintain that the pension is not a charity or a benefit, but is our right as something we pay contributions for all our working lives.
[667] This must be preserved
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [668] Hear hear [clapping]
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [669] this must be preserved for f future pen pensioners, that's you, as well as for those of today.
[670] Already together with the British pensioners, we have over fifty thousand signatures on our latest petition.
[671] At the same time, we are supporting the union's campaign for equal retirement age at sixty.
[672] We work closely with the national pensioners convention, with whom we were founder members, and shall be joining in the greatest demonstration by senior citizens in London on the twenty ninth of this month.
[673] We continue to see the G M B Retired Members and spousen Spouses Association growing in strength, but we cannot afford to waste precious time.
[674] We have come to realize that many of us will not see the improvements in our quality of life, as this is going to take a long time.
[675] The country has lost so many of the good things we achieved after the war.
[676] We need some of the younger, newly retired to come and join us in the fight to restore the dignity and security that should be there for everyone in the autumn of their lives.
[677] We have had few successes in
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [678] we have had a few successes in spite of this uncaring government, and feel that it has been worthwhile to protest.
[679] We had proved in a recent elections and even in the general election, that where the pensioners' movement was strong, the election results were more positive for candidates in support of our aims.
[680] We thank our union for their support, both morally and financially, and we shall continue to try and build up branches with your help throughout the U K.
[681] We hope some day that we shall have won all the battles, and then can relax and develop more of the social side of the retired member's association, but until then we enjoy the friendship and satisfaction of working together to secure a better deal for the elderly everywhere, and remember that, hopefully, you will all be pensioners one day.
[682] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [683] Thank you very much indeed, Doreen.
[684] Colleagues, I'm gonna ask the General Secretary to make a short statement.
[685] John.
Dick (PS2L2) [686] Yes, colleagues, er colleagues who've attended conference before will know, that whenever we come to a conference town to have our Congress, we always like to leave something behind as a gift to the local community.
[687] This year, Mary , vice-President, and I, together with Eddie and Derek , representing the Southern region, went to St Peter's Centre, which is a day centre for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease, towards the north of Portsmouth, to contribute our cheque of a thousand pounds, which is going towards the extension of the centre.
[688] Er, this particular disease, Alzheimer's disease was identified by Jim , who was the deputy mayor, a member of ours, who spoke to you earlier in the week, as one of the hidden diseases in our society, where more help should be given not just from the people who suffer from the disease, but from their, for their families who have to support them.
[689] The money will go towards an extension and towards kitchen equipment in the extension, we had a nice time there, and there was a great deal of gratitude to the G M B.
[690] I say to you on behalf of the centre, thank you Congress, thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2L2) [691] Thanks very much indeed John, er colleagues, just three points before we adjourn till tomorrow morning.
[692] Er, at some time during the course of tomorrow morning, I'll try and bring you up to date as to where we are in terms of the items that have fell off the agenda so far.
[693] We, we're not doing too badly, erm, but you need to know well in advance as to when those resolutions will be taken.
[694] So I'll try and give you an idea some time tomorrow morning of the of the situation.
[695] Could I advise colleagues, that there is the, the er, ...
Unknown speaker (KM0PSUNK) [696] Question Time
Dick (PS2L2) [697] the fringe meeting Question Time which is due to start in about five minutes time, will last till seven o'clock.
[698] John is gonna chair it, John , deputy General Secretary of the T U C will be there, [laugh] we hope, courtesy of Bert .
[699] [laugh] Liz , Pat , and Patricia .
[700] Try and get there colleagues, it should be very interesting indeed, and again, another commercial.
[701] Don't forget the cassette tapes, available at the sales point, located outside of the Congress.
[702] It'll be able to remind you of all the wonderful speeches you've made so far.
[703] Congress stands adjourned till nine thirty tomorrow morning.
[704] Thank you very much.