BNC Text KM1

Trade Union Annual Congress. Sample containing about 12125 words speech recorded in business context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C787

PS2LJ X m (Dick, age unknown, president of trade union) unspecified
PS2LK X m (John, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2LL X f (Denise, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2LM X m (Chris, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2LN X m (Duncan, age unknown, secretary of trades council) unspecified
PS2LP X m (Mike, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2LR X m (Ron, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2LS X m (Ed, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
PS2LT X m (John, age unknown, trade unionist) unspecified
KM1PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
KM1PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100915 recorded on 1993-06-09. LocationHampshire: Portsmouth ( The Guildhall ) Activity: trade union congress speech

Undivided text

Dick (PS2LJ) [1] Erm, a number of issues will come through in a moment or two, but first of all can we start this morning's business by calling on the Chair of the Standing Orders Committee John , to give report number three.
[2] John.
John (PS2LK) [3] Thank you.
[4] Standing Orders Committee report number three.
Dick (PS2LJ) [5] Settle down colleagues please.
John (PS2LK) [6] President, congress.
[7] I wish to move a short report on behalf of Standing Orders Committee.
[8] London Region have withdrawn motion fifty two, due for debate on Wednesday afternoon.
[9] Northern Region have withdrawn motion eighty two, due for debate on Wednesday morning.
[10] The Committee has accepted an emergency motion Proposed Redundancies at A B B Transport Limited to be moved by Midlands and East Coast Region as emergency motion number three.
[11] We would ask national officers to respect a time limit allowed for their reports.
[12] President, congress, I move this report.
Dick (PS2LJ) [13] Thanks very much indeed John.
[14] Conference accept S O C report number three?
[15] Agreed, thanks very much.
[16] Colleagues I'd just like to put one of er John's themes and that is that for the next couple of days we've got a hell of a lot of business to get through and er we've done quite well so far but er I would certainly be looking where possible colleagues for formally seconding er, as often as possible, if not all the time and I really appreciate your er your assistance in that regard because we have a great deal of business to get through in the next two days.
[17] We can do it, you can do it, I know that and er so if we all act with a bit of restraint, we'll get through.
[18] The other point is I gave you an undertaking yesterday to come back to you on the reschedule of the programme in respect of items that have fell of the agenda during the course of the week.
[19] Now what I'm proposing to do is to issue a revised programme in respect of the afternoon session this afternoon, which will take in some of the business that er has has already fell off which would be at the end of the private session this afternoon so we'll try and get in er rule twenty Regions in their Manage and their Management which will take in three motions, thirty six, thirty seven and forty and then we'll turn, hopefully, to the Social Security Payments Resolutions, you'll remember that they fell off, composite two eight three, motions three seven nine, three eight five and three eight six.
[20] Er, equally colleagues, I intend to try and take er key [...] national officers' report during the course of this morning.
[21] You'll recall that the key fell off the agenda as well, earlier or should I say, wasn't very painful.
[22] Should I say the report fell off the agenda.
[23] So that's what, that's the way I'm hoping that we can proceed, as I say, yes with your assistance and then if we can get through that business, then equally tomorrow morning, we'll be doing a similar thing,we we'll issue another revised programme which will er take in some of the outstanding stuff that's fell off.
[24] Yes. ...
Denise (PS2LL) [25] President, congress, Denise , South Western Region.
[26] As important as those motions are, we have also missed some very important ones which I think should take priority.
[27] On page six of our agenda there are congress organization motions which clearly need to be discussed some time during this congress because they concern rule amendments, and if they do fall off the agenda because debate is long on the other things, I really do believe they should take priority because we won't be raising them for another three years.
[28] There's also on page ten the motions regarding timing of congress which clearly concerns next year and I do believe that these should have priority.
Dick (PS2LJ) [29] Right I think you have missed the point or may not have understood how we deal with the business of this congress.
[30] Nothing at this congress falls off the agenda, nothing.
[31] Unlike some union conferences, some business is not taken, but this conference all business is taken.
[32] All business is taken, so that particular, those particular items that you've referred to I am already seeking to schedule that business for tomorrow, but I don't want to preempt the situation and chance my arm any further than what it is, because I could end up falling on my face and I want to try and avoid that.
[33] But I could assure you colleagues that business will be taken, okay?
[34] Right thanks very much indeed for that colleagues.
[35] Now, it's now my pleasure to welcome on your behalf Chris the Secretary of Portsmouth Trades Council.
[36] Chris has been Secretary for Trades Council for ten years, he's a W E A tutor, that's his er profession, he's an organizer, and he organizes courses throughout Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
[37] More recently I understand that Chris has had er had a very interesting, made a very interesting study of the French trade union movement, that must have been fascinating.
[38] Erm, difficult job, difficult part of the world for the trade union movement.
[39] For his sins he's a Member of E M E S A, but we won't hold that against him!
[40] Just a very warm welcome on behalf of the G M B please address our conference.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Chris (PS2LM) [41] Thank you Dick.
[42] Actually the last time I was stood up on a platform and did this was in front of erm a S G T congress in Dieppe and I tell you I had to do it in French, and it was much [giggle] more difficult so I'm hoping this one will go smoothly, but I, what I'd really like to do is begin with is offer you erm delegates and platform both, a very very warm welcome from the trade union movement in Portsmouth.
[43] We're absolutely delighted that you're here in Portsmouth for your congress and it's very very important to us and I think perhaps I'd take a little bit of time to explain why it's important.
[44] The first thing is erm those of you that know this area will know that it's er not like the rest of Hampshire er leaving aside Southampton.
[45] It's an industrial city, it's a working class city, it's a city that has been very very hard hit by recession.
[46] The unemployment level is twelve percent and rising.
[47] More worryingly, thirty percent of the jobs in this city are linked to the defence industry and we all know, and I don't need to remind you what's happening to the defence industry, here it's going down very very fast, we are losing jobs out the dockyard, but we're also losing the jobs that are associated with the M O D with the Royal Navy er and it's extremely worrying for the trade union movement in the city.
[48] It's also a very very poor city in the sense that wages are low.
[49] The history of this is that for many years M O D were unhappy about expansion of the, of the port er, for commercial use and the reason they were unhappy of course was that erm commercial use was competition that they felt would be likely to drive up wages.
[50] At the time, people felt they had secure jobs er in the M O D and the dockyard and so people accepted that with pensions and everything that goes with that sort of secure job, now of course the whole situation is enormously diff different and I was saying to, I have some French people staying with me this morning and I was, they were asking me about wages and I was saying to my daughter who works er on a Thursday evening in the local Sainsburys, earns more per hour than a friend of mine, well two friends of mine, one of whom is a carpenter, a fully qualified carpenter and the other is a motor mechanic, and that's an indication of the sort of level of wages that people are paid in this area.
[51] So we're, we're particularly pleased that you're here for a slightly mercenary reason actually, because with a thousand delegates coming into the city, it really does boost, even for a week, boosts the local economy and that's very pleasing.
[52] The second reason that, that we're delighted to see you is that as a Trades Council we have been trying very hard over the last six or seven years to raise the profile of the trade union movement and this has been quite difficult in in during the Thatcher years, during the anti-trade union legislation, the onslaught by the media, trade unions er, the profile of trade unions has not been easy to raise.
[53] However we're beginning to make some progress and we're making some progress for a number of reasons.
[54] First of all I think we have worked out the importance of establishing a very good relationship with the media and that's developing and that means that, that the views of the trade union movement are beginning to be heard, er, when we, when we spoke to the editor of the local paper for example, we pointed out that on the business page there's nothing about trade unions and did he think that business er existed without er on, just on one side.
[55] Didn't he recognize that trade, the trade union movement had a role to play er in that, in, on that page and to the, to the credit of, of the local press, they had responded and so we are now asked to put forward the views of the trade union movement, something I think which local trades councils should be doing, should be the role of local trades councils to do that effectively.
[56] We've also looked at the needs of our local community, our local trade union movement and one of the things that we're extremely concerned about is health and safety.
[57] Er, I mean that's, that's not just here it's everywhere, but one of the things that is very clear is that people often do not have access to the sort of information that they need about hazards.
[58] And so we, we are in the process of setting up an online database computerized which would be accessible by not just branches, but individual erm health and safety reps for a fairly minimal affiliation which will tap into the latest information which will be updated er every three months and we feel that again that's something in conjunction with, clearly with the unions in the city something that a trades council should be doing, something that raises our profile, explains to people what trade councils, what the trade union movement is all about and does it effectively using modern techniques and modern methods.
[59] We're also, now that we have er ... erm the, the council's actually hung, but now we have the, the Labour Group largely in control of the direction of what's happening in the city er we've been able to raise some issues that were extremely difficult to raise under the previous Tory administration.
[60] One of the things that concerns us is provision for people who are unemployed and we are we are speaking and working, speaking to and working with the Labour Group and the Labour Party on establishing a centre for people who are unemployed.
[61] Particularly I think to the, to, to, not to provide something that they encounter elsewhere, the hoops they have to go through in order to get benefit, the restart programme, we're not interested in that we're interested in solidarity support, rebuilding confidence,keep keeping unemployed people in contract with the local trade union movement, and that that's something that I personally regard as extremely important and something that, that erm with this partnership of the Labour Party, the Labour Group and the Trades Council and the trade unions in the area, I think we do very effectively.
[62] So we believe that unions should be effective, should be active trades councils should be effective, should be active, should be using modern methods, but without, and I stress this, without losing sight of our traditional concerns and values.
[63] Now we're delighted to see you here because we know that the, the G M B shares this view and we know that you've also been in the forefront of introducing technology, er and we know also that having you here er, having your conference here, helps us enormously to continue this process of raising the profile of the trades unions, the trades council, the labour movement in the city.
[64] The amount of press coverage that's been generated this week by your conference has been enormously important to the local trade unions, it's something that we can build on, it's something that says to the local press to the local media trade unions have got something to say trade unions have got something to put forward and it's that's something that we will come back to erm afterwards, after you've gone, we can use that, we can build on it.
[65] ... The third reason why we're, we're pleased to see you here is that erm as a trades council, we've and this er and Dick mentioned this in his introduction, we've initiated a major international programme, major in terms of our size obviously as er as a local body, involving links between union activists here primarily in France er, in northern France, but also links now developing in Spain with the new ferry going between Portsmouth and Bilbao, we're starting to meet with the unions in Spain who are interested in speaking about the, the, the differences in wages in terms and conditions working for the same ferry company, doing the same jobs in the port, a comparative look at how the, the wages terms and conditions differ and we want to, we want to go and visit them in the autumn and, and work out, and work on more links on a sector basis, so that our colleagues down in Bilbao in northern Spain can link up with people in the, in the, in similar sectors here and we've done this over the last three and a half years with the unions in France, we've had exchanges of all sectors, the public sectors, transport, erm, health, social services, shop workers.
[66] It's been enormously successful because we've done it on an activist basis so that activists have met one another, all those prejudices and all those stereotypes have immediately vanished as soon as people have stayed in one another 's homes and realized that people have the same problems, they have the same, they have the same problems and the same difficulty er as difficulties as we do.
[67] Maybe their system's organized differently, but fundamentally the problems are the same and that's given our people the confidence that they needed because they've been able to see that people everywhere, it's not just them isolated in, in, you know, Tory Britain, who are facing these particular difficulties, but issues of privatization for example as the same in France and actually about to get much worse, er but, and, and I think that helped erm our colleagues from France who've also got a perspective on their struggles and their battles we've been able to support one another with information about companies working, multi-national companies working on both sides of the Channel.
[68] One example er, a couple of examples erm, we've worked together with the unions in Moulinex in northern France who bought Swan Kettles er ... which is where the G M B is erm is highly organized and er ... in those er ... meetings between the unions in, in Moulinex and Swan we've been able to see the disparity between the conditions and the wages and be able to speak about ways in which people can go back to their, to their er workplace and work on that with that knowledge.
[69] Er we've done the same for Renault Trucks in northern France and in Dunstable, brought, brought the unions together simply through the contacts that we've made here in Portsmouth.
[70] Erm, so we are particularly pleased to have you here because we know as well that the G M B is in the forefront of erm establishing activity within Europe, one of, one of the few unions I think is that the only unions will have an office open in Brussels.
[71] Er something that is, is inconceivable to me that the, the other unions don't do it because I, I believe it's gonna be enormously important to our trade union movement.
[72] So our, our international work has er been important to us and we are pleased to s to see you here to raise that profile as well.
[73] Erm, so finally I should say that above all we are very pleased to see you, we're delighted to have you here.
[74] Erm, we hope that you will come back soon, because for all the reasons I've outlined it's tremendously important to us and it's nice to have a body of, a big large body of trade unions in the city in terms of our feelings as, as local trade unions as well.
[75] Erm, I ... [laughing] the light's, the light's flashing [] erm
Dick (PS2LJ) [76] I thought for one hopeful minute you were gonna wind up then.
Chris (PS2LM) [77] I am gonna wind up [laugh] I'm just gonna say if anybody wants some information about our database which is open to anybody in the country, I've left some leaflets there erm, I've been asked to plug Trade Union News which has been important to us too so I have erm and I finally I'd say thank you very much for inviting me to come and speak to you.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [78] Chris thanks very much indeed for that very thoughtful and welcoming address.
[79] I'd like to present on behalf of congress to you a banner bright by John and also a tankard suitably inscribed. ...
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping] ...
Dick (PS2LJ) [80] Colleagues er back to the agenda, national officers report Duncan . ...
Duncan (PS2LN) [81] President, congress, Duncan National Office.
[82] At last year's congress, I outlined the devastating effect that the recession was having on the engineering, shipbuilding and aerospace industries.
[83] I recall the catalogue of redundancies that have been declared in nineteen ninety one nineteen ninety two.
[84] Unfortunately that story continues and ninety two ninety three is seeing even more of our colleagues made redundant, not in hundreds but in thousands.
[85] Engineering employment in the first half of nineteen ninety three is estimated to be a hundred and twenty thousand fewer than twelve months earlier and it is forecast to fall another forty five thousand in the next twelve months.
[86] Two years ago, Norman Lamont gave the uncaring Conservative view on unemployment.
[87] He told MPs rising unemployment of the recession have been the price we have had to pay to get inflation down.
[88] That price is well worth paying.
[89] Figures alone colleagues cannot show the misery of redundancy and unemployment, people who have been made redundant are thirty times to, more likely to commit suicide than those in work and time ten times more likely to be seriously ill.
[90] Mounting debt problems and the possibility of losing their homes, all that's stress to the redundant workers.
[91] Is that the price worth paying?
[92] A long-term coherent policy for industry is needed.
[93] What agreed by government, management and trade unions a policy which assists industry not leaves it to the market forces.
[94] The collapse of the Dutch parent company of Leyland Daf left thousands of jobs in jeopardy whilst the Belgian Dutch governments took immediate action to try to ensure the survival of plants in their countries, our government sat back and waited to see if another chunk of British manufacturing would disappear.
[95] The G M B and Apex Partnership shop stew stewards and representatives of Leyland Daf played a magnificent part, maximizing jobs whilst at the same time looking after the needs of those thrown on the scrap heap through no fault of their own.
[96] I now turn to the most vindictive act of the government in nineteen ninety two.
[97] In order to achieve its dogma of privatizing the coal industry, it colluded with British Coal to close thirty one pits.
[98] No consideration was given to what would happen to those working in the industry, their families or communities.
[99] What the government did not bargain for was the public outrage and the massive support given to the demonstrations.
[100] The High Court ruled the closure plan unlawful and irrational and the Employment Select Committee slammed the government's actions unacceptable.
[101] Heseltine promised to, to call review which was delayed until it could persuade sufficient Tory members to vote for it.
[102] Under the review, twelve of the thirty one pits are to remain in production, but for how long without a market for coal being expanded?
[103] To pay for the pits the government told British Coal not to pay four hundred and eighty one million that it owed to the staff's superannuation fund.
[104] Not only has this government got no policies for industries, it has no morals either.
[105] Equally, the management of British Coal once again have not honoured their undertakings, they promised me that once they had considered the Consultants' Report into the reorganization, they would consult with us.
[106] I learned of their decision colleagues last night on television when the Chairman announced at the U D M Conference, who are not involved in this issue at all, that three thousand redundancies of management and clerical staff were going to be made.
[107] When will the government and British Coal learn the basic principles of industrial relations and understand they are dealing with people not machinery?
[108] The next three months will be crucial within the industry.
[109] There will be the closures and mothballing of pits, there will be a reduction of Apex jobs under the reorganization now taking place and steps towards privatization will begin.
[110] Colleagues, the government's inertia in tackling the crisis in industry stems from the fact that it has convinced itself, if not the general public, that there is no problem.
[111] This must be remedied.
[112] I commend my report.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [113] Thank you very much Duncan.
[114] Page forty, forty one, forty two, forty three, forty four, forty five, yes. ...
Mike (PS2LP) [115] President, congress.
[116] Mike , Midlands and East Coast Region.
[117] Duncan, two things.
[118] First a note of caution on your report on Aerospace.
[119] You mentioned the Saudi deal has been announced, but so far it's only for the Tornado and not the full go ahead to [...] .
[120] [cough] Excuse me.
[121] Also there's been no announcement so far on the Hawk Trainer which involves most of the four and a half thousand at [...] as many more in British Aerospace and other companies.
[122] Secondly [...] for your efforts in putting for the recent joint Delegates Conference on the out-sourcing and that's a company's way and not mine.
[123] Of the Information and Technology Department by British Aerospace, ... and that thanks is not used from Apex, it's also from M S S at [...] or acknowledged it was your efforts and not their [...] that brought that conference about.
[124] This out-sourcing could put the software technology for the defence of the country into the hands of a foreign-controlled company and it could cost another two thousand British Aerospace jobs.
[125] Thank you Duncan.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [126] Forty six, forty seven, yes.
Ron (PS2LR) [127] President, congress, Ron , Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, at the moment, as far as I'm aware still employed by British Coal.
[128] Duncan, Salary and Conditions claim I quote [reading] due to the turmoil within the industry at the time of compiling this report, we have not as yet presented a claim [] .
[129] Duncan, we have now gone seven months without presenting a claim, during which time our members have continued to work hard for the Corporation.
[130] We are doing our jobs, it is not our fault that the Board Members and the government cannot do theirs, but as usual it is always the workforce who are suffering.
[131] Don't let us lost a year, if we let them use turmoil in the industry as an excuse for not meeting us, we will never sit round a table with them again.
[132] We are going to be asking our members to pay a further ten pence a week to maintain front-line services, but they feel they are not getting any.
[133] Simply Duncan, when are we going to get in there and negotiate before we start losing membership for reasons other than redundancy?
[134] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [135] And forty eight.
Ed (PS2LS) [136] Yes.
[137] ... President, congress, Ed , Westminster trade union and Political Staffs Branch for the London Region.
[138] Congress, I think it's only right to draw to your attention that in item five B USDAW that at the last USDAW Conference there was a motion passed saying that there should be recognition for the independent trade union within USDAW which is ourselves, G M B Apex.
[139] However since that time, there has been no recognition granted by USDAW, the main reason for which is the General Secretary, who allegedly had said that because his organization is not a profit making organization, there is no reason to have a trade union there.
[140] Now these are the kind of people we have to deal with and I know Duncan has a problem in USDAW there's Gerry the negotiator for the London Region.
[141] I think that conference should know this is the kind of employer that even the trade union Political Staffs have to deal with.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping] ...
Duncan (PS2LN) [142] President, as far as Mick's concerned, yes you're quite right Mick, my report says about the Saudi deal.
[143] Some of that deal has been produced as far as the Tornado's concerned, but again you're quite right we're waiting for the announcement of the er orders for the trains.
[144] Er as far as out-sourcing is concerned, when we learned that there could be two thousand jobs lost or out-sourced from British Aerospace, it was my opinion in line with those of our representatives that we ought to convene a meeting immediately of all shop stewards and representatives who would be covered er through those discussions and arrange and organize a strategy to oppose it.
[145] This I'm pleased to say is being done, a meeting has been arranged with British Aerospace, it should have taken place on Monday er Mike was deputizing me at that meeting and I'm waiting to see what the outcome of that meeting is.
[146] Ron as far as the Saudi claim is concerned [...] you will be aware that I have written to all regions explaining the reason why we have not presented a claim, no other union has presented a claim in British Coal and if we do present a claim at this point in time, I'll tell you what the answer will be.
[147] That answer will be that we, they,th British Coal will not give an increase this year.
[148] I have said consistently we don't want to be the first in the industry, I would rather await either N A C O T, N A C O M or the U D M seeing what they, the outcome is there as we have traditionally done and then take it from there where you must agree that we have usually improved on their offer when it's been made.
[149] As far as Ed's concerned, yes we've still got the problem with USDAW Ed, Gerry has worked unceasingly on that probable er problem er, to try to get recognition for our members.
[150] I am aware he has met on a number of occasions with our members, and he was instrumental in selecting a team, which met with the General Secretary of USDAW who said that they had had a er a er reasonable meeting with him.
[151] We're now hoping to get a resolution to that problem.
[152] We need to recruit more members within USDAW, but I'll give you one guarantee, it's one battle within the trade union movement that we must win.
[153] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [154] Thanks very much indeed Duncan.
[155] Colleagues, we now move into the jobs and recovery debates, in which we'll be taking composite eight, motion two seven eight, motion two seven nine, composite ten, motion two eight three and the emergency motion number two Pit Review and Closures to move by the Midland and East Coast Region.
[156] So if the mover of composite eight would come down and standing in the [...] of the Northern Region, to be seconded by Lancashire, but as we're now formally seconding the ... er the, the formally seconders will not be required to come down to the front, but the movers will.
John (PS2LT) [157] Mr President, congress, John , Northern Region seconding composite eight.
[158] Despite the promises of Tory Ministers during the nineteen ninety two election campaign, the past twelve months witnessed even further decline in our manufacturing industry.
[159] As Britain falls into its deepest recession over fifty years the, since the recession began in nineteen ninety, the number of employees in industry has fallen by one million five hundred and fifty one thousand with a further three hundred and sixty two thousand self-employed forced into bankruptcy.
[160] Sixty five thousand training jobs cut, making a grand total one million nine hundred and seventy eight thousand jobs lost.
[161] Most shocking of all colleagues, over eight hundred and fifty thousand of those job losses have come from our already shattered manufacturing base.
[162] Today in Britain manufacturing, the well created section of our economy, accounts for just over four million employees from a U K total of twenty five million.
[163] Against such a background Mr President, is it any wonder that our nation faces enormous social problems?
[164] Is it any wonder that crime, homelessness and deprivation rises, or that health and education standards fall?
[165] Colleagues, the greatest single challenge that conference [...] is a task of rebuilding our once proud manufacturing industry.
[166] We need to direct and target investment into training, into research and development and into our regions.
[167] We need to challenge the ideology which claims the market knows best, despite claims that we are coming out of recession, we are still losing thousands of jobs because, as we know all too well, the market will always neglect our nation's long-term interest for the short-term profits of speculators and asset strippers.
[168] Congress, the G M B as a union founded and built around working people as a duty, an obligation to accept that challenge and to lead that campaign.
[169] I urge you to support this motion and to put the great back into Britain.
[170] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [171] Formally seconded?
[172] Thanks very much indeed.
[173] Motion two seven eight Social Injustices London Region to move. ...
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [174] President, congress and all the [...] teams at this congress.
[175] Michael , London Region moving resolution two seven eight, Social Injustices.
[176] Colleagues, as the resolution says and as we all know, we've all experienced it, the last fourteen years have been a catalogue of disaster after disaster for all sections of the society, and especially the disadvantaged, those the young, the elderly, the disabled and the unemployed, all been attacked.
[177] There has been no area, there's been no need or entitlement that has escaped the Thatcher and the Majorite acts.
[178] One of the difficulties that results from these cuts and that tax has been that there had been so numerous that it can't keep count of how many times they'd changed the goal posts, how many times they imposed cuts, but you know a lot of the government's ideas are that it's money, money, money, but it's not all financial, it's been physical and mental.
[179] Remember the cuts in the people's rights at industrial tribunals that have had a profound effect on employment rights, the attack on local democracy, rate capping, the cuts of tax on local government have had a devastating effect on housing and the social fabric of local community.
[180] What's the new thing that the government's brought out, care in the community, what's it supposed to be? [...] freedom to do what you want, and what's happened?
[181] My own experience, my own area, we have Harry, he had cancer [...] hospital no family, he had a home carer for two hours a day, he lasted two days and died.
[182] Nay and I call that an injustice.
[183] You get Ann, senile dementia, they had to get the taps off the gas fire because she kept turning it on and off without it being lit again, found wandering in her nightclothes, injustice, and then we found Eileen, who was in an upstairs room, yes she enjoyed that life for about five years, great council house then she had an accident and then because she couldn't re-house her, she was a virtual prisoner inside her own home that she'd made up.
[184] Is that a social justice?
[185] It's a social injustice.
[186] Colleagues, as I've already said the list is endless er but we would like to draw up and prefer in conjunction with the T U C and the Labour Party at least of these major cuts and their effects, restrictions in the tax introduced by this Tory government, including benefit cuts, cuts in pensions, housing, legal and employment rights which should be published, so these might rectify.
[187] President, I move two seven eight.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [188] Formally seconded?
[189] Formally seconded?
[190] You have, have formally seconded it over there.
Dick (PS2LJ) [191] I thought I'd come and see you President, congress Keith , London Region, seconding motion two seven eight.
[192] Social injustice is brought on by an economic policy [...] perpetuated by the Tories and their [...] .
[193] It is our duty the G M B to stop the decline in social injustice and its damage to the U K.
[194] There have been many attacks on our society [...] the trade used by taking our finances and yet, by their economic mistakes and profitization , we, the ordinary working people, pick up the bill.
[195] They may have sacked the Chancellor but they're still committed to capitalism and economic policy which is diametrically opposed to any form of such a justice.
[196] So as [...] hey, the need for our welfare state, good health service, education, social housing and all the rest.
[197] The labour trade union movement [...] to meet the needs and that's [...] of our people.
[198] Congress, pick up your rulebooks and look at page seven, [...] Clause nine Rule two.
[199] It's all there to promote or support legislation [...] especially in connection with the legal rights of trade unions, industrial, health, safety and welfare and social economic and social welfare.
[200] Congress, [...] need for this motion.
[201] This is already happening.
[202] it's [...] for our people.
[203] I second.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [204] Motion two seven nine London Region to move.
John (PS2LK) [205] Mr President.
Dick (PS2LJ) [206] Brian, before you start, no laughing this time, I couldn't stand it again.
[207] Honestly.
John (PS2LK) [208] I've been on tablets all night.
Dick (PS2LJ) [209] Alright, alright.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
John (PS2LK) [210] Brian , London Region moving motion two seven nine.
[211] Mr President, other honoured guests.
[212] This motion condemns [...] rise in unemployment caused by the incompetent handling of the Tory government's economic policies and I ask for support of the T U C campaigns for the unemployed, but I would beg really that when we do campaign, the T U C gives us more than two days to notify us of rallies and meetings.
[213] Like other unions we suffer from the severe loss of members due to unemployment and we are appalled at the devastation of family life when the breadwinner's been sha cast on the scrap heap and the [...] behaviour of the government it throws whole communities into depravity without a chance of any hope for the future and their children.
[214] Mining communities, the dock areas, Liverpool, all these people the only crime, the only crime they've ever committed is to stand up for their rights.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
John (PS2LK) [215] The unemployed are having their links with hope destroyed with the closure of some C A Bs due to government and local government cuts.
[216] Unemployed centres are underfunded and closed, so the only hope left is us, the trade union movement.
[217] I know some regions send messages out to their members who've just lost their jobs, expressing hope that they desire please stay with us, we can help ya.
[218] This we must do, we've gotta help our unemployed members because some of those who are unemployed have been some of our best fighters and they're still in there fighting despite the fact they haven't their jobs.
[219] We've gotta support these colleagues.
[220] We must contact these people, we must build back the confidence to the unemployed, we've given these people who are unemployed our good training, we need their expertise to come back and fight again if we're gonna have any hope for the future.
[221] Hopefully, we can [...] if we can retain some membership, then obviously hopefully we can put some money to return to these unemployed centres and give the government what it needs, a good kick up the arse.
[222] Do I get me tankard now?
Dick (PS2LJ) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
John (PS2LK) [223] I move.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [224] Brian, have a cuppa tea.
[225] Two seven nine formally seconded?
[226] Thanks very much indeed.
[227] Composite motion ten Unemployment and Work for Lancashire Region to move.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2LJ) [228] Yeah, no, if you, if you're supporting it colleague, we've not been taking support in [...] all, all week and indeed I know how important it is and we'll, pardon?
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2LJ) [229] No if it's thirty seconds for you, it's thirty seconds off somebody else colleague.
[230] I'm sorry.
[231] The only exception was yesterday in the debate on the Toxic Syndrome, that was the only exception I do apologize.
[232] Mandy?
Denise (PS2LL) [233] Amanda , Lancashire Region, proposing motion Unemployment and Benefits it's been composited.
[234] Congress, president, this motion is calling for an economic policy that combats mass unemployment.
[235] That is probably an impossible dream as far as this present government is concerned.
[236] This evil and sadistic Tory government are responsible for destroying millions of jobs as a conscious policy and continue to pursue the toll with further deliberating tactics like V A T on fuel.
[237] The government policy for creating jobs is to re-introduce slavery, working for benefits no-pay Britain.
[238] This policy is back in the desk drawer at the moment, but it is clearly going to be placed back on the table, since the government is even considering charging thirty pound a night for N H S beds.
[239] Workfare is about doing away with jobs, employers will want to substitute workfare for real jobs, reducing still further the number of people in work, increasing still further the poverty and misery suffered by millions in Britain today.
[240] The government does not encourage investment in industry, even in training the workforce or providing a long-term investment bank.
[241] The government fails to support industries that are of strategic importance to the economy like mining and ship building, no support for laying [...] , yet when it comes to the Arthur Daleys, the unscrupulous employers, the get rich quick merchants, it coughs up the cash.
[242] It proposes to provide these gangsters with subsidies in the form of free labour.
[243] How long will, how low will this corrupt government stoop?
[244] I move.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [245] Thanks Mandy.
[246] [...] formally seconded?
[247] Thanks very much.
Dick (PS2LJ) [248] Motion two eight three Workfare, London Region to move. ...
Chris (PS2LM) [249] President, congress, Roy , moving motion two eight three Workfare.
[250] The word workfare is a term we have imported from America, the America, where if you are unemployed, homeless, you're a scrounger, a drop-out a no-good, something less than human.
[251] Therefore, if they, the unemployed, want help from the State they must pay back from that State with some form of work, because you can't have something for nothing, not in a capitalist market economy.
[252] It will undermine the work ethic.
[253] I say that philosophy is rubbish or to use the language of the shop floor, it's a load of bull.
[254] Unemployment is not the fault of the individual worker, he she is the victim not the blame.
[255] In Britain in nineteen ninety three we are hanging on to the remains of our welfare state by our fingertips.
[256] It is being attacked daily by that real group of parasites, the Tory Party, the Tories will no doubt bring in workfare just as soon as they've softened up the wider public with their slavish friends in the media.
[257] The tabloid press will publish stories of dole scroungers laying in bed all day, living the life of Riley on the dole, blaming the unemployed and making them feel guilty for a desperate plight.
[258] Colleagues, the types of work that will be offered in an ac to the unemployed will be community work clearing rubbish from sites, cleaning public buildings and open spaces.
[259] Jobs which should be done by full-time workers paid at proper rates of pay, real jobs to put back dignity into the lives of such, so many of the unemployed.
[260] If you really want a market economy to work, then you pay workers decent rates of pay for their labours.
[261] Yet we find our leading members of the Labour Party accepting the argument for some form of workfare.
[262] There is a strong moral argument within the labour movement, that rejoke rejects workfare and other half-baked schemes which do not give a fair day's work for a real fair day's pay.
[263] We want real jobs for real money.
[264] This union along with the Labour Party should have no [...] with the philosophy of workfare, it once and once and for all reject this philosophy and send it back to the bad old days of workhouses, parish guardians, the real Victorian values.
[265] Colleagues, reject the ideas of workfare, make sure the ideas are not adopted by the Labour Party
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [266] Two eight three formally seconded?
[267] Thanks very much.
[268] Emergency motion number two Midland and East Coast Region. ...
Duncan (PS2LN) [269] Linda , Midlands and East Coast Region.
[270] Emergency motion number two, Pit Review on Closures.
[271] President, congress, I first pay tribute to the Women Against Pit Closure Group for their cour cour determination and yes, sheer bravery.
[272] They stood up to be counted, to save their men's jobs, their community and their families' futures and I salute their courage and wish them well in their pit [...] vigil.
[273] Congress, this call review was a whitewash, the Tories underestimated the strength of public feeling against the pit closure programme.
[274] In fact, the proposed mass redundancy in and around the mining industry was probably the straw that broke the camel's back for the British people.
[275] I've never seen the President of the D T I look so harassed and frightened for his own future.
[276] Did he perhaps realize maybe he's been set up as well?
[277] The [...] was once described this country as a lump of coal surrounded by fish which highlighted our two great natural assets, to which oil and natural gas has been added.
[278] We have an energy-rich country and a massive trading balance, so why the hell are we importing electricity from France which I believe attracts the nuclear [...] and importing coal from dubious sources and I have been told that some of that coal has been extracted by women and children, often in horrendously unsafe conditions.
[279] We are now going ahead in burning of our finite natural gas resources like there is no tomorrow.
[280] Congress, I'm not an economist, but none of this makes sense to me, relying on heavily subsidized coal imports leaves us wide open to be exploited.
[281] When we shut our pits, the price of these coal imports will go up, a pit closure brings massive hardship in the surrounding communities.
[282] Redundancy payments go towards paying off house mortgages, but these miners can't then sell up and move.
[283] Little industrial units employing a handful of people working for peanuts is not the answer to mass redundancies anywhere.
[284] There is a personal concern in all this for me, I ain't a miner, but I do work and represent G M B and Apex members working directly for British Coal.
[285] We manufacture the conveyer belts that carry the lads to the face and bring the coal out.
[286] Between six and ten years ago, there was a hundred and eighty pits in this country, yes a hundred and eighty pits, now we have a handful left and it has been leaked that all thirty one pits will still be closed within twelve months, done quietly and by the back door ignoring procedures and over the years this is what has been done.
[287] Arthur Scargill, love him or loathe him, has been telling us but nobody listens.
[288] Well we know that in our company by the jobs lost, we know that in the Midland region because it could be a loss of up to ten percent of our membership, six thousand members.
[289] I took over a hundred members to the rally in Hyde Park, erm two thirds of my workforce, and it was magnificent to see all the trade unionists there, especially the G M B banners.
[290] Some of my members were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers there and it brought a lump to my throat, but that's what it's all about, solidarity.
[291] Now take note members of the press, when the Tory's paymasters, the big industrialists and the C B I start squealing, there's panic on the Tory benches.
[292] The coal review did nowt for them either.
[293] Sadly, mass closures and redundancies have become commonplace, it's no longer hitting the headlines, just a few small columns in the paper, so I ask you delegates, go back to your branches, raise the issue not just about coal but about all unemployment, chase up the media, write to your M P, especially the Tories, support the rallies and maybe a petition from this conference could be organized, but I say raise hell, give them no peace, one job loss is one too many and we ain't gonna accept redundancy in any of our sections without a bloody good fight.
[294] So let's take the gloves off now, please support.
Dick (PS2LJ) [295] Well done Linda.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [296] Is emergency motion two formally seconded?
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2LJ) [297] Thank you very much.
[298] I'll ask the General Secretary to reply to the Debate.
Mike (PS2LP) [299] John General Secretary replying to the debate on jobs and recovery.
[300] As you may have noticed other debates have attracted rather more publicity this week, but the theme of our congress is jobs and recovery because jobs and recovery is the most important issue for our members and for Britain.
[301] Sometimes the comparisons between the performance of this country and the performance of other countries amazes me.
[302] We're often told, including by government ministers, that we should follow the lead of Japan, to emulate their manufacturing methods and copy their working practices.
[303] So how did Japan respond to the recession?
[304] The Japanese government announced two spending packages amounting to over a hundred and ten billion pounds.
[305] Public works programmes, new transport investment, house building investment and industry.
[306] Japan's economic package reads like a resolution to a trade union conference.
[307] So does Kenneth Clarke copy this example?
[308] Does he hell!
[309] He says the most important problem in the British economy is public borrowing and that Britain will make cuts in public spending.
[310] The analysis is crazy, the reason why we have a public deficit is because three million people and more are out of work and paying no tax.
[311] The best way to cut public borrowing is not to cut public investment, but to cut unemployment.
[312] I trust that that will be the simple and single point which will be pressed very hard by the Labour Party in the economic debate in Parliament this afternoon.
[313] The one certain thing is that workfare has no place in the economic policy of a civilized country.
[314] That's why we urge you to support composite ten and motion two eight three.
[315] Although I have to say that the implication in two eight three that Labour is flirting with workfare is misplaced, we've said some harsh things about the Party this week, but there is no possibility that I know of of the Labour Party supporting any form of workfare whatsoever.
[316] Motion two seven nine makes very sensible proposals about how we might support unemployed members.
[317] We would like to examine those ideas in more detail, and I hope that London will agree to refer so that the examination can take place.
[318] So support composite eight, composite ten, motion two seven eight and motion two eight three with that qualification, emergency motion number two and let's campaign for any effective policy for jobs and recovery and not this nonsense that is served up every week from this silly government.
[319] That's my response on behalf of the C E C.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [320] Thanks very much indeed John, I propose to take the vote.
[321] Composite eight has been accepted.
[322] All those in favour?
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [...]
Dick (PS2LJ) [323] Against?
[324] That's carried.
[325] Motion two seven eight has been accepted.
[326] All those in favour?
[327] Against?
[328] That's carried.
[329] Motion two seven nine as the General Secretary has indicated is asking for reference.
[330] Does London agree?
[331] Thanks very much Brian.
[332] Composite number ten is being accepted.
[333] All those in favour?
[334] Against?
[335] That's carried.
[336] Motion two eight three has been accepted.
[337] All those in favour?
[338] Against?
[339] That's carried.
[340] And the emergency motion number two is being accepted.
[341] All those in favour?
[342] Against?
[343] That's carried.
[344] Conference, Linda in moving emergency motion number two referred to pit closures as a disaster, but there are certainly even greater disasters of pit closures and in nineteen fifty one, forty two years ago, there was a disaster at Easington Colliery where eighty one pit men lost their lives.
[345] More recently local trade unionists and many of the members of our organization in Easington decided that to commemorate the, the occasion, they would work to get a new trade union banner for the Easington Trade Union Council and that's the example and that's the reward of their particular work a magnificent tribute to those pit men that died eighty one years ago, er forty two years ago.
[346] To mark the occasion ... Doctor David Jenkins, the Very Reverend Bishop of Durham, blessed the banner.
[347] ... The Church and radicalism and radical thought don't always go hand-in-hand.
[348] David as some colleagues will know is a member of the House of Lords ... and there isn't much radical thought in the House of Lords.
[349] During this particular week, we've had a number of speakers, guest speakers at the rostrum and there'll be others that will follow the Reverend Jenkins to the rostrum ... but the working people of Durham and trade unionists and the miners in particular have very good cause to thank the Reverend David Jenkins.
[350] ... During the miners strike you will recall he was tremendously supportive and outspoken and is still outspoken against this government's attack on working people.
[351] The people of Durham as I say are very fortunate indeed.
[352] Amongst all the speakers we've had here this week, I don't think that there's any of them more supportive to the trade union movement than the Very Reverend David Jenkins.
[353] He's certainly amongst friends this morning, we're his friends and we ask him to address conference.
[354] Thank you very much David.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [355] Thank you very much Mr President and as you've been friendly enough to invite me and given me such a friendly welcome, I, I thought I ought to risk speaking to you as candidly as I can about what is going on in our country and our communities at the moment and whether by the end of the thing I continue your friend is another matter.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [356] In my part of the world, which is north east England and especially County Durham, nobody much really believes all this talk about an industrial and economic recovery which will be so strong and so widespread that most people will be back in the sort of jobs they used to have, providing they get the necessary training.
[357] In our part of the world we keep up the brave talk for the sake of the image of the region, so that there may be at least some inward investment and so that those industrialists, small business, training centres, local enterprises and cooperatives which are struggling so hard to make a go of it, will not be discouraged from at least having a go, but there isn't much hope and conviction really.
[358] For one thing, the region is faced with a demoralizing example of great in er investments of human resources, skill and modern technology being simply thrown aside, as at Swan Hunter and in our coal mines.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [359] For another thing, the region is one of the edge of things if I may so put it and that's why I'm down here I mean as, as I know when we're up there we're at the centre of things, but lots of people don't [...]
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [360] it's all these odd ideas that go around in the barbaric south that's the trouble!
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh] [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [361] But there it is, and outside and foreign firms will put money in, especially if subsidized by temporary government measures, for as you know, public investment in private industry is judged to be ideologically correct, while public investment for public and community concerns is judged ideologically to be harmful, but the firms are interested in making money out of the region if I may so put it, not in sustaining world promotion and healthy living in the region.
[362] One shift in the market and investment is withdrawn, firms close, production is transferred so it's dicy.
[363] For another thing the most profitable processes today simply do not need large amounts of labour and is it seriously expected by the government that as long as we avoid being tied down by the social chapter, we shall become such a reservoir of cheap labour, that we shall become cheaper and more exploitable than the labour force in the Third World?
[364] Is that the way we are to become competitive again?
[365] So I have to ask has anyone, and I underline anyone, who talks about economic policies, recessions, recoveries and jobs, yet begun to face up to the way everything depends on growth as before and even more growth than before.
[366] Yet we are in a very contradictory situation with regard to growth.
[367] A small example of this, which we are perpetually living within the north east is the following.
[368] When our locals assessed success story, the Nissan Plant, sells less cars, it's an economic threat and could become an economic disaster, when the plant sells more cars, it adds to the increase in number of cars on the roads which represents a pollution threat and contributes to a pollution disaster, let alone traffic problems of course.
[369] It's as well to laugh and I'm, I'm especially able to encourage you because I being a Christian know you know that sin won't have dominion over you so that you needn't be solemn about it
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [370] but it is serious
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [371] and you see this contradiction is there, despite the fact that the factory and the company are actively concerned in restraining pollution.
[372] They are responsible about their productive processes and they are responsible about the design of car engines and we are told that the market will find ways to deal with this, but surely it cannot, for after all the market is mindless, so it cannot take into account either the future or the needs and wishes of people other than those who have the purchasing power for immediate consumption.
[373] So, well before we get on to any issues to do with the structural poverty of the Third World, maintained by the wealth extracting efforts and arrangements of our Western world, we can surely see why quite a few people do not really believe in recovery through economic growth and consumption and we need to ask whether we ought to want it anyway, but people in the Tory Party and in the Labour Party in the City with a capital C and the trade unions with a Capital T and a U [laugh] go on talking as if our goal must be jobs and recovery in the same old way, technologized, computerized and skillerlized of course with strong dashes of management insights and so on
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh] [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [374] but in no way basically changed.
[375] Are we never going to use our various collective skills, institutions and organizations, as well as our particular imaginations, insights and inventiveness to face up to this false prospectus, false prospectus we are trying to live by?
[376] Now, I put it to you that it is obvious that we all know and suspect it is a false prospectus and that the sort of recovery it implies is just not on.
[377] Our behaviour shows it, although our talk, discussion and our political agendas and conference agendas do not.
[378] Look, I'm afraid, for example at yourselves, there we go
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [379] all you are contributing to the political debate in this country at the present moment is a quarrel about the trade union block vote in the affairs of the Labour Party.
[380] The press therefore has a field day, the Labour Party is diverted and distracted and all the politicians have joined a family squabble on an alleged matter of vital principle, but it is all to do with power within the Party, so we are entirely diverted from the questions we ought to face but cannot face up to.
[381] These are questions about what sort of growth in what sort of industry and commerce would actually be sharable in sustaining ways, not only in our own country, but across the world, but it is just too much of a challenge to face up to the question of how you get power to influence that.
[382] So we stick to arguing about power within I say a party, and we do not get on about policies and programmes.
[383] Mind you, you in the trade unions and in the Labour Party are no worse than anyone else.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [384] That's where Christianity comes in again actually solidarity
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh] [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [385] we go on hoping and fighting and imagining, despite whatever goes wrong with anybody [laugh] but the Tory Party is diverting itself with internal feuds and in focusing attention on whether Mr Major will remain Prime Minister or not and this is presumably so that they may ignore the real issues of how to the get the country onto some shared basis of consensus, trust and pragmatic politics which would give our society a chance of facing up to questions of economics, politics, pollution and living together in community in the sort of world we've actually got.
[386] Now just in case you think I'm sinking into the role of a self-righteous preacher, who enjoys telling other people off about their sins, so that he doesn't have to bother about his own,
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [387] and I should warn you that once I was asked to go to a, a series of lectures in a certain cathedral on the seven deadly sins, because the Canon who invited me said he wanted a married man who was good on lust!
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh] [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [388] Against it that is [...]
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [389] I must add in all honesty and so we must face up to things that the churches at any rate in their public and visible life are in just the same state.
[390] In my own turfs we are quarrelling among ourselves with intense energy about whether women can be ordained priests, about who is more Catholic than their neighbour and about a whole host of internal issues, because we apparently have neither the grace nor the guts to face up to the real issues which are the business of the Church in the current world.
[391] You know issues such as the credibility of God, the resources available for neighbourliness of hope and the help that is available from religious sources to overcome misery in our society, prime in our neighbourhood and apathy and indifference all round.
[392] In our various parties, organizations and institutions therefore we urgently need to recognize that most of our programmes, not least the programmes of our conferences and synods if I may leave you together in sin brothers and sisters
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [393] are most of the programmes are really to do I would say with displacement activities rather than replacement activities.
[394] That is to say we are, we all need renewal and new ideas, but we stick to old quarrels and re-run old battles because we don't know how to face up to the real problems at the present, nor to find ways of working together for a worthwhile future.
[395] Of course, we cannot just get out of the routines and struggles and problems we are already engaged in.
[396] It's important for instance to guard safety at work.
[397] You have to try and improve trading skills and efficiency and it is vital to maintain organized groups of women and men who are committed to fighting locally and at all levels for ordinary decent decency and simple justice in the way people are treated of course, but we have got also to find ways of getting together to face those problems no one knows how to solve.
[398] Our future requires that we focus our images on finding ways forward to a possible, tolerable and sharable society instead of wasting our time quarrelling with our allies and colleagues.
[399] If we cannot even face the present, of course we cannot build the future.
[400] Let me therefore suggest three things I am clear we ought to bother about.
[401] Pragmatic coalitions, collaborative democracy and local communities.
[402] That sounds splendid I'm sure when translated into management jargon, but let, but let me repeat it.
[403] Pragmatic coalitions, collaborative democracy and local communities.
[404] My rule is when skating on thin ice move fast, so I shall get [...]
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [405] Pragmatic coalitions.
[406] Our present party system and the way it works in elections has passed from being nearly useless to being pretty dangerous.
[407] It is obvious that the government doesn't know how to respond to the messes it has partly created and partly suffers from.
[408] Yet no one stops it or persuades it to change its mind.
[409] We have already had reference this morning to the outcry against the handling of, of the mine closures and it was immense, the case was made by the Parliamentary Success er Select Committee for some serious thinking about energy policy for the future, yet the government did not think again, the political debate was at the level of whether Mr Heseltine would remain in power and nothing was changed.
[410] There was in other words an immense amount of political activity with absolutely no result and the details of that already has been referred to in moving energy both erm in emergency number two, so I can make, need make no reference, more reference to it, but we have left ourselves surely, totally dependent in a short future from outside the country on our energy.
[411] Where shall we go then?
[412] What is that to do with investing in enterprise?
[413] Again, whatever the problems about education they are clearly great.
[414] How can you develop schools for children and curricula for developing intellectual, social and personal schools skills, in collaboration with parents, teachers and pupils if those in power neither consult nor trust, nor show any signs of respecting the opinions of those persons most intimately involved.
[415] Yet the plans go ahead relentlessly and so on.
[416] There seems no readiness in our government to listen and learn for argument, no capacity for trust and no ability to face the facts which include the vital issues morale and motivation, ways of running things which you simply can't put down to cost accountants, but which is absolutely essential to do with solidarity and caring and so on to make things actually work, and as for economics, whenever econor economy from the Germans, upwards or downwards so to speak, is in trouble the future is clearly frightening isn't it?
[417] But the political paralysis continues, the Labour Party and the unions quarrel and the notion of coalition is constantly repudiated.
[418] Now, I would say how stupid can we get?
[419] Have we become so depressed about any real prospect of newness that we've decided to enjoy our chains, masochistically dwelling on our miseries and inadequacies?
[420] Is it beyond the wit, guts and grace of ordinary men and women to re-assemble in fresher alliances on the basis of fresh thinking?
[421] Across parties, across ideologies and fixed ideas, to collaborate for a real change which surely must come.
[422] The task for collaborative coalitions is clear, firstly get rid of the Tory government.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [423] I think they would be relieved.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh] [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [424] They obviously need a rest
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [425] and further, and this is not meant to be a joke, in my own experience, if they get time to think quietly and realistically, I believe a whole lot of decent Conservatives who used to think pragmatically, organically and with respect for local communities, would emerge to contribute to a coalition for the future ... over against the ideological block that seems to think we use people to make money, instead of making money to serve people and their communities.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [426] Now coalition which changed the face of party politics would stimulate fresh approaches to our problems.
[427] It is surely obvious that we cannot go on as we are as we pollute the world and as poverty increases, along with violence, vandalism and random destruction, more of it at Gateshead last night apparently.
[428] We have immense technological and communication resources.
[429] If we had to think and had to think together we would surely find ways forward.
[430] We could be aiming our political energies towards facing the real issues.
[431] We could stop pretending that some of us have solutions which are vastly and obviously superior to others, when we all know really that our solutions are not good enough, and in this way you would come together in creative activity instead of fragmenting into ever more divisive and destructive activities which are technically called displacement [...] from one another
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh] [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [432] A lot to learn from animals including the fact that animals can't actually be bestial!
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [433] That wasn't in the text of course.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [434] So, seeking pragmatic coalitions needs to be combined with a new commitment to collaborative democracy.
[435] Centralized government, Whitehall as the founder of all regulation and one party in perpetual power is an obvious recipe for incompetence, even more than it is for tyranny, although bureaucratic tyranny and arrogant assumptions of having no need to listen do produce threats of tyranny.
[436] We need to restore a whole range of intermediate institutions, unions come in here as do professional organizations, healthy, local democratic government and voluntary and charitable bodies, not to mention the churches.
[437] Such bodies are needed to break up centralized power to encourage participation and restore morale to ordinary people by convincing them that they do count, that they are listened to and that they can participate.
[438] In short, restoring ordinary people as part of the we who run things, rather than the them for obstacles to be regulated, managed, I fear even duped and certainly simply left out, and the chief place to focus our search for pragmatic coalitions and cooperative democracy must be in our local communities.
[439] That is where people live and that is where we must support one another in enduring the present, while we imagine better things, fight for better things and gradually achieve better things.
[440] I am personally impressed and encouraged by what is going on in some of the hardest hit areas in my part of the world and by a series of what you might call chance accident, we've actually got a sign on it on the platform here.
[441] Were you to turn over that banner which is I think magnificently designed, you would find the other side is entirely about international connections between workers and various groups and so on, so it's got the international, the wider version and I'm delighted to to know that you have here, you I understand that the G M B is perhaps the only body which has the nearest thing to a formal alliance with the trade union in Germany I mean this is tremendous.
[442] This is where the future lies however you have to deal with the particular problems of Maastricht and all the rest and on this side, and it really was very moving that, in a way by chance, but you know again I believe I think sometimes God is in [...] you better [...] of course
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [443] When I went to what was in effect not merely the memorial of the fifty aft after fifty two years of the [...] people, but of course really the funeral service of the pit and when I went to that here was the chance to dedicate that also, we did it actually at the [laughing] Memorial Garden [] where all the pit people are buried and that is right you see, picking up out of the past not sticking in the past, and [laughing] arranging it as you might say as in that banner [] to move on into the future.
[444] So I, I was very moved to find that this has arrived and I don't think it's romantic nonsense, I think it is related to the business of getting people together locally.
[445] People are realizing that you just cannot expect much of them and that one way of improving local lives is to get together in local communities and groups and participating wider area networks and in such coalitions of people,th th they manage to keep some sort of community spirit and activity going.
[446] They find new ways of sharing what resources there are, whether collaborating in local policing or working with health authorities or whatever it is and I think they form the base for renewal of politics because we have to recreate politics for localities upwards and here, just finally chancing my arm, I must just frankly say that I am not clear that over-large amalgamations of unions will be much more helpful than over-centralized government bureaucracies.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Ron (PS2LR) [447] One of the advantages of not knowing too much about things is that you can keep sacred cows in the [...] without noticing.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [448] Of course we have the additional complication that the over- large government bureaucracy's at present run by a political party which seems to have given up thinking about anything much other than staying in power and I know and hope that you will be part of thinking about much more than that, but still even with a large union, you could regulate [...] concentrate on stimulating the grass roots and then on building [...] upwards.
[449] Anyway, I was asked by the organizers to contribute to the debate on jobs, recovery and communities.
[450] I have done my best.
[451] I hope it does not encourage you to do your worst!
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [laugh]
Ron (PS2LR) [452] But rather to join in the search for new ways forward for the common future of our society and I suggest you might do worse than try a few committees and working groups on pragmatic coalitions, collaborative democracy and local community.
[453] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [454] Thank you very much indeed.
[455] You did say er, Bishop that you were going to be frank and you certainly turned a few corners there for us to think about.
[456] Thanks very much indeed.
[457] Er colleagues rule forty five Workplace Representatives motion eighty three to be moved by the Northern Region. ...
Ed (PS2LS) [458] President, congress, Tom Northern Region, moving motion eighty three.
[459] Colleagues, workers' unity is the only force which protects working people against exploitation by unscrupulous employers.
[460] Yet in almost every workplace in Britain we all know there are people who are willing to receive all the benefits of working in a trade union workplace, but too unknown to their colleagues, refuse to pay the costs.
[461] Such people colleagues are usually the first to voice their concerns, first to criticize union officials, yet secretly at the end of each week, their pay packet shows no deductions for trade union fees.
[462] If trade union solidarity is to mean anything, it must mean that each and every worker sharing equally in the benefit of members and paid equally for the service.
[463] Freeloading in our society is common place, however in the G M B [...] organization built upon the principles of [...] justice, it is a duty to cut out all such freeloading.
[464] Congress, this motion would make the rulebook obligation for all shop stewards to honour that duty and to freeload members not just from the exploitation of employers, but also the exploitation of freeloading.
[465] Colleagues, I move.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [466] Thanks very much.
[467] Is that formally seconded?
[468] Formally seconded?
[469] Thanks very much.
[470] I now call Colin with the C E C are seeking reference.
[471] Colin to put C E C point of view.
John (PS2LT) [...]
Dick (PS2LJ) [472] Pardon?
John (PS2LT) [...]
Dick (PS2LJ) [473] Yes.
[474] Yes, we're doing eighty three at the moment Colin.
John (PS2LT) [...]
Dick (PS2LJ) [475] Just eighty three.
John (PS2LT) [476] [...] on motion eighty three the C E C agreed that membership
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [...]
John (PS2LT) [477] Yeah.
[478] That membership consolidation is important, but with check-off and other payment methods and the issue of computer printed cards valid for two years, we feel that there are alternatives and better methods to investigate.
[479] [...] in order to allow us to do that examination, I make a recommendation on such erm checking.
[480] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (KM1PSUNK) [clapping]
Dick (PS2LJ) [481] Thanks Colin.
[482] Does the Northern Region accept reference?
[483] Yes, Conference agree?
[484] Thanks very much.
[485] [...] report Mick .