Wolverhampton South West CLP Trade Union Liaison Officer
Report to WB&DTUC October 2021
Labour Party Conference 2021
It was a conference defined by transformative policy, nearly every progressive motion that has hit
conference floor has passed with a huge majority, the left is far stronger than we think, as can be seen by these wins even with the Bakers Union disaffiliating. Sadly the party is not bound by policy passed at its annual conference – even if motions are passed unanimously. It is Labour’s national policy forum (NPF) and ‘Clause V’ meeting before an election that decides which parts of the party programme are included in the manifesto. So the current Leader will almost certainly ignore the will of members and affiliates having already turned his back on the ten pledges he stood on to get elected.
One of the only victories for the Leadership was increasing the threshold for nominations from the PLP to stand as Leader from 10% to 20%. This could not have been achieved without the last minute backing on UNISON. UNISON Conference delegation defied National Labour Link committee Policy by voting for this rule change. Is this the final throes of the Rights remaining power after a new Left leadership took control of it’s NEC in June?
Israel and Palestine
Delegates backed this motion by a show of hands on Monday afternoon. Put forward by Young Labour and Wolverhampton South West CLP, it condemns “Israel’s continuing illegal actions” and states that “Israel is intent on eliminating any prospects of Palestinian self-determination”. It specifically calls on the party to support “effective measures” to:
ensure that Israel stops the building of settlements;
reverse any annexation;
end the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza;
bring down the wall; and
respect the right of Palestinian people to return to their homes.
calls on the European & international trade union movement to join the international campaign to stop annexation and end apartheid.
This was passed by a show of hands. Proposed by CWU and Unite, it urges Labour to bring Royal Mail back into public ownership, bring the broadband-relevant parts of BT into public ownership and deliver free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030.
A New Industrial Strategy for a Post-Pandemic Recovery
Put forward by Unite and ASLEF, and carried by a show of hands, this expresses support for a fully publicly owned railway network, widening democratic public ownership of key areas, expanding our public transport and building council homes.
End Fire and Rehire and Workers’ Rights
This motion passed by a show of hands after Andy McDonald had resigned from the shadow cabinet, citing Labour’s failure to back a £15 minimum wage. Proposed by Labour’s biggest affiliate Unite, it calls on the party to:
campaign against fire and rehire tactics used by employers;
a £15 minimum wage;
increasing statutory sick pay to a living wage;
banning zero-hours contracts;
ending the outsourcing of public services;
a legal right to flexible working by default;
a right to ‘switch off’;
and giving workers stronger protections from day one in a job.
Green New Deal 1
Put forward by Labour for a Green New deal, this motion was passed by conference on Sunday afternoon via a show of hands. It calls for a “socialist green new deal”, which includes:
public ownership of energy;
government programme creating millions of well-paid, unionised green jobs;
well-financed, publicly-owned national and regional green investment banks;
expansion and electrification of integrated public transport, including public ownership of railways, free local bus networks;
universal basic services, including a national care service and national nature service;
ban on fracking;
repealing all anti-trade union laws;
debt relief for low-income country debt held by UK institutions;
legal recognition of climate refugees’ right to asylum.
Green New Deal 2
Put forward by GMB, this was also backed by delegates on Saturday, but only after a card vote as the show of hands result was unclear. It calls for:
mass investment in green technologies, such as green gas;
establishing a legal right to breathe clean air;
new nuclear plants, including Sizewell C and Small Modular Reactors.
Grenfell Tower Fire (emergency motion)
Advanced by the FBU, this motion that passed by a show of hands commits the party to holding the government and contractors to account over the Grenfell fire. It resolves Labour to campaign for “more sustained investment” in local authority building control and fire safety, and to “oppose privatisation, deregulation and contracting out of such services”.
Right to Food
This champions enshrining a right to food in law and calls on Labour to “embed a right to food policy in its next general election manifesto”. It passed on the Tuesday of conference by a show of hands and received strong support, with the chair asking: “Is anyone against?”.
Community Wealth Building
Put forward by trade unions CWU and ASLEF, the motion passed by a show of hands. It notes the “significant electoral success” where a ‘community wealth building’ agenda had been adopted and resolves to adopt it as the “main approach to local economic development across the UK by ensuring more of our economy is democratically and socially owned”. It specifically supports:
progressive procurement (unionisation, decent work, zero carbon public supply chains and democratic ownership);
in-sourcing of public and local council services;
use of land and property to generate wealth for local communities;
support for cooperatives and municipal enterprise.
High Street and Business Recovery
This was carried by a show of hands. Put forward by Labour Business and trade union Usdaw, it calls on Labour to develop a “new deal for workers”. It backs:
a living wage and guaranteed hours for workers;
better rights at work for employees and the self-employed;
reform of UK tax law, tackling tax avoidance and the use of offshore havens, a digital tax.
This motion, which passed by a show of hands, was put forward by the Association of Labour Councillors and Putney CLP. It calls on the party to advocate for safe and secure routes of asylum for refugees fleeing Afghanistan, work with European and NATO countries to do the same and “fight for a fair proportion of refugees across all local authorities and advocate for further infrastructure improvements to help these areas”.
AUKUS security pact (emergency motion)
This motion passed following a card vote. Total, for: 70.35% Total, against: 29.65%
It calls on Labour to oppose the agreement between the UK, US and Australia, reconfirm support for enforcing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and “take steps to repair the diplomatic damage done” by the pact. (The context for this motion is that Keir Starmer welcomed the ‘Aukus’ pact before conference.)
Passed after a show of hands on Tuesday, this motion put forward by the Socialist Health Association condemns the 11 years of austerity and urges Labour to:
advocate for a universal, comprehensive and publicly provided NHS;
campaign for a halt to the roll out of integrated care systems;
actively alert local councillors and MPs to the threat posed by ICSs;
oppose the “destructive effects” of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act;
oppose the health and care bill;
promote greater collaboration with the party in the devolved nations.
Social Care 1
Delegates passed two social care motions on Tuesday. The first, put forward by GMB and UNISON, calls on Labour to establish a national care service that will:
“end the postcode lottery on standards”;
in-source care services and remove profit from the system;
implement national standards on terms and conditions negotiated with trade unions;
ensure care workers are paid £15 per hour.
Social Care 2
The second composite motion, put forwarded by two local parties, does not stipulate a £15 minimum wage for care workers but calls on Labour to establish a national care service to:
provide a “needs-based and publicly funded” vision for care;
improve pay, terms and conditions for staff;
prioritise ‘home first’;
support a right to independent living;
scrap the minimum minutes call time;
ensure access to nationally funded, locally delivered, co-produced, free services.
Put forward by Labour Housing Group and passed by a show of hands, this motion demands that the party:
advocate funding councils to deliver 150,000 social rent homes each year, including 100,000 council homes;
enshrine a right to adequate housing in law;
repeal anti-squatting legislation and the Vagrancy Act;
end Right to Buy and ‘no-fault evictions’;
give councils stronger powers of compulsory purchase to tackle land banking;
give councils powers to restrict second home purchases;
end homelessness by instituting a ‘housing-first’ system;
commit to strengthening tenants’ rights;
fund the retrofitting of council housing.
This motion passed by a show of hands. It calls on the party to “fight for public services free from profit, funded through general taxation”, campaign to stop and reverse local government cuts, ensure “decent pay for those who keep our communities going” and campaign for “real pay rises for all public service workers”.
Mental Health in the Workplace
This passed by a show of hands. It commits the party to strengthening the Equality Act, introducing mandatory disability pay gap reporting, repealing anti-trade union laws and developing a statutory mental health at work plan.
This told Labour to recognise the “obstacles and growing violence LGBT+ people face”, make conversion therapy illegal, assert trans people’s “same right for self-determination as anyone else” and safeguard their “equal access to domestic abuse/rape support and shelters”.
Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme
This motion, put forward by the NUM, calls on Labour to campaign to ensure mineworkers get the pensions they deserve and for the immediate return of the £1.2bn in the Investment Reserve Fund to increase pensions. It was passed by a show of hands on Tuesday.
Immigration and Asylum Policy
This motion calls for guaranteed safe routes for asylum seekers, rights to family reunion, work and social security, campaigning against legislation criminalising Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, re-establishing the Dubs scheme, opposing the government’s nationality and borders bill and scrapping hostile environment policies.
Black Lives Matter
This passed by a show of hands. Put forward by GMB, it supports the BLM campaign and calls on Labour to outline a “clear programme at a local and national level that will transform the equality agenda to improve the lives and aspirations of the Black community”.
Ending Violence Against Women and Girls
Delegates backed, by a show of hands, two motions on violence against women and girls on Tuesday. This one notes the harassment and bullying the women experience in public life and in the workplace, and calls on Labour’s national executive committee to campaign alongside all those speaking up against violence against women and roll out education across the party.
Violence Against Women and Girls (emergency motion)
This motion endorses the findings of the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services report into VAWG and calls on a future Labour government to address the impact of pornography and misogyny, ensure age restrictions on pornography are enforced by social media, and adequately resource the criminal justice system.
The Forde Report
A new film has been launched shot during the Labour Party conference claiming to expose the “shocking truth” about the Labour Party Keir Starmer has tried to suppress, it’s claimed, by postponing publication of the Forde report.
The official Forde Inquiry, chaired by QC Martin Forde, was commissioned in May 2020 to investigate a controversial leaked Labour Party report but its findings have been repeatedly postponed. In his latest announcement Forde said he would try to report by early autumn — but to date nothing has appeared.
Norman Thomas, one of the producers of the film, said: “This film will do what the QC Martin Forde should have been allowed to do — blow the lid off the total lack of democracy at the heart of the Labour Party.”
Thomas himself was the chair of South Thanet Labour Party In Kent until December 2020 when he was suspended for allowing his members to debate a motion supporting Jeremy Corbyn.
The film is produced by the award-winning, London-based Platform Films, and is available online on
CLP Speakers COP26
At the CLP All Members Meeting last week we were pleased to welcome Rima, Tess & Elsie, members of ‘Pedalling For A Brighter Future’ who were cycling 600 miles to Glasgow for the COP26 Summit to raise awareness of the Climate Crisis.
Their aim is carry thousands of Climate Action Pledges that people are making to BE THE CHANGE urgently needed – to lay at the feet of world leaders. They want organisations of all sizes to participate and be part of the much needed change this world needs. To add your pledge visit https://pedalfabf.wordpress.com/#action
LGC (Local Government Committee) formerly LCF (Local Campaign Forum)
Wolverhampton’s LCF has been restructured and is now the LGC, this committee is made up of 6 CLP representatives (2 from each CLP), 6 Councillors and 6 Trade Union representative with each group holding a third of the voting rights.
At the first meeting of the LGC last week there was only one Trade Union rep (GMB) in attendance and from what I can gather is the only one that has been put forward, this is not ideal if the LGC is to play any meaningful role in developing campaign strategies and a campaign manifesto for elections and strengthen links locally between The LP and affiliated TUs. I believe the body to nominate Trade Union reps to the LGC is the Regional TULO Committee which is made up of affiliated Trade Unions but I’m struggling to establish who attends, who is eligible to attend and when the meetings are.
Netflix is welcoming an influx of Palestinian films both short and feature length which started on the 14th of October, including some documentaries.
Keep an eye open for this rare opportunity to learn about the daily struggles of Palestinians in their occupied homeland, as well as in the diaspora.
Titles that will be available soon:
1. Salt of This Sea
2. A Drowning Man
3. Frontiers of Dreams and Fears
4. A Man returned
5. When I Saw You
6. Children of Shatila
7. Divine Intervention
8. The Crossing
9. Paradise Now
10. Chronicle of a Disappearance
11. Maradona’s Legs
12. 3000 Nights
13. In Vitro
15. Three Logical Exists
16. Ghost Hunting
17. Ave Maria
Diane Weaver, Wolverhampton South West CLP Trade Union Liason Officer