- There was argument over the Response to the Economic Crisis composite motion. A West Midlands CATUC motion was included though a section on the nationalisation of the banks was removed else it would have been ruled out of order (apparently no longer General Council policy, despite being passed in 1931). The Coventry delegate argued for its inclusion (along with others) – however it was no longer Coventry’s motion so most of the arguments were invalid. It illustrated the lack of influence of trades councils that come under county associations. We cannot put motions or amendments directly so cannot propose or second motions. The timescales involved mean that a motion from a branch would need to be received by around the new year to get to national conference. Trades union councils such as Telford can submit directly.
- Support was won for the Peoples’ Charter (seeking one million signatures).There was criticism of the lack of inclusion of anti-TU Law work in the TUC Trades Union Councils Annual Programme of Work.
- I managed to speak in support of Bilston on the Royal Mail privatisation motion. I praised the CWU’s national demo in Bilston after it was criticised for not being in London. Probably more members of the public noticed as Bilston come to a standstill than would have happened in London; front page Morning Star coverage too!
- A Bedfordshire motion was pertinent to the Rahimi family as it called on the Home Office to treat the PCS as the POA and set anti-racist/fascist selection criteria in place at Yarls Wood detention centre where they experienced former apartheid-era South African guards. Bedford TUC was involved in local campaigning.
- An emergency composite calling for the reinstatement of Rob Williams, Linamar Convenor has already achieved success – he refused a payoff and an all-out strike threat won him his job back.
- Despite the TUCongress passing last September, the RMT’s motion to give this conference power to submit a motion to Congress; it seems that is all that will change. The policy must adhere to existing policy and the fraternal/sororal delegate (chosen by the TUCJCC upon receipt of nominations) still does not have speaking rights. So no one representing trades councils will be able to move the motion. The motion chosen (by secret ballot) was a National Strategy for the Defence of TUC Unemployed Centres. It called upon the promotion of One Fund for All which still operates successfully in Merseyside, raising £100,000 annually where the majority of campaigning TUC Centres still exist.
- All motions were passed some amended but all were added nothing to the existing campaign guidelines laid down for our work in the TUC Programme of Work.
How to raise the profile of trades union councils:·
- Contact schools to offer TU speakers under the national curriculum.·
- Monitor local paper for disputes and then offer support.·
- May Day events & Yellow Pages listings.·
- Contact Co-op Party for funds for events.
- TUC training available for 2 minute YouTube productions and virals, promoting unions. Cheap video cameras are available (£30 upwards). Some simple innovative videos using puppets to animate union issues were shown.·
- Facebook is US-owned and they have publishing rights to any pictures you upload.·
- TUC was asked to host sites for all local TUCs
by Nick Kelleher, Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC delegate to conference.
Click HERE to see the conference report from the Coventry delegate, listed on the WM County association of Trades Uniuon councils website