Monday, September 09, 2013

#TUC13 Congress - Sunday

TUC 2013 Congress started off for me with a UNISON delegation meeting in our hotel.  During which we agreed positions on motions and composites as well as our speakers.

Congress kicked off at 4pm at the Bournemouth BIC venue. There was the traditional welcome committee outside who expressed concern about our lower limb disorders (TUC - Get off your Knees - General Strike Now!).

This year the TUC President is Lesley Mercer from the union CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy). She introduced Sororal/fraternal delegates and visitors followed by the obituary of union activists who have died in the previous year and a silence for world peace. During the obituary they played Paul Robeson singing "Joe Hill 

Congress business for today was on Employment Rights and then Equalities.  Motion 54 was the most controversial. This motion included discussion of mass industrial action and was opposed by several unions.  It was passed overwhelmingly. UNISON voted in favour.

The President made her address and received the vote of thanks in return. Congress was prolonged in order to hear Amirul Haque Amir, the leader of the Bangladeshi Federation of Garment Workers speak about the  Rana Plaza building collaspe in April when over 1200 workers were crushed to death.

Congress finished at 7.15pm after which there was a reception for delegates by the TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady. During which I met Amirul.

After the reception I had a meal with fellow delegates then went off to the hotel early to go over my speech for tomorrow morning on the Housing debate.

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