Sunday, September 09, 2018

TUC Congress 2018: Celebrating 150 years

I am at the TUC Congress in Manchester as part of the UNISON delegation which started at 4pm
today. This is the 150th anniversary of the 1st ever Congress which was also held in Manchester which is why we are back to celebrate.  Then only 34 delegates gathered nearby to discuss

The Congress guide reports this year that there are 519 delegates from affiliated trade unions. 268 Male and (only) 251 Female.  UNISON has has 57 delegates. 21 Male and 36 Female.

You can check out the business programme of Congress here and final agenda here.  As usual there are a number of fringes during lunchtimes and evening which I will try and attend as many as possible.  There is also a large exhibition hall full of stalls.

Despite falls in membership in recent decades, the TUC still represents a massive 6.23 million UK workers. Last year there was a welcome small increase.

Unions are as needed now as much as they were needed in the past. UNISON published today research on Housing and how it is now practically impossible for most public service workers to afford to buy a home. The Bank of England restricts mortgages to a maximum of 4.5 times their income. This means that for example NHS cleaners or teaching assistants cannot afford to buy anywhere in any English region. All unions have unfinished business to complete on behalf of their members.

Picture above of TUC President Sally Hunt from the UCU who gave her address and received a well deserved standing ovation.  Afterwards she mentioned the campaign by a TUC delegate who is also the Granddaughter of one of the Match Girl 1888 strikers (Sarah Chapman) who is buried in Manor Park, Newham without a headstone. Sign the petition here to provide one. 

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