TRADES UNION CONGRESS 2017: CWU DELEGATION REPORT
The 2017 Trades Union Congress took place from Sunday 10th September to Wednesday 13th September 2017.
All unions were entitled to submit two motions to the agenda. The CWU National Executive Council agreed the following motions:-
MOTION 1 – A NEW DEAL FOR WORKERS
Insecure employment and the growing pressure workers are under to work harder and faster for less, are the defining issues of our time for the trade union movement.
Far from creating a country that works for everyone, the Conservative government is creating a country in which we work ‘til we drop. In contrast, Labour’s 2017 manifesto put forward a transformative agenda on employment rights.
The government-commissioned Taylor report failed to address the need to enhance individual and collective rights to protect workers and bring about a real upturn in terms and conditions. The crucial question now facing the union movement is what are we going to do about it?
Congress agrees it is time to make greater demands on behalf of all workers and develop a new model of trade unionism that can organise workers everywhere, reverse the decline in overall UK trade union membership and counter the predicted impact of the gig economy.
Specifically, Congress calls on the General Council to:
Develop a common bargaining agenda to tackle insecurity.
Publish a trade union manifesto on what constitutes a new deal for workers.
Mobilise for a national demonstration for a new deal for workers to be held no later than the first half of 2018.
To facilitate the above, the General Secretary will bring forward documentation for agreement at the Executive Committee and General Council. This will also include how we build support for a major campaign and reach a consensus on deliverable action.
Communication Workers Union
MOTION 2 – A NEW MODEL OF TRADE UNIONISM
Conference recognises the growing challenges facing the trade union movement and is extremely concerned that 2016 saw a reported fall of 275,000 TU members with density reported at 23.3%.
Congress agrees that to revolutionise the world of work, deliver a new deal for workers, ensure wider society benefits from the gig economy and to re-assert trade union values and organisation – the TUC and its affiliated unions must now lead a major transformative project to create a new model of UK trade unionism.
The General Secretary will bring forward for agreement, documentation to the Executive Committee and General Council on the overall shape, aims and objectives of the project by March 2018, including consideration of the following:
• How we significantly increase levels of engagement with members and representatives.
• How we strengthen local workplace activism.
• Improving co-operation, methods and effectiveness of organising.
• A stronger focus for the TUC in co-ordinating solidarity and supporting workers in dispute.
• The best model of trade unionism to influence the gig economy.
• Bringing forward a younger generation of representatives and members.
• Ensuring the whole movement better reflects the gender, ethnicity and diversity of the workforce.
• Improving the scope and reach of collective and sectoral bargaining.
The project will build on and pull together existing relevant TUC work strands and review all TUC structures to strengthen the voice of smaller unions. The project will ensure the widest consultation with unions and seek the widest possible direct engagement with workers.
Communication Workers Union
The CWU was also entitled to submit two amendments. These were as follows:
Amendment to Motion P06 – The safety risks of light touch regulation (BALPA)
Add at end of third paragraph
‘Accordingly Congress is concerned that Government will use ‘Brexit’ as an excuse to water down or remove valuable Health and Safety legislation’.
Insert in the 4th paragraph line 3 after the word ‘regulation’
Congress also agrees that we will campaign widely to protect and preserve existing legalisation from indiscriminate removal under the guise of being “better for business”.
Amendment to Motion P10 – Climate Change (BFAWU)
Add the following two new points at end of motion
1 consult with all affiliates to seek input into the development of a cross sector industrial strategy that works towards delivering internationally agreed carbon emission reduction targets
vi develop a “just transition” programme for those workers affected by the industrial changes necessary to develop a more environmentally sustainable future for all.
COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION
2017 TRADES UNION CONGRESS – BRIGHTON
MINUTES OF THE TUC DELEGATION MEETING
HELD IN THE TENNYSON SUITE, WATERFRONT HOTEL,
PRESENT: Jane Loftus (Chair), Dave Ward (General Secretary), Tony Kearns (SDGS), Andy Kerr (DGS T&FS), Terry Pullinger (DGS Postal), Maria Exall (ex officio), Amarjite Singh, Jim McKechnie, Joyce Stevenson, Kate Hudson, Sajid Shaikh, Tony Gilkes, , Mick Kavanagh, Tom Cooper, Katie Dunning, Erin Massey, Jeff Till, Rob Wotherspoon.
IN ATTENDANCE: Bill Taylor, Lionel Sampson, Andrew Towers, Jeremy Baugh, Janina Dunn
The Chair welcomed all CWU Delegates to the meeting in particular those who were attending the TUC Congress for the first time and asked the delegation to introduce themselves to the meeting.
The Chair informed the delegation that the meeting would take a 30 minute break after point 3 to enable delegates to read the policy documents with a view to intervening in any debates.
The General Secretary welcomed all delegates and said that this year’s Congress was probably the most important TUC for many years and that the CWU has been pushing for new policies on a new deal for workers with the TUC.
The General Secretary also encouraged all delegates to consider speaking on debates during the course of the week, and said that he felt this year’s TUC would be a good and interesting Congress.
Apologies were received from Daniel Coles who was unable to attend Congress due to a family bereavement and Terry Pullinger TUC Fringe (National Shop Stewards Network).
3 TUC DOCUMENTATION
Bill Taylor, Head of Research explained what documentation the delegation would need for the TUC.
The SDGS explained the process for submitting motions, and amendments and the subsequent compositing process.
4 POLICY AND DECISION MAKING
Following a break to consider the recommendations the Chair went through the policy recommendations:-
The following policy was agreed.
GENERAL COUNCIL STATEMENTS –
TUC Campaign Plan 2017 – 18
Making a jobs-first, rights-first Brexit a reality
The above policy was agreed.
5 TUC GENERAL COUNCIL REPORT
The Chair went through TUC General Council Report pointing out its contents and asked if delegates wanted to raise any matters arising from the various Chapters.
Following consideration there were no issues raised by the delegates.
The SDGS explained to delegates the process for submitting motions, and amendments and the subsequent compositing process. He explained the documentation which would be required by delegates.
6 CWU MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS – SPEAKERS
The following CWU commitments and interventions were agreed.
CWU Commitments – Speakers
Composite 2 Second Katie Dunning
Composite 4 Second Tony Kearns
Composite 8 Support Dave Ward
Motion 72 Move Dave Ward
CWU Interventions – Speakers
Composite 1 Support Andy Kerr
Composite 3 Support Jane Loftus
Composite 6 Oppose Dave Ward
Motion 17 Support Tony Kearns
Motion 35 Oppose Maria Exall
Motion 37 Support Amarjite Singh
Motion 76 Second Tony Kearns
Motion 77 Second Tony Kearns
The General Secretary was elected to the General Council by right of office as agreed by the NEC.
Maria Exall was elected unopposed in Section I – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.
8 TUC GUEST SPEAKERS AT CONGRESS
The Chair advised delegates of the advertised speakers during TUC Congress 2017.
9 FRINGE MEETINGS AND RECEPTIONS
The delegation was advised of a number of fringe meetings involving, or of special interest to the CWU.
Sunday 10th – John McDonnell – LRC – Old Ship Hotel
Monday 11th – Dave Ward/Tim Roache – CWU/GMB New Politics, New Trade Unionism – Conference Centre Restaurant.
Tuesday 12th – Tony Kearns – Climate Change – Conference Centre
Tuesday 12th – Jane Loftus – SUTR – Grand Hotel
Tuesday 12th – Maria Exall – Tories Out – Friends Meeting House, Ship Street.
10 DELEGATION SEATING ARRANGEMENTS
The Chair confirmed that the Congress seating plan was contained on page 29 of the Congress Guide. CWU would be situated in Block A, Row F 1 – 12 and Row G 6 – 12.
11 CWU COMMUNICATIONS
The Chair asked delegates to consult Chris Webb, Head of Comms or Charlie Pullinger, Press Officer prior to interacting with the media. She also reminded delegates that before posting any personal photographs of individual members of the delegation or CWU HQ team – permission of the individual should be sought.
12 ABSENCES DURING CONGRESS
The Chair asked the delegation to confirm to Tony Kearns SDGS if they would be absent during Congress, or if they were required to leave Congress early.
13 DELEGATION DINNER
There would be a delegation dinner at 8 p.m. in the Noblesse Suite – drinks in the bar for 7.00/7.30 p.m.
14 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Amarjite Singh asked the meeting to consider submitting an Emergency Motion on Burma and that he would like to speak on it.
The General Secretary advised the meeting that CWU has submitted and Emergency Motion on Royal Mail and that Terry Pullinger Deputy General Secretary (Postal) would be moving the Emergency Motion.
There were gate meetings in relation to the Royal Mail dispute on Monday morning at Brighton Delivery Office and Worthing which would be attended by the General Secretary, Senior Deputy General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary Postal and President.
The General Secretary also advised the delegation that the CWU would be holding a live Facebook session (Q&A) regarding the dispute on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 1.00 p.m.
The complete TUC Congress decisions for 2017 can be downloaded from the following website.
Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to the General Secretary’s office firstname.lastname@example.org.