GMB Magazine GMB25 Fusion Summer 2016 - Page 9

Visit GMB online at www . gmb . org . uk
STAGE ANTICS Jeremy Corbyn met blacklisted GMB members at Congress .

TALES

OF CONGRESS

The Press Association ’ s Alan Jones on Congress ’ important work …

T he first annual GMB Congress under the leadership of Tim Roache had a familiar feel , with debates on Trident , worker exploitation , blacklisting and – of course – someone dressed up as an animal !

Paul Kenny ’ s appearance with the London Region delegation also helped , although it ’ s clear that the worlds of work and politics are changing . The sun shone throughout the Bournemouth Congress , but storm clouds are gathering across many industries where GMB has members , from the crisis gripping steel to the obscene explosion of zero hours contracts and question marks over the future of nuclear power .
Tim Roache used his speech to pledge to build a 21st century union that looks , sounds , communicates and organises in the most modern way , attracting new , young recruits while continuing to campaign against injustice – whichever form it takes .
JEREMY CORBYN The Labour leader spent time with GMB Young Members after his speech .
Communications is a crucial battleground in politics as well as industry , and GMB has embraced social media while realising the importance of broadcasters and the written press – national and local – to highlight its work .
STANDING OVATION
This year ’ s Congress attracted a wealth of national speakers , including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn . He received a standing ovation after a forceful defence of workers ’ rights , including a pledge to repeal the Trade Union Act . He told delegates that the UK workplace is now one of the most unequal in the developed world , and GMB continues to campaign against unscrupulous bosses .
One campaign which has ended successfully is the long-running fight for justice for construction workers who were blacklisted , often for just being in a union . A compensation settlement has finally been reached , and several of those caught up in the outrage told their stories . People like Peter Feather , 58 , from Rotherham , who was blacklisted for being a shop steward , causing huge suffering to his family ; or Mike Rayner , 52 , from the Wirral , who couldn ’ t even get work abroad after his name was added to the file .
PUBLIC INQUIRY
Dave Smith of the Blacklist Support Group also gave one of his trademark barnstorming speeches , pledging to continue campaigning
ELEANOR MARX AWARD Cath Murphy , middle , received her award from Rachel Holmes ( right ) and Mary Turner , who herself picked up an OBE in the Queen ’ s birthday honours . Congratulations all round ! for a public inquiry after one was finally held into the Hillsborough disaster . Tim Roache spoke movingly about being at the ground on the fateful day , not realising the extent of the carnage , and delegates heard an emotional speech by Margaret Aspinall of the Hillsborough Support Group , on why she never gave up hope of seeing an inquiry which would clear Liverpool fans of any blame . GMB Congress 2016 agreed to donate £ 10,000 to the support group .
Oh , and that animal . A hardy volunteer spent over an hour on the stage , on the hottest afternoon of the week , dressed up in a crocodile suit ( blacklisting companies , shedding crocodile tears ... Geddit ?), proving that GMB still leads the way with snappy stunts .

SAVE JOBS !

GMB members in Asda asked us to help save supermarket jobs by NOT using self-checkout machines . www . gmb . org . uk 09
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