MOTIONS TO CONGRESS
Today's motions included Hands Off Corbyn, Labour Party Unity, Respect Women In Sport, Equality Mapping, Recruitment and Retention of Members, Bogus Self Employed, Recruiting Street Traders, A Better wage, Zero Hour Contracts and Abolish Hereditary Titles to name but a few.
MOTION 72: HANDS OFF CORBYN
Brian Goulding moving Motion 172
This Conference welcomes the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. We note that he was elected by an overwhelming majority of Party members and supporters. We therefore consider that it is the duty of all Party members inside and outside the Houses of Parliament to support him.
We condemn the campaign of vilification in the Tory media directed against Jeremy Corbyn, which is aimed at undermining and removing him. We furthermore deplore the actions of members of the Parliamentary Labour Party who, through their systematic attempts to undermine Jeremy Corbyn, are deliberately sabotaging the work of the opposition, destabilising the Labour Party and playing into the hands of the Tories.
Graham Jarvis seconding Motion 172
MOTION 174: LABOUR PARTY UNITY
Barney O'Connor moving Motion 174
This motion urged Congress to put pressure on The Labour Party to heed the Leaders call for unity. Jeremy Corbyn has issued an appeal for party unity; we (branch) believe that the Party should consider the cost of losing the next general election.
This would be devastating for working people. Labour MP’s earn a good living in Parliament, but further Tory Austerity would create much more poverty for our members. The Labour Party is our Party and the members have spoken when they overwhelmingly endorsed Jeremy Corbyn as our leader.
We urge our leaders in the GMB to support Corbyn’s leadership and withdraw financial support from disloyal MP’s.
Mick Hirst seconding Motion 176
MOTION 192: ABOLISH HEREDITARY TITLES
Ian Kemp moving Motion 192
This motion said that the passing on of titles is an anachronism that has no place in a 21st Century democratic society. The undue deference for those who have titles as a result of service rendered by an ancestor is an affront to those who believe in democracy and equality. Conference, therefore, calls for the abolition of hereditary titles as a step towards a genuinely equal society.
Jason Green seconding Motion 192
PRESENTATION OF THE FIRST ELEANOR MARX AWARD
Rachel Holmes author of "Eleanor Marx: A Life" addressed Congress. The first winner of the award was Cathy Murphy from Scotland, who said she would like to dedicate and pass on the award the Mary Turner for the fantastic work she has done on behalf of GMB over many years.
MOTION 169: THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE
Jim Shield moving Motion 169
Conference applauds the work done by the “think tank” Class in bringing forward alternatives to this Government’s policies of austerity, inequality and privatisation. It calls on the CEC to continue to support its work and to integrate it into a manifesto for a future Labour Government.
FRINGE EVENT: GMB CREDIT UNION
Yorkshire & North Derbyshire Region hosted a Fringe event, GMB Credit Union, following it's rebrand from Thorne Credit Union. Thousands of GMB members find themselves in debt because of low pay and job losses. The Credit Union wants to protect members from pay-day loan sharks.
LAUNCH OF HARRY HARPHAM PARLIAMENTARY PROGRAMME
This session saw a Q&A with a panel of women MP's. Delegates from each region put a range of questions to the panel which was made up of:
- Gill Furniss MP
- Paula Sherriff MP
- Ruth Smeeth MP
- Jo Stevens MP
MOTION 136: “UMBRELLA” COMPANIES AND BOGUS SELF EMPLOYED
This Conference, the GMB Yorkshire region congratulates the construction union UCATT for its continued support in opposing the use of “umbrella” companies and other forms of evasion in construction and other industries. Not only are these schemes depriving workers of their basic rights, a dubious privilege for which the worker pays the employer’s NI contribution, they are also depriving the exchequer of approximately £3,800 per worker per annum. Campaigning by unions has resulted in the Welsh Government banning the use of umbrella companies on its publicly funded projects so that all workers will in future be directly employed.
Liz Robinson moving Motion 136
As many as 460,000 people could be ‘bogusly self-employed’ meaning workers miss out on holiday pay, government loses tax revenue and responsible businesses could be undercut, says Citizens Advice. In its report “Neither one thing nor the other” Citizens Advice highlights how unscrupulous employers can compel staff to be self-employed when they should in fact have employee status. This means employers can avoid paying the minimum wage, employers’ National Insurance, sick pay, holiday pay and pension contributions. Responsible employers can also lose out as firms forcing people into self-employment means the savings they make can be used to undercut competitors’ prices.
A combination of factors including work hours set by the employer, using the business’ equipment and having tax deducted from their pay by their employer could mean an individual should be an employee rather than self-employed.
The research also identifies specific financial losses felt by the bogusly self-employed and the Government:
An average of over £1,200 per worker per year lost in holiday pay
People pay an extra £61 per year in National Insurance that they would not pay were they classified as employed
- The loss of employer National Insurance contributions costs the Government over £300 per person per year.
We therefore call on Conference to continue to work with UCATT and partner trade unions to campaign for a similar ban on publicly funded projects and the employment of “bogus self-employed” workers where ever the practice takes place.
MOTION 33: RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF MEMBERS
This motion raised concern that due to the introduction of Tory government legislation the recruitment of new members and the retention of existing members is becoming challenging. Therefore, we call upon this Conference to actively participate in developing a long term strategy that is successful in recruiting and retaining members.
PRESENTATION OF REGIONAL SUCCESSES
Delegates were shown a number of presentations and listened to speakers who outlined the successes in each region from the previous 12 months - some fantastic work has been carried out in defending workers rights, campaigning and supporting our members. Especially in Yorkshire & North Derbyshire region. Our presentation included the Green Co Campaign and sacked GMB reps Jim Rodgers and Gordon Parkes addressed Congress after out slide-show was shown.
Green Co Reps address Congress
There was a bucket collection for The Rainbow International Trust.
END OF DAY'S BUSINESS