97th GMB Congress In Nottingham (June 8th - 12th) Will Mark 125 Years Since Union Was Founded

5 Jun 2014

500 delegates representing over 626,000 GMB members from all parts of the UK and Ireland and from every sector meet to discuss the industrial, economic and political agenda of the third largest trade union. The 97th GMB Congress, comprising of 500 elected lay members, will meet in Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena, Bolero Square, The Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1LA from Sunday 8th to Thursday 12th June. The 97th Congress comes back to Nottingham for the first time since the 12th Congress was held there in 1908. 

GMB is the direct successor to the Gas Workers & General Union which was formed on 31st March 1889 by Will Thorne. 125 years ago the union spread like wild fire across Britain and Ireland after it liberated gas workers from the unrelenting toil of working twelve hour days for six days a week by winning an eight hour day. This 125th birthday will be marked at the Congress.  Delegates attending GMB Congress are the members who have been elected to represent over 626,000 members from every part of the UK and Ireland and who are employed in every sector of the economy. 

Congress is the supreme policy making body in the union.  300 visitors and guests will also attend GMB Congress and are also drawn mainly from GMB organised workplaces around the UK and Ireland. 
Among the guest speakers during GMB Congress week are Rachel Reeves MP, Glenis Willmott MEP, Margaret Curran MP, Emma Reynolds MP, Lord Whitty, Senior Labour MP’s address & Q&A.

On Sunday morning Ricky Tomlinson will present the GMB Annual Daniel Dennis H&S Award. Kevin McGuire from the Mirror will host a Q&A with Rachel Reeves MP on Labour’s plans for Welfare Rights.

On Monday morning Rachel Reeves MP will address Congress and then take questions from the floor. A CEC Special Report on Housing will be taken in the afternoon and the funding and constitutional reform of the Labour Party will be also discussed.

At the close of the Monday afternoon session, Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary will give his keynote address to the GMB Congress delegates at around 5:30 pm.

On Monday evening there will be a special social event with Paul Heaton to mark the 125 years of the union.

During Tuesday three section conferences will be held for Public Services, Commercial Services and Manufacturing. See notes to editors for topics for debate and guest speakers. On Tuesday a GMB study into social care charges by local councils will be published.

On Wednesday morning there will be a GMB statement on energy markets and a debate on fracking and a CEC statement on the NHS.

On Thursday a senior Labour Party politician will address Congress and take questions from delegates on Labour’s plan for the 2015 General Election.

There are written reports to Congress on Women in GMB, GMB Branch Structure and GMB Finances, Housing and on the NHS.