Congress is called to order by Mary Turner GMB president. This year's Banner Ceremony was led by Birmingham & West Midlands Region. Yorkshire & North Derbyshire's banner was carried by Graham Jarvis and Nigel Townend.
The morning session began with a video montage of the previous year's events and campaigns that had taken place since Congress 2015. Other business included:
Appointment of Tellers
Confirmation of Standing Orders Committee
MARY TURNER: PRESIDENT
Mary addressed Conference, making a passionate speech about the attacks on our NHS, Junior Doctors and Public Services. Congress is called to order by Mary Turner GMB president. This year's Banner Ceremony was led by Birmingham & West Midlands Region. Yorkshire & North Derbyshire's banner was carried by Graham Jarvis and Nigel Townend.
YORKSHIRE & NORTH DERBYSHIRE DELEGATION
MOTIONS TO CONGRESS
A range of motions were discussed and debated throughout the day, including motions on Fair Trade, GMB Carbon's Footprint, Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence, Equality, Tacking The Problem Of Carcinogenic Substances, Backs For The Future, Grunwick 40, Human Trafficking, Syria, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Disability Equality and Government Cuts and Disabled People to name but a few. Many of our delegates were at Congress for the first time so were first time speakers on the rostrum. They did a fantastic job and delivered their speeches with passion and conviction.
MOTION 31: GMB’S CARBON FOOT PRINT
This motion called on Congress to review and improve the eco friendliness of the Union and improve the carbon footprint of the union as a whole trade union body. Last year the global temperatures rose by 1 degree. Does not sound much but it has a global effect causing massive disasters such as the flooding on Boxing Day in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.
The GMB can achieve this in many ways some small, some large but overall the GMB will save money in the long term. To do this we need to look at the medium and long term investments needed to achieve this goal. We could cut the amount of printing done and try digitalise some of the processes, switching lighting to low energy lights and have sensors instead of switches we could look at staff working from home rather than offices if possible to save on transport and increase security where they live.
MOTION 103: TACKLING THE PROBLEM OF CARCINOGENIC SUBSTANCES USED WITHIN THE WORKPLACE
This motion raised concern about the serious problems and the economic cost to the nation associated with workers exposure to carcinogenic substances within the workplace. We call upon this Conference to lobby and actively participate with the government, regulators, professional organisations and industry and for companies to demonstrate their commitment to managing harmful substances within the workplace.
MOTION 107: BACKS FOR THE FUTURE
This motion raised concern about the increasing number of workers within the United Kingdom that are suffering from musculoskeletal injuries and the impact and cost it has on the nation and industry. We call upon this Conference to actively participate and continue to lobby government and for them to demonstrate their commitment to providing solutions to managing manual handling within the workplace.
Daniel Dennis Award: Catriona Goldhammer GMB Rep from ASDA was the recipient of this award in recognition of the work she has done on health and safety within ASDA.
President's Leadership Award For Equality: Pauline Kiely from Yorkshire Ambulance Service was the recipient of this award in recognition of her work in equality.
MOTION 300: GMB CAMPAIGN AGAINST BENEFIT CUTS AFFECTING WORKING PEOPLE
This Conference calls on the GMB to mount a campaign on the vindictive benefit cuts where many have been affected whilst trying to maintain employment and the negative impact that this has on those members. Where unbelievable sanctions have been imposed on vulnerable people in JobCentre Plus (JCP) on a Daily basis, these people affected are the elderly, vulnerable, sick and disabled people claiming job seekers allowance, income support, pension, credits and job seekers allowance. We should produce a campaigning leaflet on sanction advice and lobby the trade nion council to help highlight the plight of many and support community groups through our education learning programme.
A group of blacklisted workers addressed Congress and spoke about the effects blacklisting had on them and their families. Without the backing and support of GMB justice would not have been done for the victims - there were calls for a public enquiry into what went on.
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party addressed Congress. In a fantastic address he praised the work of the GMB and said that a Labour Government will ensure that the Trade Union Act will be repealed.
A bucket collection also took place in the aid of The Alzheimer's Society.
END OF DAY'S BUSINESS