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June 2015 Blog - Congress
Congress is where GMB policy is debated and agreed and to see our delegation with so many new reps, a large percentage of women, young and black minority ethnic people just shows how completely inclusive and representative of our members our region is.
To watch for a full week a procession of Yorkshire and North Derbyshire delegates with great skill and passion arguing for and winning debates on fairness for young workers, winning a fair deal for women at work and calling for an end to employers using agency workers to drive down pay rates, was a highlight of my time with GMB and a very proud moment indeed.
Without doubt the saddest part of Congress was when our General Secretary, Paul Kenny confirmed that there will be an election for a new General Secretary and Treasurer over the coming weeks and months.
Paul has been an exceptional leader of our proud union over the last 10 years, and I am honoured to have been part of his Senior Management Team over this time, and to have stood shoulder to shoulder with him as he has led this union back to greatness.
When you add to that the hugely disappointing general election result that will mean more attacks on working people by the Tories, whether it’s cuts to jobs, terms and conditions in the public sector or attacks on hours, pay and pensions in the private sector, what is clear is that the Labour Movement is at a crossroads.
There’s an old saying that goes “the union is only as strong as its activists and members” and that’s why I’m so proud that in our region we have grown our membership by 10,000 in the last 7 years and our army of dedicated and skilled activists has grown by over 1,000 in the same period.
The GMB has been standing up for working people for 125 years and as things get tougher, working people will need their union more than ever before.
Be proud and confident that, through our brilliant officers, staff and workplace reps we will stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight to make a better life for working people and your families.
Paul Kenny leaves a legacy of a growing, vibrant, inclusive union and we owe it to him and to you all to carry on that fantastic work.
Thank you for all that you do and for your membership which I value so highly.