Tuesday, 6th June 2017

Welcome To Day 3 Of Congress 2017

Today is our last day of Congress before we head home to campaign for a Labour victory on Thursday! 

Yesterday was a packed day – we got through so much. Including a ground-breaking report in insecure work, the General Secretary’s report and a touching tribute to our friend Jo Cox MP. 

If you want to watch Tim’s speech or share it with your branch – click here to see it (and scroll to 3:44:50). 

We’re proud to have welcomed Jo Cox’s husband Brendan to join us yesterday to present him with a posthumous award for Jo. If you’d like to see our tribute to Jo Cox, click here.

Headlines from today include:

- This Daily Mirror report on our shock findings about the scale of job losses in the UK manufacturing industry

- This Metro write-up of how Hermes is putting drivers - GMB members - at risk by dodging insurance responsibilities

Later today we’ll be discussing Brexit, justice and the fight against racism and fascism among lots of other things - we've got a whole host of topics to cover. Then we're done! We'll finish at 12pm. 



This Congress notes that, during and after the referendum on EU membership, the main focus seems to be about the free movement of labour. However, Congress also notes that nothing has been said about the movement of capital. This issue is as important, if not more so, that the movement of labour. Congress recognises that the issue is not clear cut. On one hand, the movement of capital has allowed inward investment from companies such as Toyota. However, it also means that money can also flow out of the UK, for example, whilst James Dyson is happy to see Brexit and for foreign workers denied the ability to seek a better life here, he is quite happy to invest in countries with low wages to increase his profits. We need a serious debate about the movement of capital to formulate an alternative to simply accepting the status quo.

Congress, therefore, calls on the Labour Movement to debate and discuss the movement of capital as a step towards producing alternative economic policies to the Tories.

Henry Rajch from Barnsley GMB speaking on Composite 18


This Congress notes that following the European Union Referendum it now appears to be acceptable to express hateful views under the guise of “free speech”, and use terms such as “alt right” to legitimise far right groups.

We call on the GMB to continue and indeed increase our efforts to expose such views to our membership as abhorrent in a civilised 21st Century society.


This Congress recognises the importance of Standing Up to Racism in modern day Britain.  The current political climate, aided by the media has given rise to an increase in hate crimes and there has been a 200% rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since 2012 (Myriad Foundations). 

This conference believes that GMB should affiliate and work with MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development). MEND is an organisation that is grass roots based, helping the local communities to come together irrespective of religious beliefs, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and politics. MEND believes in educating and empowering the people to challenge hate in all its forms through positive channels such as engagement with local MPs and Councillors, as well as media forums - including writing to the tabloids to challenge negative rhetoric.  

This Congress is proud of our Union's history and involvement in campaigning against racism. We have been central to many campaigns with great success for and on behalf of our members. Recent anti-Trump demonstrations are evidence of the need to combat increasing Islamophobia and therefore there is a greater need for GMB's support of MEND.


Terence Calvert from Bradford District Care Trust branch seconding Motion 244


This Congress believes victims of crime deserve support & justice. It also believes those accused but not convicted of crimes should also receive support & justice.

It is a principle of UK Law, that those accused of crimes are presumed are innocent until proven guilty. However, all too often those who have been found not guilty, along with their families, suffer hardships, such as loss of income and jobs. As it is deemed that the justice system has worked, they cannot claim redress for their losses. In many cases, those remanded in custody are kept outside their locale, making it difficult for family visits. In order that the innocent and their families should not suffer unduly. Congress calls for:

 1. Remanding in custody should only be used as a last resort, taking into account the severity of the alleged crime & the safety of the general public & the accused. In addition, remand centres should be locally based to allow ease of familial contact  

2. Reversal of the closure of magistrate & other local courts and a return to the traditional British value of Justice being dispensed locally  

3. A degree of employment & income protection for those accused awaiting trial so they and their families do not suffer financial hardship and to aid in a return to normality after the trial.

Justice not only has to be done but seen to be done for the innocent as well as the guilty.


Amanda Burley from Leeds Civic branch speaking on Motion 284.


This Congress recognises the harm privatisation is doing to the NHS and calls upon government to look closely at tax legislation, particularly VAT and corporation tax and close loopholes which allow private companies favourable taxation conditions.

The private companies have huge tax advantages which public service employers do not have. NHS organisations are setting up “arm‟s length” private provider organisations and hiving off parts of the NHS to themselves. Privatising whole swathes of the NHS without any procurement process or public consultation in the guise of “saving money.”

Ben Cain from Bradford GMB branch speaking on Motion 219


This Congress further considers: "We Campaign Nationally for Reform of Taxi Laws to End Cross Border Hiring (De-regulation Act 2015), Lobby Parliament and work with other trade unions/Associations in partnership to end this ridiculous situation in the country".


GMB National Policy Guide.pdf

Congress 2017 Decisions.pdf







Congress Diary - 2017

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