GMB Congress In Plymouth - Sunday 2nd June to Thursday 6th June

31 May 2013

Delegates attending GMB Congress are the members who have been elected to represent over 620,000 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 be attending GMB Congress and are drawn mainly from GMB organised workplaces around the UK and Ireland.

GMB Congress is open to the media with the necessary credentials. It will be webcast live on the GMB national website at

Congress documents are online on GMB website in the area for GMB members only. Journalists attending the Congress will be supplied with all Congress documents on arrival.

GMB can supply live feed and recorded highlights to media outlets by arrangement.
Journalists who require media credentials should contact Charlotte Gregory, GMB Press Office on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 020 7391 6751.
Media releases planned to coincide with debates

Sunday 2nd June

Travel To Work - How workers travel to work in each area for all regions - except Scotland- from 2011 census and impact of travel to work costs on living standards

Monday 3rd June

A GMB investigation into the number of new homes that could be built in each area in all regions if half the housing benefit paid in that area was invested instead to build new social houses.

At 2pm on Monday afternoon there will be a special press briefing for journalists from the GMB Legal Team dealing with High Court action to get justice for the 3,213 workers and green activists who were blacklisted by 44 construction companies. This is in advance of the debate on Tuesday morning and will be embargoed to 00.01 4th June.

Tuesday 4th June

There will be a press release embargoed 00.01 Tuesday 4th June on latest developments on blacklisting.

Wednesday 5th June

Unpaid Carers – The number of unpaid carers in each area - except Scotland - from 2011 Census and the need for support for unpaid carers by their employers.

Thursday 6th June

The cost of dying – A GMB investigation into the costs of cremation, buying and using a grave by council by all regions.

Speakers and other debates.

Among the guest speakers during GMB Congress week is Margaret Aspinall of the Hillsborough Family Support Group on Sunday 3.30p.m.

On Monday morning Owen Jones, journalist will speak to Congress and in the afternoon Andy Burnham MP will host a Question & Answer session on the NHS and Social care.

On Tuesday Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary will give his keynote address to the Congress delegates at around 11 am. On Tuesday morning newly elected Emma Lewell Buck MP for South Shields has been invited to speak (TBC). Dave Smith from the Blacklist Support Group, who was blacklisted by Carillion, will speak during the blacklisting debate on Tuesday morning.

On Wednesday morning Alison Garnham of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) addresses Congress and on Thursday Monica Smith from the Retired Members Section speaking on GMB Retired Members Section.

The day by day draft program is set out below in Notes to Editors and is subject to change.

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


Contact: GMB Congress Press Office; Steve Pryle on 07921 289880 or Rose Conroy on 07974 251823.

Notes to Editors:

1 Sessions: Sunday 2nd June 2013 9.30 am to 12.30 pm then 2.00 pm to 5.30 pm. Monday 3rd June to Thursday 6th June 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.

2 Draft GMB Congress programme is subject to change.


Mary Turner, GMB National President will address Congress on the work of GMB since Congress 2012 and present the GMB President’s Leadership awards in the afternoon. Other awards include our annual GMB Annual Daniel Dennis Health and Safety Award.

Guest speaker - Margaret Aspinall, Hillsborough Family Support Group

Debates – Motions on union organisation, GMB branch structure and a report on the GMB womne’s project.

Fringe Meetings – GMB Living Wage Campaign Update, Using Social media, and Coalition’s Attacks on Workers Rights.


Guest speakers: Andy Burnham MP (confirmed) as part of NHS and health debate and Q&A

Stephen Hughes MEP will give the European report and be presented with a retirement gift.

Debates – Politics. Report on GMB and it’s future political direction, motions on the Labour Party.  In the afternoon Andy Burnham MP (confirmed) as part of NHS and health debate and Q&A. Related issues and motions will be debated.

Fringe Events – The People’s Operator, GMB Political Department, Women GMB making a difference at work, The Role of Class in the GMB, Asbestos in Schools.


Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary’s address to Congress

There will be a presentation to three long serving GMB Shop Stewards who have served GMB members working for British Gas and who are retiring.

Guest speaker: Emma Lewell Buck, (invited) Labour Party candidate for south Shields

Debates – Blacklisting, the economy, social justice, local government privation, schools, Rights At Work; Living Wage campaign update, employment status, Zero hours contracts, Energy policy and an Emergency Motion on North Korea.

Fringe Events: What can be done about rising energy bills? Working with Labour representing Communities. Union Learn funded projects. Genetically Modified Food.


Guest speakers: Alison Garnham of the Children Poverty Action Group (GPAG)

Debates – Training, childcare, housing, workfare, education, welfare rights and bedroom tax apprentices, retired GMB members, GMB finance report, tribunals defense and Remploy.

Fringe Events: Public sector pension is the job done? European politics. Ethical procurement for local authorities.


Debates: Pensions, refuges, transport, lottery, drugs and badgers.

Debates – Justice, rights at work, International and any outstanding Congress business. Congress is expected to close at lunchtime.