Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/951/25563
Shortened GMB conference to hear pro-Corbyn and anti-austerity motions
Kim Hendry, GMB union PCS branch, GMB conference delegate (personal capacity)
GMB annual congress starts on 4 June, in Plymouth.
Thanks to Theresa May, it will be a rushed affair, finishing two days early to allow delegates from the Labour-affiliated union to return home to get the vote out for Corbyn.
Lay delegates will now hear a huge range of motions, with very limited debate - speakers will only be allowed where there is opposition - on GMB organisation, UK employment and economic policy, Labour Party, racism and fascism, the EU and Brexit, the NHS, housing and other social policy issues, and international issues.
There are a number of fairly militant motions, some of which contain demands overlapping with Socialist Party policies.
The Labour Party motions are generally pro-Corbyn, with several criticising last year's mass suspensions. Calls include mandatory reselection of MPs at each election, opening up the Labour Party to wider support and ending the witch-hunts.
Numerous motions oppose the Tories' savage NHS sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) - demands include affiliating to the Health Campaigns Together group, national industrial action and working with other unions.
A couple of anti-austerity motions from Scotland urge GMB local government branches to mobilise against the cuts at local level. However, this is primarily an attack on the SNP-run Scottish government and councils - no motions similarly criticise Labour councils in England and Wales. The motion I moved successfully last year, demanding GMB calls on Labour councils not to impose Tory cuts, has been ignored.
As you'd expect, there's a huge number of motions on the implications of Brexit for British and migrant workers - and delegates are currently awaiting a special leadership report which will be debated at congress. There are also progressive motions about fighting fascism and Islamophobia and protecting the rights of migrant and EU workers.
In The Socialist 31 May 2017:
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Fighting Tory schools cuts
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