Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2007

TUC conference 2007

Resolutions need to lead to action

The annual Trades Union Congress (TUC) takes place on 10-13 September, against a background of increasing attacks on workers' pay and conditions but also a willingness of some unions to take action in defence of jobs and for decent pay.

Jane James

The action of postal workers, prison officers and national government workers in the PCS, as well as the Metronet workers on London Underground, demonstrates that trade union members are prepared to take strike action if necessary.

The TUC brings together the trade unions under one all-Britain umbrella but in general it has woefully lagged behind events. The majority of its leadership act more as a hindrance than a help to workers entering struggle.

Gordon Brown will speak to the conference, no doubt keen to enlist the support of the unions, both in cash and votes, in what could be an imminent general election. He has made it clear that public-sector workers must accept a below-inflation 2% pay limit, but he must be worried about public-sector strikes.

On the congress agenda, the socialist-led PCS union, that has already had two days of national strike action, calls for co-ordinated action by public-sector unions against the government's 2% pay freeze. The resolution calls on the TUC to: "convene an immediate meeting of interested unions to discuss coordinated industrial action".

Many resolutions appeal to the Labour government to pass legislation to resist attacks on pay, jobs and conditions. The RMT rail union resolution however clearly calls for the repeal of the anti-trade union laws and for the: "government to ensure the incorporation of all International Labour Organisation conventions into any new Bill of Rights" while calling for support for the Trade Union Rights and Freedom Bill.

Written before the prison officers' walkout, the Prison Officers Association (POA) resolution calls for trade union rights for prison officers and notes "the continued attacks made by the prison service and government against the union... particularly by the use of court action and the threat of imprisonment against POA officials".

Many of the resolutions, while not proposing action to address problems, do highlight the refusal of the government to redress the grievances of ordinary workers and their unions. For example, Usdaw calls on the government to increase the minimum wage enforcement budget. On agency workers, Unite "condemns the government opposition" to a bill to protect them. And the CWU condemns the government for blocking the EU Draft Agency Workers' Directive which it had supported under the Warwick Agreement.

Unite also states: "the politics of the global market reflects a one-party system concerned with the interests only of its own corporate class... the collective trade union movement remains the only credible alternative".

Yet pleas to protect UK manufacturing to save jobs are made to a Labour government which fully backs the interests of the global market and the capitalist class. Community describes the continued demise of UK manufacturing. Yet none of these resolutions call for manufacturing plants to be brought into public ownership when faced with job losses or closure.

While Connect highlights the aggressiveness of private equity firms, they call on this government of big business to monitor and rein them in.

The Labour government both under Blair and Brown has clearly shown that it is on the side of big business. They have not repealed the anti-trade union laws and have no intention of doing so. It is no accident that unions not linked to the Labour Party, such as the PCS and RMT, have taken action in defence of their members and other unions need to follow suit.

The fringe meeting called by the National Shop Stewards' Network is an important opportunity to discuss how this fightback can be organised.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 6 September 2007:

Strike against public sector pay cap

Prison officers defy government's pay cap

Prison Officers' strike reports

Socialist Party workplace news

Strikers solid in London tubes stoppage

Swansea: Visteon strike threat brings concessions

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend Newcastle General Hospital

Sheffield Northern General Hospital bulk stores strike

Trades Union Congress

TUC conference resolutions need to lead to action

TUC conference fringe meeting

Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007 - a weekend of discussion and debate, hosted by the Socialist Party

Socialist Party news and analysis

Horror and heartbreak in Croxteth - What is the cause? What is the answer?

Massive deprivation in Norris Green, Liverpool

Socialist Party policy

The growing wealth gap


Cardiff: More schools fight closures programme

Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'Agitate, educate, organise': the role of the workers' press

International socialist news and analysis

Greece is burning

Workplace news and analysis

Belfast Airport workers score a victory

Unison witch-hunt

Plymouth dockyard

Socialist Party reviews

Fela Kuti, revolutionary musician

'Holding Fire' by Jack Shepherd

Save the 'Westie' in Aldershot


Home   |   The Socialist 6 September 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: We're all under attack - TUC call a general strike

triangleNHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement

trianglePCS executive agrees next steps in pay campaign

triangleLondon: National TUC march and rally

triangleNSSN pre-TUC rally


triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleLeaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise

triangleToys R Us, Maplin: worsening retail crisis claims more jobs

triangleNHS - build the fightback


trianglePCS: Re-elect the left and fight for decent pay

triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Refugee Rights campaigners on the 17.3.18 anti-racism demo - pics


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018