All Arguments for socialism subcategories:
GMB conference: angry mood from delegates not reflected by leadership
Kim Hendry, GMB union PCS branch and GMB conference delegate (personal capacity)
Up to 800 delegates met in Plymouth from 4-6 June for the 100th congress of the general union GMB.
Delegates heard a wide range of motions, although the packed timetable - two days shorter due to the snap general election - meant there was even less debate than usual.
The most controversial motion was the leadership report on energy, which included qualified support for fracking. While the report was carried, a growing number of delegates were confident enough to express opposition.
Two motions which sought very modest improvements to rectify the democratic deficit in congress debate were passed, against the wishes of the leadership.
Two important motions - one setting out a partial, fighting programme to defend the NHS, was carried with qualification. The other calling for mandatory reselection of Labour MPs, was defeated. respectively. The reselection motion was was moved by Socialist Party member Tony Davidson.
Against these disappointing but predictable developments, delegates agreed a range of progressive policies on such issues as defending migrants, fighting racism and Islamophobia, and increasing the diversity of GMB reps.
There was also a report on precarious work and the gig economy including a new GMB survey which found that one-third of all UK workers are now on zero-hour contracts and other forms of insecure employment.
As in recent years, the unifying theme of many motions was the appalling human impact of Tory austerity cuts, both for workers and service users.
NHS porters, ambulance drivers, teaching assistants, council staff and care home workers - angry, demoralised and stressed - lined up to tell their stories.
But as usual, there was a striking disconnect between the problems identified and the lack of a clear programme of action.
Much of this can be attributed to the GMB leadership, which yet again failed to call for coordinated industrial action and campaigning with other unions. The GMB response to austerity is to wait for a Labour government.
But while this prospect is now a real possibility, after the general election upheaval, it's no thanks to GMB which supported Owen Smith in last year's Labour leadership challenge, despite 2016 congress delegates overwhelmingly backing Corbyn.
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: 0784 114 4890
North West 07954 376 096
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