Reports From CWU Annual Conference 2017

Conference Motions Debates - Monday 24th April

Morning Session

Sunday 23rd April debates

Afternoon Session

Currently updating so check back for more video of speeches later

67 Conference notes that the country voted to leave the European Union, otherwise known as BREXIT. Conference is therefore rightly concerned that the current government will use this as a way of “watering down” or removing Health and Safety legislation that has been enacted from European Directives and possibly even further regulation.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC, with the support of the Health and Safety department, to campaign with the TUC, other trade unions and likeminded bodies to protect and preserve any and all legislation on the statute books from indiscriminate removal in the name of“better for business” or other so called initiatives.

Branches should be kept updated as appropriate.

proposers:
London Regional Health and Safety Forum
North East Health and Safety Forum
Newcastle Amal
Eastern Regional Health and Safety Forum
North West Health and Safety Forum

 

The motion was Carried

68 Conference acknowledges the hard work already undertaken by the CWU to tackle the targeting of young workers by performance management in BT, but conference remains concerned with the impact on its young members by the barbaric use of this process and the poor quality of training received.

Conference believes that performance management and micro managing has had a long term and damaging impact on Young workers and therefore instructs the NEC, working where possible with the National Youth Committee to compile a professional and independent psychological report on the effect performance management and the substandard training in BT has had on its young members.

proposed: Youth Conference

 

The motion was Carried

69 Electromagnetic radiation is harmful to people at certain levels and recently the Government imposed legal limits for occupational exposure, namely The Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work (CEMFAW) 2016. It notes that people with underlying health conditions may make them more susceptible to electromagnetic field exposure.

Compliance with these limits can either be achieved through measurement or calculation, however they change with the frequency of the radiation and the evaluation, hence the legislation, is often complex.

The legislation states that electromagnetic radiation assessments, measurements and calculations should be planned and carried out by competent persons at regular intervals to enable accurately assessment of the risks from radiation exposure to electrical equipment and installations. They add that where there is a possibility of working near electromagnetic fields and have workers that fall in to vulnerable groups there must be specific Risk Assessments. This includes employees who have active and passive implanted medical devices and pregnant employees.

Therefore Conference instructs the NEC to work with the Health & Safety Department to ensure that where we have members, who fall into the vulnerable group categories in any company where we have members, that full Risk Assessments are carried out by a competent person and that any risks are suitably managed.

proposed: North West Health and Safety Forum

 

The motion was Carried

70 Conference instructs the NEC to do the following with the assistance of H& S department -

Carry out a survey/review into the effects of workplace stress, anxiety and depression on our membership as the last survey was 2001 & the work environment has changed significantly since that survey was
commissioned.

The findings of the survey/review should be used by the NEC to formulate CWU strategy going forward furthermore these findings will be released to branches by no later than Conference 2018.

proposed: North East Health and Safety Forum

 

The motion was Carried

 

71 Conference acknowledges the rapid development of technology and in particular the progress being made on “driverless vehicles”.

Conference also notes the Department for Transport report “The Pathway to Driverless Cars” which outlines the government approach to the testing and eventual introduction of them.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC, with the support of the Health and Safety department, to set a strategy that deals with the possible safety implications should this type of vehicle be considered for use by any of the employers where we have recognition.

Branches should be kept updated with progress reports.

proposed London Regional Health and Safety Forum

 

The motion was Carried

72 This conference recognises the advances made by the CWU in recent years in providing better information for its safety representatives in the field of health, safety and welfare.

Conference also recognises that in line with the guidence given by the SRSC regulations there are numerous online facilities that are useful and should be continued to be made available to assist safety representatives.

Over the years Branches have produced some very useful media resources locally, and these have been very succesful. Unfortunately there are barriers that prevent online access and restrict representatives from having access to this information.

Therefore the NEC are instructed to investigate the feasibility of producing an electronic resource, either in removable media format, e.g. USB stick or downloadable from a single source.

This being along the lines of a Health & Safety representatives resource package. This may contain such items as relevant national agreements, legislation, documents relevant to improving our member’s conditions. These may be tailored for relevant representatives in each of the business’s in which we have members.

In addition, it may be possible to maximise benefits due to using economies of scale to subscribe to a number of professional bodies / publications centrally and make them accesible to Branches and Safety Representatives This list is not exhaustive.

A report should be given to Branches no later than 31st December 2017.

proposed: Eastern Regional Health and Safety Forum


Guest Speaker Philip Jennings UNI Global


 

The motion was Carried

74 That this conference instructs the NEC to oppose any proposal to break up BT, in particular when the proposal comes from a regularity body like OFCOM. The CWU research department should produce
briefing material for the Labour party and the TUC as required.

Some of our sponsored MP’s, we believe, require assistance in understanding our case and clear information assisting them support this policy should be provided.

If deemed appropriate that the NEC require to contact a larger audience about any break up of BT, then the NEC should also make use of all forms of communication including social media and member’s home mailing and email to get the policy message across.

proposed: Scotland No.1

 

The motion was Carried

75 This conference condemns the continuing attacks and discrimination suffered by LGBT people in Turkey.

Turkey has a higher rate of trans murders than anywhere in Europe. For those who manage to stay alive, every day is a new ordeal. These attacks and ongoing discrimination against LGBT people is aided by the Turkish government’s disgraceful silence and tacit support of homophobia and transphobia.

This conference therefore calls upon the NEC to work with the Equality Department and affiliated organisations to highlight the discrimination and physical violence suffered by LGBT people in Turkey and to support those organisations working for equality in that country.

proposed: Great Western

 

The motion was Carried

76 Conference believes that we stand on the brink of a technological/digital revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has ever experienced. This phenomenon has been referred to as the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

Whilst the first, second and third Industrial Revolutions introduced dramatic changes to employment it brought in its wake greater opportunities and advancements for many. However, rather than a drive to positively exploit new technology to create higher levels of quality employment with significant
developments towards family friendly working practices, such as shorter hours, many are working harder and faster for longer and for less.

This has driven a society where the rich are getter richer and poor are getting poorer. This concentration of ‘power’ is the backdrop to the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ where, unchecked, mass unemployment and exploitation is a real if not inevitable outcome!

Conference believes that the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is developing at such a pace that it requires the urgent development of a labour and trade union strategy both nationally and internationally.

The NEC is therefore instructed to work with other likeminded organisations nationally and internationally in order to develop a strategy to ensure that the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are utilised to the benefit of all humankind.

proposed: London Postal Engineering

 

The motion was Carried

77 Conference acknowledges that recent historic events, notably the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States and conflicts resulting in an
international immigration crisis, are unprecedented. In the wake of these tumultuous events there is potential for conflict and economic turmoil unlike anything in recent history.

The combination of such events will undoubtedly test the resolve and strength of the labour and trade union movement like no other period in recent history.

Further, conference recognises that the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party has seen membership grow to over half a million.

This is an indication of an increasing interest in the impact politics has on every aspect of modern life. However, conference is concerned that the current and developing crisis has not yet been matched by a sufficiently effective and organised labour and trade union movement.

In order to rectify this the NEC is instructed to develop an appropriate strategy and consideration will be given, but not exclusively, to the following:

* Discussions with other unions with a view to forging links, including joint seminars, at regional and local level.
* Assessing the potential of engaging with and reinvigorating Trades Councils.
* Encouraging the most effective involvement with the Labour Party at all levels.
* Ensuring that positive encouragement and support is given to members to participate in appropriate local campaigns e.g. anti-cuts, closures of hospital, libraries, and Post Offices and the move to academy status
schools etc.
* To ensure that all appropriate committees, including Advisories, are working towards and where appropriate provide guidance to the development and execution of the aforementioned strategy.

The above is not intended to undermine or compromise any TUC protocol and where appropriate any actions should be co-ordinated as such.

A report with any intended actions will be circulated to Branches for comment by the end of October 2017. Consideration shall also be given to Regional seminars in order to develop and/or launch any agreed strategy.

proposed: London Postal Engineering

 

The motion was Lost

78 Conference is concerned about Trade Union Membership; a report by the Office for National Statistics in January 2017 put the number of employed people in the United Kingdom at 31.80 Million.

There are around 6.5 Million Trade Union Members in the United Kingdom, a further report published annually in May 2015 by the same office reported.

Trade union membership in 1995 was 32.4% of the UK workforce. In 2005 it was down to 28.6% and in 2015 it had fallen even further to 24.7% We have to stop the decline.

We need to up our game. We need to reach out to all workers. There are too many non-members in Unionised workplaces and far too many non-members in the United Kingdom’s Workforce.

The NEC are instructed to take a proposal to the TUC that asks for a marketing campaign to be launched that would include and involve every trade union in the United Kingdom, using all reasonable mainstream media & broadcasting avenues with the specific aim of educating, informing and persuading the whole
of the UK working population to join a trade union.

The campaign would have the sole purpose of increasing Trade union membership across the whole of the United Kingdom which in turn will empower, protect and secure every worker in our country. Costs should be offset and shared by all trade unions.

proposed: West Yorkshire

 

The motion was carried unanimously

79 This conference believes that the TUC in its present structure does not represent the UK Trade Union membership as a whole. The NEC is instructed to put a motion to Congress seeking a review of the current structures. Included in this review will be recommendations that change the rules that allow smaller Trade Unions to substantially increase their representation on the General Council.

proposed: Greater Manchester

The motion was carried unanimously

83 This conference applauds the excellent work and commitment of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign which is trying to force the Government to agree to a Public Enquiry into the events at the Orgreave coking plant during the 1984/85 miners strike.

This Conference notes that to date the TUC have not put anything like the amount of resources and urgency into the Campaign to ensure it receives the attention it deserves and that following the Tory Government’s decision not to set up an enquiry, that unless the TUC takes this issue up, it will inevitably slip off the radar and might never prove to be successful.

Therefore the NEC is instructed to carry out the following:

1. That the CWU, if they have not already done so, will affiliate to the OTJ Campaign and donate an amount to the Campaign to be decided on by the NEC.

2. That the CWU will raise via the TUC the need for this campaign to now have the full force of the labour and trade union movement behind it to ensure sufficient pressure is brought to bear on the Government.

3. That the TUC be asked to organise with the OTJ Campaign, the NUM and local trades councils amongst others, a national rally and demonstration along the lines of bringing out into the public domain once more, former miners from across the UK together with trade unionists of today.

proposers: Western Counties, South West Regional Committee

 

The motion was carried

84 On April 15th 1989 a disaster at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield led, ultimately, to the deaths of 96 innocent fans who had left home that morning to watch a football match. Due to crowd control mis-management, those fans, whose ages ranged from 10 to 67, had the life crushed out of them.

Contrary to the facts, the Sun published a front-page story with the banner headline ‘The Truth’ which contained blatant lies, including:

“Drunken Liverpool fans viciously attacked rescue workers as they tried to revive victims and police officers, firemen and ambulance crews were punched, kicked and urinated upon!”

This was printed in a national British newspaper, the Sun!

For this reason, this Conference instructs the NEC to support the campaign for all retailers and vendors of newspapers to stop selling the Sun.

Conference applauds the group called ‘The Total Eclipse of the Sun’ for their endeavours to rid the UK of this newspaper.

Proposer: Mersey Branch

 

The motion was Carried unanimously

85 Conference recognises the horrifying effects of increasing privatisation and deregulation in public services and the communications industry in which the CWU organises. Working people and future generations are set to be the hardest hit by the accelerating decaying of living standards and conditions for working people.

Conference welcomes the call by Jeremy Corbyn for re-nationalisation of the Rail industry and other key industries.

Conference instructs the NEC to increase campaigning and promotion for the unions policy of re-nationalisation of Royal Mail and British Telecom both amongst members and wider labour movement and also to campaign and lobby the NEC, Labour Party and other relevant bodies to ensure an agenda of re-nationalisation and democratic public ownership of the whole of the Postal and Telecoms industry is part of the Labour Party program and manifesto.

proposed: Coventry

The motion was Carried

 

Morning Session

Sunday 23rd April debates

 

 

 



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