TUC Fringe Meeting- Trade Union Freedoms: Where Next?

Against the Backdrop of recent hostile decisions in the European Court of Justice, what national and international steps can unions take to promote fair rights and free unions? Join us for our annual Fringe Meeting at TUC Congress in Brighton 5:30PM or end of afternoon session Meeting Room 1 Hall B West, Brighton Centre Chaired by John Hendy, QC, Chair, IER Speakers include: Tony Benn, Vice President, United Campaign Christine Blower, Acting Gen Sec NUT Brian Caton, Gen Sec POA, Bob Crow, Gen Sec RMT and United Campaign Chair

8th September 2008 – 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Against the Backdrop of recent hostile decisions in the European Court of Justice, what national and international steps can unions take to promote fair rights and free unions?

Join us for our annual Fringe Meeting at TUC Congress in Brighton

5:30PM or end of afternoon session

Meeting Room 1 Hall B West, Brighton Centre

Chaired by John Hendy, QC, Chair, IER

  • Speakers include:
    1. Tony Benn, Vice President, United Campaign
    2. Christine Blower, Acting Gen Sec NUT
    3. Brian Caton, Gen Sec POA,
    4. Bob Crow, Gen Sec RMT and United Campaign Chair
    5. Keith Ewing, President IER
    6. John McDonnell, MP
    7. Derek Simpson, Joint Gen Sec UNITE
    8. Sarah Veale, TUC
    9. Tony Woodley, Joint Gen Sec UNITE

In 1997 we were told things can only get better. Nearly 10 years later, Gate Gourmet shone a spotlight on the grotesque restrictions still faced by UK unions. Subsequent calls for a Trade Union Rights and Freedoms Bill struck a popular chord. Yet despite the “mild, modest and moderate” aims of the Bill, it was denied a parliamentary hearing – not once but twice!

So where next for union freedoms? Warwick 2 delivered little progress other than promises of further discussion. At European level, recent decisions of the European Court of Justice in the Viking, Laval, Ruffert and Luxembourg cases represent the most vicious attacks on trade unions since the Taff Vale judgment of 1901.

The Employment Bill, currently going through Parliament, could be amended if the political will existed. But now we also need an effective and coordinated international response to the ECJ assault on trade union rights and collective bargaining. Speakers at the fringe will consider the political, legal and industrial options available to those wanting to protect trade union freedoms, promote workplace fairness and project a new world order on a discredited and increasingly failing economic system.
Come to the fringe. Join in the debate. Let your voice be heard.

Refreshments Provided Sponsored by: Thompsons Solicitors