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We have a fantastic range of fringe meetings taking place so you can join the debate around key issues for the trade union movement both in the UK and around the world.

Sign up to your preferred events from our calendar below. 

Please note, unless stated otherwise, fringes are organised externally. While the TUC lists these events in good faith, we cannot be held responsible for the content.

Quick glance

Monday 14 September

14:00 Fund the Future - Don't Make Education a Victim of Covid-19 by UCU

14:00 Stopping a Trump Trade Deal by War on Want, Global Justice Now 

15:00 Tackling Racism at Work by CLASS/TUC Black Members Committee

16:00 A new plan for public transport by RMT, Unite, WeOwnIt 

16:00 How Will Brexit Affect Workers’ Rights? by Labour Movement for Europe 

16:30 Climate Jobs and Global Solidarity: Workers Mobilising Against Climate Breakdown by Campaign against Climate Change 

17:00 Fighting Racism and Fascism - Building Solidarity in the Workplace by Trade Union Coordinating Group 

17:30 Taming the algorithm – the role of workers in governing data & tech by Prospect  

18:00 Justice for Palestine - Stop Annexation and Occupation Now by Palestine Solidarity Campaign 

18:00 Trans Allyship and the Trade Union Movement  by TUC LGBT+ 

18:30 Reconstruction After the Crisis: Repaying the Nation’s Debt to our Workers by Institute of Employment Rights and Campaign for Trade Union Freedom 

Tuesday 15 September

14:00 Covid-19, Climate and Capitalism – why we need a radical global green new deal by War on Want 

15:00 Defence Diversification: Its Time is Now by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

16:00 The Human Rights Crisis in Colombia by Justice for Colombia

17:00 Achieving Gender Equality in Pensions by Prospect 

17:00 Valuing work and empowering workers after the crisis by Claim the Future

18:00 The impact of Covid-19 on the culture sector by culture sector unions

18:00 Pay, Pensions and jobs – the battles to come by PCS 

18:45 The Media and the Virus - Fighting for Left Perspectives by The Morning Star 



Full event details
 

Monday 14 September 2020 

Fund the Future - Don't Make Education a Victim of Covid-19

Monday 14 September, 14:00  

University and College Union 

Join UCU as we look at how we are organising in post-16 education to build an alternative and the urgent need for the UK government to fund the future and safeguard jobs. 

Universities typically support up to one additional job in the immediate local economy for every person they directly employ. And they are often among the largest local employers, with 19 UK institutions directly employing more than 5,000 people, and 10 of these accounting for at least 5 per cent of all jobs in their local authority area. 

It is time to fund the future. 

Chair: Jo Grady, general secretary UCU
Speakers

  • Larissa Kennedy, president, NUS;
  • Kate Green MP, shadow education secretary (tbc),
  • Kevin Courtenay, general secretary, NEU (tbc),
  • Roger McKenzie, assistant general secretary, UNISON

No need to register. The event will be broadcast live at www.youtube.com/user/UCUwebteam, 2pm.


Stopping a Trump Trade Deal  

Monday 14 September, 14:00  

War on Want, Global Justice Now 

This event will outline the threats posed by a US-UK trade deal to workers’ rights, food and farming standards, public services and climate justice, (both in the UK and the US) and look at how the campaign to stop the deal can be strengthened at this critical point in negotiations. The event will also outline the threats to transparency, democracy and accountability that exists without urgent amendments to the trade bill currently before parliament.  

Chair: Leah Sullivan, War on Want 
Speakers: 

  • Jean Blaylock/Nick Dearden, Global Justice Now
  • Arthur Stamoulis, Citizens Trade Campaign
  • Rosa Crawford, TUC

Tackling Racism at Work 

Monday 14 September, 15:00 

CLASS/TUC Black Members Committee 

This fringe - in partnership with the TUC Black Members Committee - aims to build solidarity across the labour movement with practical suggestions about how a progressive agenda can be better mainstreamed into trade union activities to more effectively challenge racism in the workplace and act positively where employers desire to 'do something' in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, but lack advice and ideas. 

Please see the TUC report 'Dying on the job: Racism and risk at work' here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/dying-job-racism-and-r…   

Chair: Dr Faiza Shaheen 
Speakers: tbc 


A new plan for public transport

Monday 14 September, 16:00 

RMT, Unite, WeOwnIt, 

Public transport and public transport workers have played a vital role in moving essential workers and goods during the Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrating their centrality to our national economy and society. Public transport will be essential to economic and social reconstruction and central to meeting the challenge of the climate crisis. Yet their future appears uncertain as passenger numbers remain low and car use rises. We need urgent action for public transport that delivers more frequent, affordable, attractive and sustainable travel for our population and we need to turn the page on the inefficiency and profiteering that has accompanied privatisation. Join us to hear the case for public action on public transport.

Speakers:

  • Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary RMT
  • Bobby Morton, Unite the Union
  • Pascale Robinson, We Own It

How Will Brexit Affect Workers’ Rights?  A new plan for public transport

Monday 14 September, 16:00 

Labour Movement for Europe 

Speakers will cover: 

  • What the EU has done to improve workers’ rights in the UK and across Europe 
  • What the Brexit deal this government is heading for will mean for UK workers’ rights 
  • What kind of relationship with the EU the next Labour government needs to negotiate with the EU to protect workers’ rights 

Chair: Alex Mayer, former Labour MEP 
Speakers:

  • Richard Corbett - Former MEP & the last leader of the Labour Party in the EU Parliament
  • Allison Roache - UNISON trade union policy officer
  • Fausto Durante - Coordinator of the Italian trade union CGIL's Industrial Policy Council

Climate Jobs and Global Solidarity: Workers Mobilising Against Climate Breakdown 

Monday 14 September, 16:30 

Campaign against Climate Change 

While countries grapple with public health and economic crises, the climate crisis still continues. We have seen governments suddenly find the financial and political resources to bail out sectors of the economy. We have seen public demand for a 'green recovery' - a transformation that can tackle unemployment, inequality, and leave a liveable planet for future generations. But our politicians are focused on bailouts for polluters and crony capitalism. As the UK is placed centre stage in the run up to the crucial UN climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021, UK trade unions need to mobilise for real climate leadership, demanding investment in climate jobs and a low-carbon economy that centres social justice 

Chair: Suzanne Jeffery, Campaign against Climate Change 
Speakers tbc:  Speakers from trade unions and COP26 civil society coalition


Fighting Racism and Fascism - Building Solidarity in the Workplace  

Monday 14 September, 17:00  

Trade Union Coordinating Group 

Sharing national and international experiences of how trade union members are actively organising to fight against racism and fascism in the workplace and wider community.    

Chair:  Ian Lawrence (General Secretary, NAPO) 
Speakers: tbc 


Taming the algorithm – the role of workers in governing data & tech 

Monday 14 September, 17:30 

Prospect   

The summer exams fiasco highlighted the very real problems when tech goes wrong. But this isn’t just limited to exam results. Technology is changing how we work and the jobs we do. The growth of worker surveillance technology and automated decision-making risk less autonomy, greater inequality and discrimination. This session will explore how these issues are not just for those working in tech, but are central to fairness for everyone. It will discuss what unions should be pushing for in collective agreements and law, and how we make data part of our campaigning and bargaining agenda in the 2020s. 

Chair: Mike Clancy, general secretary, Prospect 
Speakers:

  • Dr Christina Colclough – Why Not Lab 
  • Dr Lina Dencik – Co-Director, Data Justice Lab 
  • Andrew Pakes, Research Director, Prospect 

Justice for Palestine - Stop Annexation and Occupation Now 

Monday 14 September, 18:00 

Palestine Solidarity Campaign 

The Palestinian people need our solidarity more than ever, to achieve justice and equality, in the face of the military occupation, the ongoing and crippling siege of Gaza and the rapidly expanding illegal settlements. More so as the Israeli government is moving towards further annexation of Palestinian land in the Occupied West Bank, which is not only an attack on the rights and futures of Palestinians, but also against the very foundations of international law. 

Join us to hear how, now more than ever, the trade union movement in the UK can stand up for justice and equality for the Palestinian people. 

Speakers: 

  • Dr Mustafa Barghouti, politician, activist and campaigner, general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative. 
  • Barbara Plant, president, GMB 
  • Mick Whelan, general secretary, ASLEF 
  • Sharon Sukhram, policy officer - Rights, International, Social and Economics Department, TUC 
  • Ben Jamal, director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign 

Trans Allyship and the Trade Union Movement  

Monday 14 September, 18:00 

TUC LGBT+ 

This event will focus on achieving positive change for trans members at work.   

In the fringe our four panelists will discuss why it's important to be a trans ally and what trade union members can do to support trans people at work. They will look at what some of the biggest current workplace issues are and, drawing from personal experiences, discuss initiatives that have worked.  

Each speaker will give a five-minute presentation followed by question and answers.   

Chair: Maria Exall – LGBT+ Committee Chair and TUC General Council and Executive Council member  

Speakers:

  • Dave Merchant: UNISON member   
  • Julia Georgiou: TUC LGBT+ Committee member and NHBC member  
  • Saorsa-Amatheia Tweedale: TUC LGBT+ Committee member and PCS member   
  • Tigger Blaze: TUC LGBT+ Committee member and Equity member  

Reconstruction After the Crisis: Repaying the Nation’s Debt to our Workers 

Monday 14 September,18:30  

Institute of Employment Rights and Campaign for Trade Union Freedom 

The pandemic revealed to many that some seven million ‘key’ workers, essential to maintain the fabric of society, are amongst the worst paid and least legally protected of the entire workforce. Too often, they suffer from poor terms and conditions, precarious legal status, insecure and unpredictable hours, income and jobs, and lack of protection of their health, safety and wellbeing. 

The contrast between their critical role and the terms and conditions under which they work reveals the irrational and unjustifiable nature of the so-called ‘labour market’ in which working people are no more than disposable commodities, ‘human resources’. 

But as the ILO set out in 1944, workers are not commodities, but human beings. The economy should be democratised, with each worker’s voice being heard at the very top. 

There are clear signs public opinion has swayed against austerity and towards major economic changes. So, what do we want and how do we get it? Join us to discuss both. 

Chair: Carolyn Jones
Speakers:

  • Keith Ewing, IER & CTUF
  • Dave Ward, CWU,
  • Andy McDonald, MP,
  • Janet Williamson, TUC 

Tuesday 15 September 2020 

Covid-19, Climate and Capitalism – why we need a radical global green new deal

Tuesday 15 September, 14:00  

War on Want 

This session will provide an opportunity to hear from speakers from the global South who are working on a vision of green new deal and just transition that calls for public control of energy and other essential services. 

Dr Jason Hickel will help draw together two of the issues of our time, climate and capitalism and how the response might change in the aftermath of the global pandemic. 

Chair: Roger McKenzie - assistant general secretary UNISON / War on Want Trustee (tbc)

Speakers:

  • Dr Jason Hickel: Author ‘Less Is More’ and ‘The Divide’ – to speak on the need for a transformation of neoliberal economic model
  • Asad Rehman: War on Want - to speak on the Global Green New Deal frame as solution to multiple crises
  • Daniel Machado: CUT Brazil
  • Joshua Mapha: SENTRO Philippines – to speak on the need for public control of energy
  • Susana Barria : Public Services International India (tbc) – to speak on the need for universal public services
  • Anton Marcus: joint general secretary FTZ-GSEU Sri Lanka (tbc)

Defence Diversification: Its Time is Now 

Tuesday 15 September, 15:00  

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament 

As the pandemic hit hard in the early stages of the lockdown, government urged rapid changes in industrial production.  Many companies, including those that make parts of the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system, switched to making ventilators, protective visors and other NHS and PPE requirements. This experience shows it can be done - and it has never been more urgent to produce for the public good. Join us to discuss this crucial issue and how we can help make this type of change permanent. 

Chair: Kate Hudson, general secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament 

Speakers:

  • Sam Mason, PCS policy officer 
  • Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper, participant in original Lucas Plan initiative 
  • Bert Schouwenburg, former international officer GMB 

The Human Rights Crisis in Colombia 

Tuesday 15 September, 4pm 

Justice for Colombia

Colombia is returning to the darkest days of its past, with over 40 massacres committed in 2020, while it remains the world’s most dangerous country for trade unionists. The peace process offers hope but continues to face strong political opposition. We are joined by the president of Colombia’s largest trade union confederation and by British trade unionists campaigning on Colombia.  

Chair: Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary  

Speakers:

  • Diogenes Orjuela, CUT Colombia President 
  • Josie Bird, UNISON President & TUC General Council 
  • Steve Cavalier, Thompsons Solicitors 
  • Mariela Kohon, TUC Senior International Officer 

Valuing work and empowering workers after the crisis

Tuesday 15 September, 17:00 

Claim the Future

The coronavirus crisis has exposed how reliant everyone is on working people but how little so many of them have been valued in our poitical and economic system.

The working conditions, pay, and status of many of these workers demonstrate especially how undervalued they have been by government.

We can’t go back to an economy that fails to meet our basic needs and puts our future at risk. We're not going back. But where are we going?

We all need work, and decent work, to feel secure. We need jobs that can be protected, earnings we can count on, and sufficient hours of employment.

This session will consider some of the policy interventions needed to empower workers: trade union rights, a single worker status, a real living wage and sectoral collective bargaining.

Claim the Future, led by John McDonnell MP, sets out to develop some of the solutions needed to reframe our economy and bring people together to secure change. 

Chair: John McDonnell MP
Speakers:

  • Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
  • Dave Ward, General Secretary CWU
  • Mark Serwotka, PCS

Achieving Gender Equality in Pensions  

Tuesday 15 September, 17:00 

Prospect 

Research by Prospect shows that the gender pension gap is over twice the level of the gender pay gap. This level of gender inequality in pensions should be a national scandal but currently the government do not report on the level of the gender pension gap, let alone have a plan to reduce it. This fringe meeting is intended to raise the profile of the gender pension gap and discuss the practical steps we can take to tackle it.  

The format for this session will be an online webinar via Zoom which will include: 

Introduction of Prospect’s latest gender pension gap report and its findings.

A panel discussion will gather views from the panel on how the gender pension gap has arisen and what can be done to tackle this, including actions at an individual level as well as wider pension reform. Q & A with panel 

Chair: Sue Ferns, Prospect senior deputy general secretary 
Speakers: Joanne Segars, Chair of the Board of Directors at LGPS Central Limited 


The impact of Covid-19 on the Culture Sector  

Tuesday 15 September, 18:00 

Creative sector unions

Open online meeting organised by culture sector unions in the TUC London, Eastern and South-East Region.

To register to attend, please email Jo Williams: jowilliams@tuc.org.uk

What measures are required to tackle the devastating impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the culture sector?

What can we do to pressure the government to act now?

Speakers:

  • Paul Nowak, (TUC Deputy General Secretary)
  • Paul Fleming, (Equity General Secretary)
  • Naomi Pohl, (Deputy General Secretary, Musicians' Union)
  • Cristina Petrella (PCS @ Tate striker)
  • Sonali Bhattacharyya (Playwright and Screenwriter)
  • Zita Holbourne (Joint Chair, AUE)
  • Doug Nicholls, GFTU General Secretary)
  • Joint Chairs: Fran Rifkin/Tom Taylor (TUC LESE Region, Creative & Leisure Industries Committee)

(Others to be announced)


Pay, Pensions and Jobs – The Battles to Come  

Tuesday 15 September, 18:00 

PCS 

 A chance to discuss the battles the unions face over the next period as the government restricts our pay, attacks our pensions and cuts jobs. PCS and other unions are fighting back – zoom in and hear how. Time for Q&A.  

Chair: Fran Heathcote PCS president 
Speakers:  

  • Mark Serwotka PCS,
  • Matt Wrack FBU
  • Strikers from PCS disputes.  

The Media and the Virus - Fighting for Left Perspectives 

Tuesday 15 September, 18:45 

The Morning Star 

Are the print and broadcast media presenting the full facts and holding the powerful to account? What should the labour movement and the left be doing to change the narrative on Covid-19 and ensure there is no going back to normal?

Chair: Carolyn Jones, Director Institute of Employment Rights 

Speakers

  • Ben Chacko, editor Morning Star,
  • Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary
  • Tony Burke, Unite, assistant general secretary 
  • Roger McKenzie, Unison, assistant general secretary 
  • Sarah WoolleyBFAWU general secretary

 

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