TUC announces 2010 Reps of the Year Awards

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date: Tuesday 14 September 2010

embargo: For immediate release

The TUC today (Tuesday) announced the winners of the prestigious 'Reps of the Year Awards' at the 142nd annual Congress in Manchester.

The awards recognise the outstanding achievement of union reps in representing women and young workers, learning at work, union organising and improving health and safety.

The winners received their awards from TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber at the Manchester Central convention centre during the afternoon session of Congress.

The 2010 winners are:

Congress Award for Youth

Debbie Mallet, PCS (from Bonnybridge, Falkirk)

Learning Rep Award

Bharti Dhamecha, USDAW (from Leeds)

Organising Rep Award

Scot Walker, Unite (from Hamilton)

Safety Rep Award

David Lyons, GMB (from Sidcup, Kent)

Women's Gold Badge

Mary Davis, UCU (London)

Commenting on the awards TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'The strength of unions lies in the tireless work of their reps and activists. When they receive their awards today the winners will be doing so on behalf of the thousands of reps who are the backbone of the union movement, working day in day out to make workplaces safer and fairer.

'From recruiting new members, getting people more active in their union, improving terms and conditions, ensuring workers' safety and campaigning to make sure women's voices are heard in unions, this year's award winners have shown the value of union membership.

'I am delighted that their achievements have been recognised at Congress and they fully deserve the applause they receive from delegates.'

Congress Award for Youth

Debbie Mallet is a PCS member and works for HMRC in Scotland. She lives in Bonnybridge, near Falkirk. Debbie has been active at PCS for the past four years. She played a key role in recruiting 250 new members to the union during the HMRC call centre dispute in 2009 and helped to win major concessions for HMRC call centre staff on flexible working. Debbie's proudest achievement has been to set up training for young members to become more involved in the union. In her spare time, Debbie also attends anti BNP rallies.

Learning Rep Award

Bharti Dhamecha is an USDAW member and works for Primark in Leeds. As a shop steward, Bharti established a lending library and a 'skills swap' for staff. Her proudest achievement has been persuading colleagues to go on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses, Skills for Life and IT training, who would not otherwise have done so. Bharti has helped to increase membership within the company, particularly young members, and to improve employer relations.

Organising Rep Award

Scot Walker is a Unite member and has played a key role in the union's organising campaign in the poultry and meat workers industry. Scot's achievements include successfully breaking a pay freeze by orchestrating the first national ballot for industrial action in his company, and speaking on behalf of mainly migrant agency workers at the Tesco's AGM to demand minimum standards. Scot has helped to increase union membership in his sector by over 12,000 and trained more than 300 new activists.

Safety Rep Award

David Lyons was a GMB member and worked G4S in Kent. David was a driving force in the union's 'attacks campaign'. Through his tireless work with Ministers, local and central government, employers and the police, David has played a key role in reducing the number of violent attacks on security staff. Sadly David passed away earlier this year and his award will be received by his wife Marylin.

Women's Gold Badge

Mary Davis is a UCU member and has a long standing commitment to equality in the labour movement. Mary has devised, written and taught courses on trade union studies and labour history for a number of unions. Mary's ambition has always been to make these materials as accessible as possible, particularly to women members. Mary also helped to found the Sylvia Pankhurst Memorial Committee which aims to establish a lasting memorial to Sylvia on College Green. Mary has been a dedicated trade unionist all her life and has contributed both to her own unions, NATFHE and UCU, and the TUC.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: [email protected]
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: [email protected]
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: [email protected]

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