Issue date
06 Feb 2017

The TUC's Heartunions week highlights the positive contribution made by union reps and members in workplaces and communities throughout the region.

South West TUC Regional Secretary Nigel Costley said: "There are half a million trade union members in the South West, reps helping working people very day. In workplaces all over the region they are making sure we're safe at work, protecting our jobs, pushing for higher pay and helping us get learning and training."

The South West TUC is marking Heartunions week by publishing the third edition of the popular West Country Workers – a booklet looking at the great work carried out by unions, together with features on the new union deal with Hinkley, what Brexit means for Cornwall and a campaign for good employment in Bristol.

West Country Workers also sets out a list of union demands to the government as the region comes to terms with the uncertainty surrounding the UK leaving the EU.

The South West TUC is concerned that, despite the government saying the country is out of the economic doldrums, wages have still not recovered, productivity is below its pre-crisis trend and the West Country is at risk of turning into a 'below stairs' labour market, with low-paid, insecure jobs.

Nigel Costley said: "We must avoid a recovery where things get better for some people, in some places, but others are left behind.

"A recovery built on the false economy of cuts to training and skills and other precious public services is exactly the sort of recovery that won't deliver for the South West in the long term.

"We need a recovery where every worker gets the change to build their skills, learn and progress. It needs managers working out how to genuinely engage their workers, using technology as a help not a stick to beat them. It's about making the rights at work better, not worse."

The South West TUC wants :

* for working people to get that long over-due pay rise

* to bring unions to more workplaces, winning for more workers

* a renewed set of protections at work

* a stronger economy that works for working people across the West Country.

Details of heart unions can be found here

West Country Workers can be downloaded here

Events listed so far include:

Monday 6th February

  • Taunton Trades Council Open Evening Meeting

Tuesday 7th February

  • Weston-super-Mare Trades Council, public meeting on the NHS

Wednesday 8th February

  • Bristol Young Rep event with Mayor Marvin Rees 
  • UNISON stall in Exeter city centre
  • UNISON Exmouth Community Hospital drop in

Thursday 9th February

  • Big Workplace Meeting – 12.30-12.45
  • GMB promotions in Dorset County Council
  • PCS stalls in MoD Abbeywood
  • UNISON Bodmin Council event
  • UNISON Teignbridge Council walk-around
  • ♥UNIONS at Tolpuddle 1.30 (separate media release to come)

Friday 10th February

  • Union learning in Cornwall after Brexit
  • UNISON Camborne Council event
  • UNISON Sidmouth community drop in
  • Stall in Yeovil

Saturday 11th February

  • Street Stalls. Lemon Quay, Truro, Bridgwater, Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil

Monday 13th February

  • Workplace events tbc

Tuesday 14th February

  • Unions at Hinkley (separate media release to come)
  • USDAW Valentine workplace meeting, Gloucester Tesco

Wednesday 15th February

  • Workplace visit to Bristol Prison with Thangam Debbonnaire MP

Saturday 18th February

  • South West Trades Council Annual Conference
  • Bath TUC 125th Anniversary celebrations