One hundred and fifty years on from the first meeting in Manchester to establish a congress of Trade Unions, the TUC in the North West will mark the anniversary of their formation with a special week-long series of events in the city (June 2018).
Announced today, the week will feature celebrations and commemorations of union campaigns over the years, and share stories of those involved including a special ‘In Conversation’ event between TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady and Manchester DJ, Dave Haslam.
The TUC in the North West hope that the week of activities will offer something for everyone and showcase how Manchester, and the North West region, have been a key driver in the trade union movement since 1868.
Lynn Collins, TUC North West Regional Secretary, said:
“The TUC was born in Manchester so it’s appropriate that Manchester is the focus for the activities around the 150th anniversary. Manchester, and the North West, runs right through our movement – whether it is major union offices based in the city or leaders from the region at the top of our unions. Something must have been in the air when those men met in the Mechanics Institute in 1868 and it is still in the air now.”
The week will also feature events discussing the issues in the modern-day workplace, from Health and Safety to the fight for equality for women in the workplace. The week of activity coincides with the 50 year anniversary of the Ford Dagenham strike which lead to the Equal Pay Act, and a special Women’s Question Time, featuring Laura Smith MP and Brenda Warrington, Leader of Tameside Council, will discuss what has changed and what remains the same.
“During the week we will be highlighting the role trades unions play in our society, often hidden from view, but always trying to change the world of work for the better. But this is not just about looking back at our past. Trades Unions are changing and we will be demonstrating throughout the planned events how we will make sure future generations have the protection that trades unions can give at work – wherever and whenever people are employed.
“The world of work is different from the one experienced by the 34 men who met in Manchester to form the TUC - but the role of trades unions, giving people a collective voice at work remains just as important in the Fourth industrial revolution as it was in the previous three.”