The Midlands TUC Regional Council met on Saturday OCtober 17.
The meeting heard from Clara Paillard from PCS about the victory in the National Gallery dispute. Clara thanked the trade union movement for their whole hearted support and generosity in helping to raise £180,000 to support the striking workers. The disputes imaginative campaigning methods, determined action by the workforce and widespread public support has all helped to secure real victories for the National Gallery workers.
Neena Gill, the West Midlands Labour MEP spoke about about TTIP and stated that any deal should not undermine social and environmental standards or weaken job protection. Rather than dilution of rights she argued that "we need more freedom, more equality and more rights at work". Speaking about the forthcoming EU referendum she argued that whilst the EU needs reform, it is better to be inside negotiating rather than being on the outside like Norway without influence.
Finally, Jack Dromey MP addressed the Regional Council about the Parliamentary battle against the Government's Trade Union Bill. Jack started out passionately by stating that "you are more likely to be better paid if you are a member of a trade union, less likely to be bullied" and that "trade unions are a force for good."
Jack suggested that the TU bill should be seen, along with the lobbying bill, as part of a wider attack on voices of opposition to the Government's agenda. And that rather than silencing criticism "it is essential workers have the right to strike. in a free society". He went on to point out the disingenuous nature of the Government's 'important services' rhetoric and how the government overlooks the existing fact that unions already act responsibly with essential services during industrial action.