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Dave Hughes visit to congress 2015

Hi just for members of the branch a liitle post about my trip as a vistor to the GMB Congress 2015


A very fine month in June for the weather more so for Dubliners in Eire who seem to be having a heat wave for once. What took me for a trip to the country of my parents and me being first generation Irish English was to go with The GMB union for the 2015 congress, I was surprised by the connections of the GMB union and Irish Trade Unionism as it was Elenor Marx daughter of karl who had played a big role in Irish English Trade Unionism.
The GMB had held a conference in Dublin in 1891 and this was to be a return visit. Myself I have been a member of a number of Trade Unions since I was sixteen I was also an anarchist at the time but even back then for real change in society you have to have strength in unity or the establishment could take you down one by one.
On this trip I was to meet with the president of Eire and the leader of the Irish Labour Party it was a complete surprise and was not expecting such prominent people to welcome the GMB and union members with such open arms.
This trip became a whole new experience, I have been a union member since I was sixteen and some of my politics have changed over the years from my youth to where I am now but I still believe in the power of people to change society for the better. I have been use to the attacks against trade unionists from the establishment media the demonising of people who wish to just get a better deal and fair pay for a day’s work. Even I have to be careful of what I write as my employers feel they have a right to invade my home life and Facebook account and also feel they have a right to my medical records so that they can call me a liar if I am ill and not pay me I could go on and on with the things that have happened to me for being a trade unionist but that not the point of this post.
The President of Ireland gave a speech to congress and for the first time it was good to feel that here is a government that welcomes the trade union movement and could see the benefits not only for members but employers and the wider community. It felt like a home coming further to this even the Pope agrees with this view when the GMB went and met with the Pope. Maybe we can get a direct line to God who knows.
I have been to many conferences but the GMB union has a style all of its own where anybody can have their say on subjects and can move motions from branch level to national level for discussion and agreement and it can be on surprising subjects that you would not think a union would be involved in as most people would think it would only be work related. What I heard was young people who had the passion of youth and wanted to see social justice for all, first time speaker’s where welcome and very quickly put at ease with the people they spoke to. The range of subjects and the debates I actually found to be more political and contained more passion then when I have been to the Labour Party congress debates. I felt happy that I was not alone voice shouting about in-justice that there are many people just like me and new and younger people coming up to take the march forward for real change then the class war that Rich vested interests who are making the poorest in society pay for their gambling addiction which our money in the world banking system which is better known by the name of austerity.

If you want to read further try The Establishment by Owen Jones Penguin

Posted: 10th July 2015

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