Janine's blog

TUC blog: defending public services

Submitted by Janine on Tue, 09/13/2005 - 21:48

The major topic of Tuesday afternoon was 'industrial policy', which, as you can imagine, covers a range of subjects.

The National Union of Mineworkers moved a motion calling for renationalisation of the coal industry, predicing that without this step, the industry would be completely gone within 18 months. The NUM speaker outlined the appalling actions of UK Coal as an employer, and the progressive destruction of the coal industry since the defeat of the great miners' strike of 1984/85.

TUC blog: Abortion rights

Submitted by Janine on Tue, 09/13/2005 - 17:32

As promised, here is the speech I made in Congress yesterday on abortion rights ...

Statements made during the General Election campaign and since suggest that women's abortion rights could soon come under attack.

One in three women in Britain has an abortion. Every one has her reason. For many, it is a difficult choice. But it is her choice.

The film Vera Drake reminded us what happened before 1967, when abortion was still illegal. Women went to backstreet abortionists, and some were injured or killed.

Gordon Brown speaks at TUC Congress

Submitted by Janine on Tue, 09/13/2005 - 14:15

The cameras clicked and the TUC leaders smiled as Gordon Brown addressed Congress.

This was Gordon Brown with his labour movement face on. He kept referring to “this labour movement”, talked about redundant coal miners and steel workers, praised the TUC’s award-winning reps and honoured the movement’s dead. He pushed all the buttons.

Live(ish) from TUC Congress - speaking out against Tube station staff cuts

Submitted by Janine on Tue, 09/13/2005 - 13:29

I've been at it again - up on the rostrum shooting my mouth off. Oh well, the members elected me to come here and speak up for them, not just to give me a week's break by the seaside.

This morning, we had the delights of Gordon Brown's speech - about which more later. Then we had a parade of workers who had played their part on 7th and 21st July - including firefighters, paramedics, the two bus drivers, and Underground station supervisors.

TUC Congress blog: Monday afternoon

Submitted by Janine on Mon, 09/12/2005 - 17:47

Monday afternoon started with a debate on childcare. It began with a panel session chaired by Guardian journalist Yvonne Roberts, with Carol Ball (UNISON nursery nurse) and Philippa Thompson from 4Children, speaking. This was followed by a couple of motions.

Speakers talked in particular about low pay and poor conditions for childcare workers, and mentioned the nursery nurses’ strike in Scotland last year.

TUC Congress: (nearly) live reports - Monday morning

Submitted by Janine on Mon, 09/12/2005 - 14:00

As promised, here I am, blogging from TUC Congress – courtesy of a natty little internet access stand in the Brighton Centre. But you don’t want to hear about that. You want to hear about what the great and good of the trade union movement have been talking about.

The first big debate of the day was on union rights trade and the anti-union laws. To drive home the importance of this, delegates were greeted by a noisy protest from the sacked Gate Gourmet workers.

Back to School

Submitted by Janine on Thu, 09/08/2005 - 19:03

School year started today. My son Alex is going into Year 2 (SATS year - boo hiss!) at Brook Community Primary School here in Hackney. His brother Joe starts in the nursery class in a couple of weeks' time.

Brook is entering its first full year as a Fresh Start school, after its forerunner Amherst School failed its OFSTED inspection and went into Special Measures. The teachers, other staff, and the kids, are all working hard, and things seem to be getting much better.