Yesterday, RMT's Women's Advisory Committee agreed to my proposal that we ask the union's Executive to submit the following resolution to next year's TUC Women's conference.
I've been to a few of these annual get-togethers now. It's always worthwhile, mainly for the women trade unionists you meet, the fringe meetings you go to and the conversations you have.
But the 'debates' are usually a long string of resolutions that everyone agrees with, which state what we want but not usually how we are going to get it.
I'm not against people agreeing (except that often, people do not actually agree, but the resolutions are so bland that even people who disagree with each other can agree with the wording). But I am getting rather tired of raising my hand for motion after motion saying that we like women, we don't like bosses, and we think that women workers should be paid more, not bullied, and have time for our families as well as our jobs.
OK, that's a bit unfair, as some of the resolutions are quite good ... But what happens to them? Does Brendan Barber write a stiff memo to Tony Blair? Does Congress House produce a 200-page glossy report? Quite possibly, but we rarely see any campaigning action.
So, how's this for an idea?
PROPOSED RESOLUTION TO T.U.C. WOMEN'S CONFERENCE 2006
TUC Women’s Conference believes that the trade union movement must organise high-profile, effective campaigning if we are to achieve advances for working women.
We note that International Women’s Day began as a day of demonstrations for working women’s rights, and believe that this tradition should be revived.
TUC Women’s Conference therefore calls on the General Council to organise an annual demonstration, on or around International Women’s Day.
The demands will focus on our priorities each year, and the first, in 2007, will include:
RMT's Executive has now agreed to submit this resolution to TUC Women's conference. It would be good to see some support from other unions ...