As many of you are no doubt already aware, the Liberal Democrats will be holding their Conference over the weekend commencing 8th March and the TUC, both locally and regionally, are mobilising a demonstration against their shameful support of the austerity policies of one of the most severe Tory Governments in political history. For full details of the demonstration and how you can get involved, please visit the demonstration website at www.abetterwaydemo.org which will give you full details of the plans for the day, including the route of the march and details of speakers at the rally which will follow it. York & District TUC are also organising a fringe event to take place from 2pm to 4pm at the Friends Meeting House, a short distance from the rally, starting with a premiere showing of “On The Edge”, a short half-hour film by Cathy Denton about austerity in York, followed by a range of local and regional speakers. We are still finalising the details of the fringe event but these will be up on the site early next week along with a press release - we think you will find both the march, rally and fringe event not only an ideal opportunity to tell the Liberal Democrats what you think of their support of the Tories’ crippling policies, but especially at the fringe meeting, an opportunity to discuss the “better way” that the TUC and its affiliated unions are proposing.
I’d like to take this opportunity to appeal for some help in stewarding the event. If you would like to help us out in being a steward for the day, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org along with your contact details.
Look out for further details about the fringe event early next week, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as can make it on the day.
Leigh Wilks, York & District TUC President
York TUC has recently donated their old banner to the Peoples History Museum’s archive in Manchester. The museum is well known for its extensive collection of trade union banners and may be put on display in the near future.
The Trades Council was founded in 1890 against a backdrop of significant developments in British trade unionism. With the introduction of new technologies in the workplace, the skilled craft professions who had previously dominated the movement were in decline. As a result, unions began to recruit unskilled workers to their ranks which created dramatic increases in their membership. Throughout this period there was also an expansion of Trades Councils across the country – with 120 in existence by 1907. The role of the Trades Councils was to harness the energies of local Trade Unions and influence municipal politics. This period is generally referred to as the period of “New Unionism” which was coined by the Fabian Socialists Sydney and Beatrice Webb.
In the years since its formation, York TUC has been at the heart of many local campaigns and disputes. The banner which was recently donated has certainly found itself at the heart of our community. Created by the council for a total cost of £9 in 1975 it has found itself in iconic campaigns such as “coal not dole”, “no to private contractors” and more recently the UCU pay disputes.
With a question mark been placed over the future of the council in March 2012, it has reemerged with a renewed spark of energy. York TUC found itself at the heart of the national campaign “A Future that Works” in 2012 and has continued to provide a voice for working people in the local community. Though the council finds itself against a different political backdrop then years previous, its history remains prominent as we build a politics for the future.
Anti-nuclear demo 1980. Photo by Tim Short
UCU Strike 2012. Photo by Brian Clark
Signalworkers rally 1994. Photo Brian Clark
Dear delegates, supporters and YTUC EC,
Myself and Leigh are putting together our annual report for 2013 in preparation for our AGM in March and the Y&H TUC AGM (also March). We have been asked to submit a report to the region by 11th February.
Can I ask that if you have any photographs (or reports for those who we delegated to attend specific events) which have not already found their way onto http://www.yorktuc.org.uk, would you please send them to me ASAP? (If sending reports then just a couple of paragraphs will do)
As a reminder, some of the events you may have photos/reports from:
Y&H TUC AGM 2013
Shrewsbury 24 meeting in York (Ricky Tomlinson)
Durham Miners Gala
NHS Demo Manchester (September)
Lib Dems in York (Vince Cable)
NHS events in York (Reclaim NHS – April)
Action for Rail East Coast leafleting
International Workers Memorial Day
Secretary, York & District Trades Union Council