TUC Congress, which happens annually in September, is always one of the key weeks in the Institute of Employment Rights (IER)’s calendar. Congress is where delegates and officials from right across the movement come together to meet and debate the way forward for the movement. The 155th annual TUC Congress, held in Liverpool this year, was no different.
You can find a full breakdown & review of TUC Congress 2023 here, with motions, speeches and debates.
The IER’s focus over the past year has been on several pieces of legislation which have sought to curtail trade union rights and freedoms, including the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act which recived Royal Assent during the summer. This has placed the Institute at the heart of many of the discussions within the trade union movement about how to respond.
This year, the IER team produced a backdrop to our exhibition stall which told the story of anti-trade union repression from Edward I to the latest raft of legislation in 2023. It made for a real talking point, as delegates moved in and out of the conference hall. Alongside the backdrop banner, the Institute also produced a six page booklet going into more detail of each piece of legislation on our timeline, and a condensed version which went out with the Morning Star as a ‘wraparound’.
We had excellent engagement with our exhibition throughout the week. If you missed us, you can find all our key employment law resources (including our Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act briefing and our six page booklet on anti-trade union law) on our TUC hub page here
The IER team took particular note of the session on Trade Union and Employment Rights which took place on Monday afternoon (11th September). You can watch that here.
You can find the full recordings of Congress sessions here:
Sunday 10 September – Afternoon session
Monday 11 September – Morning session | Afternoon session
Tuesday 12 September – Morning session | Afternoon session
Wednesday 13 September – Morning session
On Sunday evening, we had our customary joint TUC Congress fringe meeting, sponsored by Thompson’s Solicitors alongside the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom. At a packed-out Love Lane Brewery in the city, a first class platform of speakers addressed the gathered crowd on different aspects of this ‘drift towards authoritarianism’:
- Chair: Sarah Woolley, BFAWU – The Bakers Union
- Prof Keith Ewing, IER/CTUF
- Lord John Hendy KC, IER/CTUF
- Prof Lydia Hayes, University of Liverpool
- Liz McKean, War on Want
- Mick Lynch, RMT
- Daniel Kebede, NEU
- Tony Wright, UNISON NEC Policy and Campaigns Committee
- Mick Whelan, ASLEF
- Neil Todd, Thompsons Solicitors
You can find a report of our fringe here. And the recording of the event here on YouTube. Our fringe was followed by a lively and enjoyable social (also at Love Lane Brewery) organised by the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) – such a great way to start Congress.