Time out for the TUC conference

The annual TUC conference is set to be scrapped, according to newspaper reports.

The Times reports that the big unions are becoming increasingly frustrated with the moderate stance of the TUC and want to hold a conference every other year and put more resources into campaigning.

A planned merger between Amicus, the T&G and the GMB has also led many to question the usefulness of the TUC as an umbrella organisation, the paper said.

A spokesman for the T&G said: “The consolidation of the trade unions will certainly require a re-examination of what the TUC does and how it does it. We have to question the conference in its present form. It should be an empowering event and not the reiteration of previous policies.”

New research published this week also uncovers continued union decline in UK workplaces.

Compared with 1998, employees were less likely to be union members, workplaces were less likely to recognise unions for bargaining over pay and conditions, and fewer workers had their pay set by collective bargaining.

In 2004, one-half of employees were employed in workplaces with a recognised trade union; one-third were union members; and 40% had their pay set through collective bargaining.

These conclusions are based on a wealth of evidence from the Workplace Employment Relations Survey (2004), which is co-sponsored by the DTI, Economic and Social Research Council, Policy Studies Institute and Acas.


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