Delegates to Chelmsford TUC, established in 1899, held its AGM on 3 February. Tributes of respect were paid to Basil License, a former Treasurer and President of the Council, who died recently at the age of 92. TUC delegate, Malcolm Wallace, a friend of Basil’s, has been asked to speak at his funeral.
The guest speaker was Lindsey Neal (Thompson’s solicitors) who gave a talk on the Government’s Trade Union Bill. Deep concern was expressed by delegates at this attack on trade unionism, not least as some of its policies are in breach of international law. Of particular concern was the threatened use of agency workers during a strike, the threshold needed to take strike action, which, it was pointed out, would not have been attained by most MPs for their own election. There was particular anger that voting by electronic systems would not be permitted even though this was an accepted procedure. Everyone agreed that the proposals would do nothing to improve industrial relationships with employers. After some questions and discussion Lindsey was thanked for her talk.