[2021] Motion 68 Defending trade union reps

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress pays tribute to all our movement’s local reps who are on the frontline defending workers’ rights, conditions and safety.

Congress notes that throughout the Covid-19 pandemic reps have played a key role supporting workers and are for many the first and main point of contact with the trade union. Our reps are also absolutely critical for organising and building the union at the workplace. They are the lifeblood of our unions.

Congress notes that it is exactly because reps are so important and successful to sustaining the unions that they are under increasing attack from employers. This can range to various forms of victimisation and outright dismissal on spurious grounds.

Congress welcomes the support and briefings that the TUC provides for reps and believes the attack on reps is an issue we must seek to face together wherever possible.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:

i. consider holding an event specifically on this issue to ensure that we coordinate information, campaigning and other responses

ii. campaign for changes in the law to not only substantially increase the protections afforded to reps but also to increase the rights and powers of reps at the workplace.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers


In the final paragraph, sub-paragraph i., delete “consider holding” and replace with “hold”; and at the end, add “including co-ordinated industrial action”.

Add two new sub-paragraphs:

“iii. name and shame bad employers – create and maintain a searchable database, accessible to all affiliates, of employers who attack reps, industrial disputes and strikes, by employer, union and location

“iv. report progress on this item to affiliates.“