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GMB Congress 2016 in Bournemouth

Sunday, June 5, 2016

99th GMB Congress In Bournemouth International Centre From Sunday 5th To Thursday 9th June 2016 

500 delegates representing 641,000 GMB members from all parts of the UK and Ireland and from every sector meet to discuss the industrial, economic and political agenda of the third largest trade union.

The 99th GMB Congress, comprising of 500 elected lay members, started today (Sunday 5th June) in the Bournemouth International Centre and closes on Thursday 9th June 2016. The 99th Congress comes back to Bournemouth for the first time since the 78th Congress was held there in 1991. This is the 7th time congress has been to Bournemouth since it was first held there in 1926.

GMB is the direct successor to the Gas Workers & General Union which was formed on 31st March 1889 by Will Thorne. 127 years ago the union spread like wild fire across Britain and Ireland after it liberated gas workers from the unrelenting toil of working twelve hour days for six days a week by winning an eight hour day. 

Delegates attending GMB Congress are the members who have been elected to represent 641,000 members from every part of the UK and Ireland and who are employed in every sector of the economy.  Congress is GMB’s supreme policy making body.

300 visitors and guests will also attend GMB Congress and are also drawn mainly from GMB organised workplaces around the UK and Ireland. 

GMB Congress is open to the media with the necessary credentials. It will be webcast live on the GMB national website at GMB Congress documents are available for members online in the in the GMB members’ are of the website. Journalists attending the Congress will be supplied with all Congress documents on arrival.

  •  GMB can supply live feed and recorded highlights to media outlets by arrangement.
  • Journalists who require media credentials should contact Charlotte Gregory, GMB Press Office on or 020 7391 6751.

Among the guest speakers during GMB Congress week are: Rachel Holmes, author of Eleanor Marx: A Life; Steve Gillan, General Secretary of the Prison Officers Association; Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group; Luciana Berger MP for Liverpool Wavertree; Ian Smith, Four Seasons Health Care; Glenis Willmott, East Midlands MEP; and an address by Jeremy Corbyn.

Tim Roache will make his first address as General Secretary on Monday 6th June.

The day by day draft program is set out below in Notes to Editors and is subject to change. Here are some of the highlights.

On Sunday 5th June Mary Turner, GMB National President will address Congress and will present the GMB President’s Leadership awards and the Daniel Dennis Health & Safety Rep Awards. In the afternoon GMB welcome workers blacklisted by some of the main construction companies.
On Monday 6th June there will be a GMB CEC Special Report on Education and Training. Rachel Homes will present the first Eleanor Marx Award and the launch of GMB Parliamentary Programme with a panel of women MP’s with a Q&A session. 

  •   Gill Furniss  MP (newly elected MP for Hillsborough and Brightside)
  •   Paula Sherriff MP 
  •  Ruth Smeeth MP 
  •   Jo Stevens MP

On Tuesday 7th Congress splits into 3 sectional conferences, Public Services, Commercial Services and Manufacturing & Fine manufacturing.

On Wednesday 8th there will be an address by Steve Gillan, General Secretary of the Prison Officers Association and Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group. Luciana Berger MP and Ian Smith, Four Seasons Health Care will address congress followed by a CEC Special Report on Social Care.

On Thursday 9th Glenis Willmott MEP will address congress. 


Contact: GMB Congress Press Office 07970 863411 or 07739 182691

Notes to Editors

1    Sessions including section conferences: Sunday 5th June to Thursday 9th June 9.30 am to 12.30 pm then 2.00 pm to 5.30 pm 
2    Draft GMB Congress programme is subject to change.

Fringe Meetings take place at lunch times on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 12:45 and 1:45. Please refer to the Final Agenda & Congress Guide for more information

Welcome from Mary Turner, GMB National President who will deliver keynote address.

Guest speaker –Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party

Union Organisation, health and safety motions, motions on Equality, International, Welfare Rights & Services and Housing, session on GMB success in Blacklisting campaign.

Fringe meetings
Show Racism the Red Card
International Labour standards
Activist Education

Guest speakers:  Rachel Holmes, author of Eleanor Marx: A Life.

Motions on Political and Union Organisation.  General Secretary’s Address and the General Secretary’s Report. CEC Special Report on GMB Education and Training and motions on education & training.  Motions on Rights at Work and Recruitment & Organisation. Presentations celebrating regional successes

Fringe Events 
Womens TaskForce
Young Workers
Lone Working
TCU Money

Sectional conferences

Fringe Events 
Dying to Work
Defence Sector Employment in Scotland

Guest speakers: Steve Gillan, General Secretary of the Prison Officers Association, Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Luciana Berger MP and Ian Smith, Four Seasons Health Care

Motions on the Economy and taxation, justice, education, schools and health, disability and mental health, GMB Representation and Accountability and a report from Public Services Section Conference. CEC Statement and motions on the Trade Union Act. CEC Special Report on Social Care. motions on pensions, finance & contributions, Annual accounts and Finance Report. Report from Manufacturing Section Conference and motions on Trident. Open discussion on the format of future Congresses.

Fringe Events: 
Equality (LGBT)
Alzheimers Society Dementia Friends
Mental Health

Guest speakers: Glenis Willmott MEP

Energy, report from Commercial Services Section Conference,  motions on public ownership & control, transport, environment, rights at work, racism, immigration. CEC Statement on the EU Referendum, social policy general motions.

Close of Congress.     




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