EHRC over threats to jobs and services

Support for the NHS - including the March 4 demonstration

Support for RMT Southern guards

Support for PCS HMRC & DWP members over jobs and services




At the 2016 AGM held on March 8 the TC re-stated its support for junior doctors and urged affiliates to support picket lines in March9/10.



We are active in supporting affiliated unions in disputes and campaigns.





MAY DAY 2015


TC NEWS - Feb 2015







The Trades Council has had a busy March -

MARCH 18 supported the PCS/PROSPECT protest at the National Gallery over cuts and low wage levels (photo below)

MARCH 19 PEOPLES ASSEMBLY Budget protest Whitehall

MARCH 24 Bob Crow Funeral east London

MARCH 26 NUT Strike  March & Rally Westminster

MARCH 27 Tony Benn funeral Westminster

MARCH 29 BFAWU (Bakers & Food union) Fast Food Campaign organising event around Leicester Square & Charing Cross Road - with John McDonnell MP - recruiting fast food workers

(photo below)





read details below




Organising support for the disputre over the closure of ticket offices and staff cuts has been a major item for the last 3 months. When tube workers came out on February 4-6 TC members were showing their support. TC officers attended at Liverpool Street, Victoria, Holborn, Kings Cross and Piccadilly Circus, The TC also applauded the success achieved in forcing LUL to return to negotiations.






action on June 5 at Caxton House - TC President Dan Ingreji (centre)


We have to report the death on 30/12/12 of long time friend and comrade of the Trades Council VIC TURNER.


3/10/27 – 30/12/12


The death of Vic Turner, as 2012 ended, brought the curtain down on a very special life. Vic was a Londoner, an East Ender, born at Custom House in 1927, and who lived his whole life in the area. His parents were William (a docker) and Emma Turner. He was the youngest of 5 boys and 2 girls. He married Jean ( nee Agass ) in Feb 1951. She died 18/3/1973.

He was told to join the union the day he started work in the docks with his father and brothers.

He was a rank and file activist, becoming a steward in the Royal Group and was a major influence in the National Joint Ports Shop Stewards Committee. The long hard battles of dockers to end casualization and to get good terms and conditions created a strong tradition of solidarity and industrial action at the sharp end.

 Vic was part of the process that had seen Harry Watson, Jack Dash and many others build up the dockers strength. Vic was a proud member of the TGWU (becoming UNITE) and had a reputation of trust during the differences between the white and blue unions and different sections in the docks. He was particularly proud of the traditions built up in the Royal Group as he worked with stewards such as Bernie Steer, Micky Fenn and Tony Merrick.  Vic was also a member of the Communist Party.

This came to a head as dockers took on the employers using containerisation to attack  terms and conditions. It was as the ruling class was trying to shackle unions. Labour had tried  with In Place of Strife  then the 1970 Tory Government imposed the Industrial Relations Act. This met massive opposition along with other Tory policies with battles at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, occupations in engineering & by the Fakenham women, and miners and engineers uniting at Saltley Gates. Dockers had played a key part. Vic spoke of organising support for  UCS, for miners children during disputes, of attending joint meetings of stewards from different industries and the Liaison Committee in Defence of Trade Unions. They also maintained the tradition of support for dockers in others countries when ships and cargos would be blacked; crews fighting ship owners or stopping materials destined for factories where disputes were going on – the solidarity action of the strong helping the weak which so terrifies the employing class.

This was the bedrock when the dockers dispute came to the fore in 1970-2. Dockers picketed container depots outside the docks. The employers used the new political court - National Industrial Relations Court  - getting injunctions against the picketing. The dockers continued their action. This culminated in the arrest (July 1972) of shop stewards – Vic Turner, Bernie Steer, Tony Merrick, Derek Watkins and Connie Clancy.

As the 5 sat in Pentonville, workers started walking out across Britain. Docks ground to a halt, the print started to close down, car & engineering factories, building sites shut down. A rank and file general strike was starting. The massive show of workers strength forced the release of the 5.  Pentonville had lit a beacon for workers resistance as had Tolpuddle, the Matchgirls, the dockers’ penny and Red Clydeside.

Vic was part of the continuing battle for the dockers, past the Aldington Report, which went on for another 15 years. The pressures (from speculators, shipping & dock companies and their manipulation of new working methods) were formidable and it is now often presented as an “inevitable” process. This was wrong and Vic and the stewards saw there was an alternative incorporating technical changes, employing dockers, meeting environmental concerns by using river transport and using gains in available dockland space for ordinary Londoners.


Vic carried on this battle after losing his job as a docker as Royal Group closed down and becoming a Newham council worker. Stood as a Labour councillor, working closely with his local constituents, elected for Beamerside ward in 1984 and 1997/8 became Mayor of Newham. Humbled and inspired by the work of many local organisations, he also brought a different approach to the mayoralty, as when Harry Watson, a dockers leader, died and the official   limousine was filled with dockers for the funeral in Southend.


Elected President of the United Campaign the Repeal of Anti-union Laws, he was always willing to talk to young trade unionists and a analytical interest in political developments. He came from the strong London tradition of wanting to remain amongst fellow workers and work at a rank and file level.


His last main meeting was the July 2012 40th Pentonville Anniversary on the Isle of Dogs speaking beside Tony Merrick and Derek Watkins. He had supported strongly this annual event. At it he said “It’s a fight we have to continue, it doesn’t depend on any individuals – it’s about all of us”.  Vic’s life shows the role of some individuals can be very important.




JULY 28 PENTONVILLE 5                     SPECIAL EVENT

The TC has celebrated the famous Pentonville 5 events since 1977. This recognises the massive working class victory in forcing the release of 5 dockers imprisoned for trade union activities by the then Tory anti-union laws. Mass strike action across the country forced the release on July 26 1972.

This year is the 40th anniversary and the TC is proud to be involved again jointly with the UNITE THE UNION and the Dockers Network in celbrating this important milestone in our history. Key note speaker Len Mc Cluskey General Secretary UNITE.

July 28 at Poplar Blackwall & District Rowing Club, Ferry Street, Isle of Dogs E14 3DT - (by Island Gardens DLR station)

For full details see the pdf





PCS, UNITE & UCU have members out on May 10 against cuts and attacks on members jobs & pensions.

Thursday 10 May actions

PCS national strike

Police Federation London march

RMT Royal Fleet Auxiliary members on strike

UCU members in Further Education, the newer Post-92 universities (all members of the Teachers Pension Scheme) will be striking

Unite health sector strike, and march and rally: 12 noon at St Thomas Hospital SE1 to rally Methodist Central Hall at 1pm, speakers Len McCluskey and Gail Cartmail Unite, PCS, UCU, Owen Jones




The Trades Council has been leading  activities across the area mobilising for November 30. In the past few weeks there has been leafletting in rail stations, tube stations and key residential areas. There have been activities backing up union initiatives and building solidarity. The Trades Coucil working with the local Anti Cuts Campaign has been getting the message out to local residents and building links with students and pensioner organisations.

Places such as Victoria, Liverpoool Street, Cannon Street, Blackfriars, Farringdon, Pimlico, St James's, Westminster, Edgware Road & Harrow Road have been leafletted setting out the union case. Good reactions have been experienced from people with promises of support.

The focus now is on the final mobilisation for the day of action over attacks on pensions and jobs. The massive response from local civil servants, teachers, hospital workers, local authority workers, lecturers and students means Westminster & City contingents will make up a significant part of the March. The March assembles at Lincolns Inn Fields from 11.00 before marching to Victoria Embankment for a rally from14.00. There will be speakers from ther different sectors on thedemonstration plus supporting organisations like the pensioners and patients groups. There is support also building from the private sector workers who are resisting the Government's divide and rule tactics.

The Trades Council and the Anti-Cuts Campaign are also planning for the continuing and intensifying fight after November 30. There will be a meeting on December 6 at PCS London Office from 17.00.


From the outset the Trades Coucil has given its support to Occupy London with their camps at St Pauls and Finsbury Square. Trades Councils members have visited the camps and unions have sent support and resources. UNITE London & Eastern Region gave duvets, heaters and the like and others have sent money support. The TC has not wanted to follow others who wanted to try and influence the camp feeling we could be more use doing practical support including tryingto get support from different quarters.

The TC has also expressed its backing in letters and press releases - which have been ignored by the regular media - the same response as given to the electricians who tried to join the student demo on November 9 - the authorities understand the dangers of solidarity between the different organisations.

Below are 2 letters we sent - one to the Standard the other to the Guardian & Morning Star

 The Editor

Evening Standard

Reading your report on the tent city protest outside St Pauls (Monday 24/10) it was a little strange to read the comments of the LCCI spokesman and the local MP. They both spoke of how the protest was damaging jobs and businesses. The real threat to jobs and businesses in the City are the very financial and banking outfits that the protest is about. The selfish and disastrous financial speculators have destroyed tens of thousands of jobs in the City over the last few years which in turn have led to the closure of more and more businesses and cuts in public services.. And that process is continuing. So surely the LCCI and the local MP should be drawing attention to this big destruction rather than having a go at those who are seeking to save ordinary people’s jobs and services?

 Roger Sutton Secretary Cities of London & Westminster Trades Council (24/10/11)

Dear Editor

It was particularly pleasing to see the Occupy London camp pick up the demands to make the City of London come under more democratic control. We have often been a lone voice on this subject, particularly since New Labour dropped it despite being a policy pledge. People will not have missed that you have what is basically a gerrymandered, undemocratic financial oligarchy running the City Corporation issuing edicts on what is and is not democratic behaviour in the City. It seems there are more than enough areas devoted to Mammon in the Square Mile and it is about time we had a democratic area.  The Corporation have also made noises about damage to jobs and business but they made little about the tens of thousands of jobs (mainly of ordinary workers) that went out of the City in the 80s, 90s and this century as a result of the financial policies that produced the current crisis.

Why can’t the camp stay to add a genuine alternative view in the City?

Roger Sutton Secretary

The MORNING STAR of course carried it on 24 November.



The National Union of Journalists is taking another day of strike action against compulsory redundancies at the BBC Monday 1 August.. Visit picket lines between midnight Sunday and midnight Monday. Show support for NUJ Strike





The last week in July is the 39th Anniversary of the Pentonville 5 which our TC has commemorated each year. The historic dispute saw 5 London dockers sent to jail for carrying out picketing and were released by mass industrial action. The lessons for today are clear to see - mass trade union solidarity action can defeat attacks on trade unions, solidarity built rfrom the base. As we face today massive attacks on jobs and services we have to support all those in struggle and overcome the anti-union laws. We have to defeat the attempts at divide and rule - trying to set public sector workers against private, those with pensions against those without, those with better wages and conditions ahgainst those without etc etc when they are laughing all the way to the bank with profits and bonuses back.

The Pentonville celebration in 2011 has included showings of the video Arise Ye Workers and debates in trade union meetings. If you want to be involved contact  [email protected] . In 2012 we will be having a bigger event marking 40 years.






The union action on June 30 saw PCS/NUT/ATL/UCU taking strike action with support shown by workers from other unions on picket lines and the London March from Lincolns Inn to Westminster. Hundreds of thousands were on strike and thousands of other workers showed their support.


We are building the strength to challenge the Governments policies for the rich. The comments from Ed Miliband were a disgrace that went against all his talk about learning lessons and listening to peoples concerns. The battle is also across Europe and the world as has been shown by union reactions in Athens to the EU-IMF hijacking of their economy and forcing a fire sale of public assets to the same bankers & financiers who created the crisis. It will be a hard slog to win our battle requiring maximum unity between workers in the public & private sectors but to save our society, our livelihoods and the future for future generations we have no choice but to fight..






Trades Council on the Big March - 26/3/11

UNISON on the March

We send delegates to the Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils. GLATUC in turn sends delegates to the Southern & Eastern Region of the TUC.

We campaign for equalities; against racism and fascism; for rights for all workers.

Our banner says UNITY IS STRENGTH.

 for our latest news bulletins














ANNUAL REPORT 2009-10.pdf


ANNUAL REPORT 2008_09.doc




Clive Bryant the PCS London and South East

Region Chair 

The latest in our series of open meetings had Clive Bryant setting out the PCS view of fighting the cuts in public services and attacks on public servants pay and conditions; PCS supporting the TU Co-ordinating Group of public sector unions to plan a fight back; the challemges presented by the General Election in 2010; fighting the BNP' the PCS Make your voye count cam[paign and the need for united action to defend workers rights.

With an audience including PCS National Executive members and an input from CWU rep from he big sorting office at Rathbone Place off Oxford Street it proved a highly succesful meeting building on the meeting with NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear in June 2009.






TUESDAY 2 JUNE 2009  18.00

Venue -

13-15 Great Scotland Yard


Main item was address by Jeremy Dear – who covered the following    Important and timely meeting coming as it does just a few days after the trades councils conference which over two days this weekend set out an ambitious but crucial programme of work for us all for the next twelve months.   But it also comes at a crucial time economically and politically when the political crisis engulfing Westminster threatens to open the door to the extremists of the far right and in the midst of a recession that is having devastating consequences in communities and workplaces our members live and work.   Last year when Lakshmi Mittal paid himself a record £1.1bn dividend it was at the time the highest private dividend on record. But that record did not last for long as high street retailer Philip Green topped it with a dividend of £1.2bn from his Arcadia Group – the equivalent of the annual pay of 54,000 people on average earnings.   When it comes to top salaries, dividends and bonuses, the last decade has seen one record after another tumble.

Take boardroom pay. The total average earnings of the chief executives of the FTSE 100 companies have doubled over the last five years – rising five times as fast as average pay. In the last financial year UK corporate bonuses topped £30bn.   It is little wonder that amidst such corporate greed, amidst a system bedevilled by failed light-touch regulation, short-term profiteering, we are in the midst of a devastating recession – a recession laid bare in grim statistics and fancy graphs in newspapers and on TV but which spells human misery for millions of working people. It is the backdrop which dominated the trades councils conference.   But what was also clear is just like with MPs expenses this is not the result of individual greed, although many individuals have been greedy, but is result of the very system they administer.   That's why when Alastair Darling appeared on TV to deliver budget and he reassured us that things would be returning to normal I was angry.

Trades Councils conference made it clear we don't want a return to the past – where workers are forced to opt out of the working time directive on pain of losing their job, where anti-union laws shackle our rights, where asylum seekers are scape-goated for society's ills and the BNP fill the political vacuum in too many of our communities, where short-term profiteering undermines our industry and we pay the price in lost jobs, low pay, long hours, stress, where health and safety is compromised in return for a quick profit.   The most recent government survey shows that the country's wealthiest 1% own 34% of the wealth and the top half own 93%. The least wealthy 50% owned just 1% of the wealth. 50p top rate of tax for those earnings over £150,000 whilst welcome and long overdue will not fundamentally alter balance of power and wealth. There will still be upwards of 2.3m on dole, youth unemployment will still be over 15%.   One in four workers will still earn less than £12,000 a year, three-quarters less than £30,000.   Due to a lack of resources 85% of the under-thirties have no pension. Nine million under-50s are not saving in a pension. Eleven and a half million people between 16 and 65 have no private or company pension.   Yet those who helped bring about this crisis will not be made to pay. Whilst the crisis has hastened the end of final salary pension schemes, the former head of RBS, rescued by the taxpayer will enjoy a pension of £579,000 a year.  

And as people struggle to avoid repossessions, to hang on to their jobs the government response of bailing out the banks with workers taxes – means working people will pay with their jobs, their homes, their wages as redundancies sweep every sector and every region, as house prices collapse, as public finances are squeezed and public services face new cuts, as communities suffer and workers are asked to take pay cuts and pay freezes and new welfare reforms target the most vulnerable in society.   Mass unemployment was not a price worth paying under the Tories. It is not a price worth paying under New Labour as predictions are that up to 3 million could be out of work by the end of the year.  

  That's why the trades councils conference said the same zeal that has been shown in saving the banks should be applied to saving jobs and halting repossessions and supporting ordinary working people.   The objective cannot be simply to recapture the economy and society we had pre-crash. It must be about creating a Britain – and a global system - where the long-term needs of people are put before the short-term gains of financiers.   This is an opportunity to bring about a fundamental transformation in our economy and society. What comes across in every trades council meeting, every union meeting is a realisation that just as many of our financial institutions are bankrupt so too is new labour, so too is their neo-liberal model.   Because as conference recognised this is not a question of resources it is a question of political will.   Britain's billionaires - boasting a combined wealth of £126bn - pay themselves in artworks, gold and fine wines to avoid tax, They pay a smaller proportion of their income in direct and indirect taxes than the poorest 20% of the population.  

Whilst job centre staff are laid off £33bn annually is lost to tax avoidance. The actual rate of tax paid by the fifty largest companies has fallen over the past seven years.   Just that lost tax could pay for a 10% increase in the state pension or could build an extra 60 hospitals.   Yet the government has failed to act. It stands steadfastly by the now discredited light touch, hands-off regulation. Trades Councils conference clear it wants hands on. Hands on the wealth, the unpaid taxes, the profits made from the exploitation of labour and for that wealth to be used to fund education, health, pensions, public services, jobs and for the colossal resources available to us to deliver our social policies.   Not a question of resources but a question of will.   Cdes, In past years we've met – and been looked on as slightly quaint and old-fashioned with our ideas of regulation, public ownership and yes, socialism. No longer. Our ideas today have more relevance than ever.   And that's why the programme of work so important.   It is a programme that puts the defence of public services at its heart, that puts the right to a home and quality education as central to our campaigning.

It supports the fights against privatisation or marketisation of our public services and opposes the privatisation of Royal Mail and postal services.   It is a programme too that recognises the contribution made by migrant workers and their families to the economy and the pressure that the exploitation of those workers places on jobs, housing and pay. Conference rejected arbitrary targets or points systems, rejected the policies of division or petty nationalism enshrined in British Jobs for British Workers and instead called for action to end the pay and employment discrimination faced by migrant and other workers, for full employment rights for all from day one, for strict enforcement of the national minimum wage and for tougher penalties for those who breach it.

And if we are to achieve such vital goals our trades councils and our unions need to turn out to migrant workers and launch a mass recruitment drive, to help provide advice on health and safety and rights at work, to work with community groups and organise advice surgeries. TUC will compile a best practice guide to help develop that work.   And we should heed the warning that unless we do, those who seek to sow division, to make political capital out of the pressures brought about by migration, those Nazis who dress themselves today in suits but remain Nazis start to crawl from out of the woodwork to spew their racist poison.

 Trades Councils have a vital role to play in uniting all those who stand for equal rights and against racism and fascism, bringing together not just the activists of the anti-racist, anti-fascist campaigns but building links with the trade union branches, with the community groups and with all those who stand for unity not division and of mobilising both at the ballot box but also beyond 4 June in the protests, demonstrations and campaigns – using music, culture and sporting events to get our message across and undermine the BNP and other Nazis.   But the conference will also look beyond our own workplaces, our own unions, our own communities and even our own borders. Environmental concerns will take centre stage engaging on climate change and recycling issues Local action, global impact…  

Of course all that sounds well and good but how are the ______ of us in this room or the 70 or so at the trades councils conference to begin to build that movement for change. Let us be clear – it will not be easy. It will take hard work, energy, commitment and organisation. But if we don't have that, who does?   We start in our workplaces helping build a unionisation drive – winning migrant workers to our banner., working alongside local unions supporting disputes, helping to spread the trade union message in to schools, colleges and non-unionised workplaces.  

We take those workplace experiences to the wider movement through meetings such as this – building solidarity between workers, generalising our actions, building links from the workplace to the community, making sure we are at the forefront of local campaigns to defend council housing, to stop the privatisation of health or education facilities, to opposing job cuts in the civil service and defending public services. In short we make the trades council THE leading campaigning body locally able to add value to local campaigns.   And we should look at the lessons from other countries – in particular the experience of the Australian unions in their recent Your Rights at Work campaign, which not only helped to get rid of a vicious right wing government (no comment!) but rooted the campaign for rights firmly in the local communities – using imaginative ways to secure support for such rights. And so sporting and cultural events were used to highlight the unions' message, non-union workplaces were targeted as a movement, not individual unions, high profile campaigning and stunts were used to highlight the importance of trade union rights and freedoms. Such campaigns help to raise the profile of unions in general but more particularly the trades councils.  

We must try to secure support within our unions to enhance the role of trades councils in the TUC. We have an opportunity to do that this year – the RMT secured right to a motion.   Unemployed Workers Centres Programme…..     We have a key task. We must help arm our movement with a fighting programme – the right to a job, the right to a home, to bring in to public ownership the finance and building industry to ensure we can plan and build the affordable housing needed.   Trades Councils conference joined a growing number of unions throwing their weight behind People's Charter as one means to help build such a programme.


The October meeting at the Civil Service Club was devoted to guest speaker JOHN McDONNELL MP. It could not have been at a more opportune time with the financial crisis hitting the headlines daily and the big bail-out of the banks underway.  John had his own clear view on what needed to be done whilst there was an opportunity to bring the finance sector under control and in Government hands and have a re-assessment of where resources should be directed    He detailed all the policies about banking, finance, credit and the role of government that had come tumbling down as the world finance system went into meltdown and even the Bush administration was carrying out nationalization of banks. He put forward a detailed set of proposals that would re-estasblish control over the finance fat cats who had been skimming billions out of the system.   Some of his points were – called for action at the early stage of the crisis to halt repossessions and to protect people in their homes by converting mortgages to social rents. I listened to assurances from both Gordon Brown and Yvette Cooper that action would be taken. Nothing appears to have happened and repossessions are rapidly rising. There is a real sense of tragic irony that taxpayers have bailed out the banks only to be evicted from their homes by the very banks that they now own!
Given the significant increase in unemployment I am calling on the Government to bring forward urgently a recession proofing programme to protect people's homes, jobs and pensions. Today's unemployment figures are bad but it should be remembered that each recent set of unemployment figures has had to be revised upwards because the staff cuts imposed by the Government on job centres means that there aren't enough staff left to keep up with the number of unemployed claiming   …. the banks which the government has taken into part-nationalisation would have collapsed entirely where it not for government intervention. The billions invested today surpass even the most generous estimates of the banks' worth.
The chancellor seems oblivious to the unprecedented potential the government now has to lay the foundations for transforming our economy. To give the taxpayers a return for their investment, the government should insist on an entirely restructured banking system and a new set of economic priorities for our financial institutions.e taxpayer, through the government, should now be forcing through an agenda with control of the board: offering full transparency and stakeholder democracy for customers and the workforce. There should also be a no-redundancies guarantee for bank workers to match the no-loss guarantee to depositors.

A new lending strategy of these nationalised banks must prioritise tackling the worst effects of the recession. We need to promote employment through investment in major public works schemes to meet the UK's needs. We urgently need a major programme of investment in renewable energy generation to tackle climate change. Likewise we need a national programme of council house building to tackle existing housing need, and to provide a safety net for those struggling to pay rent and mortgage costs as the recession deepens.   In a packed meeting John answered questions and took part in a discussion of next steps for a policy geared towards the interests of the majority of the population.   




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