Moving a motion that commits the union to support the TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign, Kate Hudson of the Midlands Regional Committee cited the case of a GMB member called Jackie whose job had only been saved when her union threatened to publicly expose the firm – hence the reason that Jackie’s full identity or place of employment cannot be revealed.
“The 2010 equalities act does provide some protection but it does not go far enough,” she told Conference.
Steve Reid of Birmingham District Amal branch cited his branch’s emotionally draining recent experience of supporting two members with brain tumours during their final months as an example as to why greater legal protection should be given to all terminally ill workers.
“Royal Mail could not have been more supportive in these two cases,” he stressed. “Imagine having the extra distress of having to fight the employer.”
Again citing the case of the Nottingham GMB member who is only still in work two because of the decisive intervention of her union Linda Woodings of East Midlands branch pointed out that improvements to the law in this area is already a firm Labour Party manifesto commitment.
“On May 7 we can make sure that no worker has to suffer as Jackie did,” she said.
Pointing out that it was pressure from the trade union movement in Labour Party policy forums that secured the manifesto pledge, Linda added: “If there was ever an example of why trade unions need to remain affiliated to the Labour Party, this is it!”
Conference unanimously agreed.