Highlighting the fact that Health & Safety is the 'No 1 concern workers' and that since the dawn of Trade Unions it has been the main issue of concern; Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary applauded the work of the 100,000 Union Safety Reps in the Trade Union movement and across all Trade Unions.
She also singled out the Hazards Campaign for praise which she said has done great worker even when she was first a Union Rep many years ago, and is the major and unique organisation supporting safety reps.
Speaking at the Mechanics Institute Manchester, the birth place of the TUC Frances spoke with further and enthusiasm about the TUC 150 years anniversary on the day that it was formed in 8th June 1868.
She made it clear that whilst things are not quite like the 'satanic mills' of the industrial revolution, Trade Unions are needed more than ever in the world of work in 2018 and beyond.
The event was organised by GM Hazards and TUC North West as part of the week long celebrations for the TUC 150 Year Anniversary.
Entitled, "You Have To Fight For Safety" the event one day seminar and workshop was attended by Union Safety Reps and officers from the CWU in the form of Derek Maylor, John Southworth, Brian Coupland, Jill Coulson, Beverley Kenyon and Chris Ingram. Other Unions represented were PCS, Unison, Unite, UCC, to name just a few.
With 40 attendees of whom 15 were female USRs, the day was a great success and provided reps with plenty of information, including the TUC's Guide For Union Safety Reps on using Health & Safety as an organising tool.
The point was made by speakers and contributions from the audience that the work Union Safety Reps do goes mostly unrecognised by Union members and even Union Branches, and yet it can be amongst the most important work that Trade Unions do.
The evidence is clear, they reminded everyone, that Union Safety Reps in the workplace results in 50% less accidents and injuries; and that good employers know that Trade Unions and their safety reps can save them money as well as helping to avoid accidents which are then expensive both in terms of time and injuries.
Of course the title of the event was not lost upon CWU members attending, given the current situation within the Union with Re-Design having the potential to damage the work of CWU Safety Reps not to mention the possibility of the wholesale merger of the CWU Health & Safety Dept being subsumed into the Union's Legal Dept. This would drastically cut the resources available to the Union's health and safety community and send a completely negative message to employers and encourage them to do even less that they already are on protecting the health, safety, and welfare of their employees.
Prior to Frances having to leave the event early for another meeting, she took a few moments to give this quick message of support to CWU Safety Reps and members: