Report: TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee meeting, 21 April 2017

Forthcoming TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference, 18-19 May

The Committee agreed:

  • not to postpone the Conference due to the general election, by 7 votes to 2
  • to host a voter registration stall at the Conference (the deadline to register in time for the general election is 22 May)
  • to make a statement to the Conference about the general election
  • our view on the various motions and amendments submitted by trade unions
  • the arrangements for the informal session, guest speakers and the social evening (a showing of the film ‘I, Daniel Blake’)
  • a programme for improving the accessibility of the Conference
  • our report to the Conference, with various additions to the original draft, including: internet and social media; Committee speakers; greater sense of urgency in tackling the portrayal of disabled people as ‘scroungers’; keeping guards on trains; the legal ruling to establish wheelchair priority on buses
  • post-meeting note: I have been advised by the TUC since the Committee meeting that we cannot go ahead with the planned fringe meeting on autism and neurodiversity with John McDonnell MP speaking due to election rules; I have asked what rule this is based on but have not received a reply


Working groups

The Committee agreed my proposal for the Accessible Transport working group to focus on two priorities: the general election and the campaign to keep guards on trains. This will include:

  • compiling information on the main parties’ policies on accessible public transport, including: public ownership of the railways; station staffing; ticket offices; guards on trains; Transport for London funding
  • publicising this information, including in marginal commuter constituencies, in cooperation with local trades councils
  • setting up a Twitter account, Disabled People for Guards
  • asking for stories from or about disabled people assisted by guards
  • producing a Disabled People for Guards logo / graphic
  • publicising, supporting and attending picket lines for strikes in opposition to the removal of guards
  • opposing any moves to allow more trains to run without guards
  • later in the year, to convene a summit of unions, disabled people’s organisations, campaigns and passenger groups on pursuing the fight to keep guards on trains 

Other working groups also reported on their plans, including for campaigning against the Tories’ PIP (Personal Independence Payment) policy. More information to follow.


Employment Tribunal fees

Matt Creagh presented the TUC’s response to the government’s review of the introduction of fees in Employment Tribunals. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a massive fall in ET applications and therefore in ustic for workers.

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