TUC urged to reassess future role

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A DEMAND for the Trades Union Congress to 'radically reassess' its role and calls for a fightback against Tory 'anti-union' laws are set to be debated at the body's annual conference.

The preliminary agenda for the TUC's September congress at Blackpool includes a motion from the engineering section of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union warning that union membership is unlikely to revive in the wake of the Conservatives' fourth election win.

Figures last month showed union membership fell by nearly 500,000 last year to the lowest figure since 1947. 'It is essential that the TUC, through a General Council working party, radically reassesses its future role,' the motion says.

A motion from the Civil and Public Services Association urges a partnership approach and says the TUC should pronounce itself willing to open talks with the Government on how the TUC could best offer its skills, expertise and experience to help resolve the country's problems.

Other motions oppose the Government's latest plans for union legislation and call for reforms to pension laws in the wake of the Maxwell scandal, more investment in education and increased TUC co-operation with European counterparts.