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TUC 2020 in brief: September 14, 2020

SEXISM: TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady urged trade unions today to consider the discovery that sexism is rife within GMB as the movement’s Me Too moment. 
In a veiled reference to a recent report describing the union as “institutionally sexist,” she said: “Sometimes this movement falls short of its ideals.

“There are battles that I thought my generation had won and wouldn’t have to keep on fighting, including sexual harassment. 

“But let that be a Me Too moment for a movement.”

MAKING HISTORY: The TUC Congress is being held online for the first time in its 152-year history. 

Opening the two-day event, TUC president Ged Nichols joked: “What could possibly go wrong?” 

But, to the relief of organisers, the morning passed without any technical hiccups, aside from a few reminders from Mr Nichols to speakers on mute. 

The event at Congress House in London has a small number of people present and hundreds of union members taking part virtually. 

RETAIL: Verbal attacks on shopworkers have almost doubled during the crisis, Congress heard today. 

Usdaw deputy general secretary David McCrossen said that Covid safety measures introduced in shops had become flashpoints for abuse from some customers.

The union is now calling for the government to make it an offence to abuse, threaten or assault a shopworker after a survey of 5,000 retail staff showed that 500 had been physically assaulted. 


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