Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Re-launch of the Reading Trades Union Council

On 16 February 2016, a gathering of sixteen trade unionists from around Reading convened at the Great Expectations Hotel, London Street, to re-launch the Reading Trades Union Council.

The RTUC has a heritage stretching back to the nineteenth century and the Government’s recent austerity cuts to public services and damaging dispute with the Junior Doctors in the NHS has given impetus to a new effort to organise a local response to attacks on working people and their local communities.

The next meeting of the RTUC will be on International Women’s Day, 8 March, at 6pm at the Great Expectations Hotel. All trade unionists, and persons or groups sympathetic to the aims and objectives of trade unionism, are welcome to attend. Regular news and updates will be posted in the RTUC Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/ReadingTUC/). Individuals seeking information or trade unions interested in affiliating to the RTUC can contact the Secretary, James Parker, by email (jamesparker7@me.com).

About the Reading Trades Union Council

The RTUC is the focal point of the trade union movement in Reading – and so much more. As well as local trade unions, the RTUC meets and organises with groups and individuals from the Reading area who are committed to supporting and improving the social, political and working conditions in the local community and workplaces. We also celebrate important local events – contemporary and historical – related to the Reading area which promote trade unionism, workers’ rights and community causes. In addition to our affiliated trade unions, the RTUC meetings and events have attracted members of such groups as the People’s Assembly, the IWW, Acorn and Berkshire Antifascists.

Our programme of events has included joining the Junior Doctors’ picket line at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (March-April), a celebration of International Workers’ Day (May) and a ‘Question Time’-style Q&A about the EU Referendum (May). Going forward, we have organised an evening with Harry L. Smith (June) and a centenary picnic to celebrate the successful 1916 Huntley & Palmer’s women’s strike (July). We have also sent delegates to the People’s Assembly March against Austerity in London (April), May Day celebrations in Glasgow (May) and Swindon Trades Union Council’s 90th anniversary commemoration of the General Strike (May). In July we will join other likeminded groups at the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival in Dorset.

The RTUC is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress. To affiliate your trade union to the RTUC (or for more information about its activities), please contact our Secretary, Jim Parker (jamesparker7@me.com), or visit our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/ReadingTUC/). If you are curious about the RTUC and would like to attend a meeting, we welcome observers. If you find it interesting, we hope you will affiliate your trade union to the RTUC or – if you are not a member of a trade union – we will be pleased to assist you in finding one which suits your circumstances. 

The Reading Trades Union Council meets every second Tuesday of the month, 6pm-7.30pm, at the Quaker Meeting House, Church Street (off London Road), Reading RG1 2SB.

Meetings are followed by a convivial social time, when good-natured conversation is enjoyed over drinks.