Monday, 23 November 2015


Dave Chapple
Bridgwater TUC
Trades Union Councils bring unions together to campaign about issues affecting working people and their families, in local workplaces and communities. 

They are affiliated to the Trades Union Congress, at National and Regional level.

 In Somerset we have formed a County Association of  trades union councils and meet regularly with comrades from Yeovil,Taunton,Weston & Bath Trades Union Councils.

 Your union branch can affiliate and elect representatives to Bridgwater Trades Union Council which meets monthly. The affiliation fee is 10p per member and this is our main source of funding.


Bob Crowe in Bridgwater
We want people to know what their rights are at work and how to enforce them -including agency workers.

Trade union organised workplaces have better pay and conditions. We want to help build trades union membership and help activists to recruit and organise. If you are temporary or permanent, part time or full time, self-employed or agency, please contact us.


We want dignity and respect for workers in the workplace and the community,regardless of gender,race,colour,sexual orientation,creed or status. We want an end to bullying and harrasment- Bridgwater workers together!

History shows that you don't achieve your aims by wishing and hoping. We campaign actively with other local groups on issues like jobs, pensions,benefits,public services,transport and the environment.


Thursday, 27 November 2014

NHS strike photos in Bridgwater

Today's Bridgwater NHS picket saw strikers from Unite and UNISON outside Bridgwater Hospital, joined in solidarity by trades unionists from Unite Community, the CWU, Bridgwater Trades Union Council (and banner), the Labour Party, and the Senior Citizens' Forum.Photos by David Pearce.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Cinema of Dissent Season Starting on July 24th

Films about Justice & Equality
COST: £4 or whatever you can afford
7pm for 7.30pm start

Thurs JULY 24TH      
·       Banner Theatre: “ “Wild Geese & “Burning Issues”
video ballads for our time
·       Bring out Your Banners “  film of the Bridgwater TUC 2013 centenary celebration, featuring the late Bob Crow

Thurs SEPTEMBER 25th
“The Lottery of Birth” dir. Raoul Martinez
Do you shape the world or does the world shape you? ‘The Lottery of Birth’ will make you think again about what it means to be free. 

Thurs NOVEMBER 27th
“Don Beard & the Red Borough of Bridgwater”
Travel back in time via 8mm cine-film to Bridgwater’s Labour Party in the 60s and 70s: you might spot yourself (or your parents) on a coach trip to Weymouth or at a social with Tony Benn in the Town Hall!

Bridgwater Trades Union Council
Further details: Dave Chapple 01278 450562

Monday, 7 July 2014


Up to 2 million members of Unite, National Union of Teachers, Public and Commercial Services Union, Fire Brigades Union, Unison and GMB are taking strike action together on Thursday 

Because all these public sector workers are sick and tired of pay freezes, below-inflation wage increases and of seeing the services they work in hived off to private companies, offering worse pay and conditions. 

This is the biggest co-ordinated strike action for years. That so many workers have voted to strike together exposes the failure of the Con-Dem government policies.
Cameron and Clegg are not just wrecking public services. Their “austerity” policies are ruining the lives of millions of people. The Office for National Statistics has revealed that, last year, the number of adults living in absolute poverty jumped from 7.7 million to 8.7 million.

Meanwhile, Britain's richest people have managed to DOUBLE their wealth in the five years since the financial crash, with a combined fortune of £519billion.

Why should workers pay the price for the greed and incompetence of those who control the economic system?

Why should we bail out banks, while fire stations, libraries and youth centres are being closed all around us?

Bridgwater Trades Union Council is proud to support the strikers! You should be too! 


Bridgwater Trades Union Council Tel. 07707 869 144

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Argos Unite picket line 5.45am Monday 17th June: solidarity by ARGOS agency workers!

This photo shows ARGOS Homebase agency workers who would normally clock in early before 6am on a Monday morning-when the strike ended this Monday-refusing to cross the Unite picket line. This resulted with agency workers cars double parked and blocking lorries coming into the depot.

This display of solidarity by agency workers who, even if they are Unite members, were legally not included in the strike ballot, was a tremendous boost to the Unite pickets at the very end of their 24-hour strike.

Does working-class education have a future?

A day conference for all trades unionists including Union Learn reps, trade union branch officers, TUC/ Trade Union Studies tutors, WEA/adult education lecturers, and mature students, organised by Trade Union Solidarity magazine and Bridgwater Trades Union Council

11am to 4pm, Saturday 2nd August GWRSA/Railway Club, Wellington Rd, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5HA

Dave Chapple
(Bridgwater TUC)
Marie Hughes South West TUC Regional Education Officer
Trish Lavelle CWU National Education Officer
Becca Kirkpatrick Co-editor Trade Union Solidarity
Shan Maidment TU studies tutor, City of Bristol College
Carole Vallelly GMB Southern Region/TUC tutor
Nigel Costley, Secretary, South West TUC
Dave Chapple, Bridgwater TUC
Ian Manborde, Ruskin College
Richard Ross London Metropolitan University

Cost is £5 per person which includes buffet lunch. Places are limited: please register in advance if possible, make cheques  out to “Bridgwater Trades Union Council” and send to Dave Chapple, Conference Organiser, 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU. Further details phone 07707 869 144 or e-mail

Nigel Costley
10.30am to 11am: registration tea and coffee
11am: welcome: Vicki Nash, Somerset NUT and President Bridgwater TUC
11.05am: First session: Chair, Andy Newman, GMB, White Horse (Wiltshire) TUC
Speakers: Marie Hughes, Trish Lavelle, Dave Chapple
11.50am: discussion
12.30pm: Second session: Chair, Glen Burrows, RMT, Bridgwater TUC
Speakers: Nigel Costley, Shan Maidment, Richard Ross
1.15pm: discussion
2.40pm: Third session: Chair: Richard Capps, PCS, vice-Chair South West TUC
Speakers: Carole Vallelly, Ian Manborde, Becca Kirkpatrick
3.25pm: discussion including conference follow-up
4pm: Close of conference

The last few generations have seen, overall, both a crisis and decline in the general field of what used to be called working-class education. Despite substantial government Union Learn funding, now of course under severe pressure, and some impressive internal trade union shop steward programmes, the subsidised and ‘liberal’ ‘adult education sector where many of us learned the theory and practice of socialism has almost disappeared.

This conference is a ground-breaking attempt to address this crisis, asking these questions amongst many others:  would the internet have destroyed adult ‘liberal’ education without any government cuts? Do any trade unions educate their members for socialism or merely effective trades unionism? Can a volunteer/community-led strategy restore cuts to Union Learn and adult evening courses?

What about the left-wing political parties, including Labour and the Greens? What are the strategies to restore a once-thriving Independent Working Class Education as part of the workers’ emancipation project? Do TUC courses succeed in teaching solidarity between workers in different unions? Could local trades councils play a new educational role?

These of course are only a few possible ways of approaching our conference subject: make sure you raise yours! Our speakers will all, hopefully, give us personal reflections of all their years teaching workers, as well as their own ideas for future education campaigns.

Bridgwater GWRSA/Railway Club is 100 yards from Bridgwater rail station at the east end of Wellington Rd. Car parking in adjacent station car park. Bridgwater station is served by an hourly train service throughout the day, arriving from Bristol at 40 minutes past the hour and from Taunton at 15/20 minutes past the hour. Bridgwater is also easily accessible from the M5 motorway with two junctions: north (Dunball/Junction 23) and south (Huntworth/Junction 24). The GWRSA/railway club itself is one of the national network of railway clubs which in themselves are an important part of working-class history-they were funded by the employers, and so can be understood both as social concession or dangerous palliative.  However, you will find the Bridgwater GWRSA a friendly, thriving but last-surviving local working class club. We look forward to seeing you on 2nd August!

Thursday, 8 May 2014


Anti-Ukip campaigners 'adapt' Farage's
'hate mongering' posters 
Workers considering voting for UKIP in the forthcoming European elections would be voting against their own interests, says Bridgwater Trades Union Council.

Workers should think very hard, and read the small print on UKIP's manifesto, before giving UKIP their vote.

Disillusionment with the failed promises, self-interest and greed of some politicians from all the main political parties is understandable, but workers voting for UKIP would be like turkeys voting for Christmas, say representatives of trades unions in Bridgwater.

Apart from their offensive and racist scapegoating of foreign workers - as if migrant workers, instead of bankers and corporate tax dodgers, are to blame for our economic problems - UKIP have said they want to abolish all workers’ rights, including maternity pay and maternity rights.

Point made.
They want to privatise the NHS and scrap state pensions. Their proposal to introduce a flat rate of tax would mean that the rich would pay the same as those on lower incomes. They also want to scrap rules to curb tax avoidance by big companies. UKIP and its policies are dangerous for British workers! UKIP and its backers are friends of big business and opposed to the interests of working people.

Zero hours, part-time contracts and low pay, combined with attacks on benefits in the name of “austerity” are the evils which are destroying the standard of living of British workers. To combat these attacks, we need more workers’ rights and strong unions. UKIP is no friend to workers in Britain.

CONTACT: Secretary Dave Chapple 07707 869 144 Press Officer: Glen Burrows