Joe told the delegates: “You’re the future of the trade union movement and you’ve got a lot of hard work to do over the coming years. I think we’ve got one of the most vicious, right wing Tory governments now, equally as vicious as what we had in the 1980s, if not more so in some ways. If we don’t learn the lessons from the past we’re doomed to fail in our fights for the future.
This sounds like a long time ago, but I hope you’ll realise the connections to now and why it’s important that we know what happened in 1984 and the legacy it left for the trade union movement.
“After the miners’ strike the trade union movement lost its way because of these defeats. I think the trade union movement has turned that round and changed that and this room, full of young trade unionists, is a sign that the union is starting to fight back again.”