GMB London Region Congress 2023

Summary of GMB Congress 2023 

Sunday 4 to Thursday 8 June 2023- Brighton 

The theme of Congress 2023 was “Together we Make Work Better” and this was the first Congress as Regions. Congress was chaired by our National President Barbara Plant & Vice President Malcolm Sage.  

Penny Robinson, our Regional President lead our 56 strong Regional delegation who were diverse and inclusive with a gender balance of 34 male and 22 female and 5 identified with a disability. Our delegation also included 17 first-time delegates.  

Standing Orders Committee 

We are proud that Karen Dudley (Beds County Branch) represented the Region on the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) for the second year and was voted as Chair by members of the Committee. From the onset, Karen faced several challenges to SOC Report No. 1 many from first-time delegates and it was good to see all these challenges win the vote of Congress and have their motions back on the Agenda, thanks to Karen for handling this so well.  

Contribution Freeze 

In line with the General Secretary election pledges, the CEC made no contribution increase and membership is still frozen at 2020 levels.  

Final Agenda 

Of the 186 Motions on the Final Agenda, 88 (47%) of these came from London Region.  Of the 21 Rule Amendments, 7 (33%) of these came from London Region.


TOTAL in Final Agenda 

Out of Order 


Existing Policy 

Motions / RA debated 

Final Agenda (including 19 Composite motions) 

Of which are from London (LO) 


88 from LO 


5 LO 


4 LO 


16 LO 


 63 from LO 

Emergency Motions 

2 LO 




2 LO 

CEC Rule Amendments 




Rule Amendment 


7 from LO 


4 LO 


3 from LO 







The following CEC Reports were carried by Congress: 

  • General Secretary’s Report 

CEC Special Reports 

  • Public Sector Pay 
  • GMB Taskforce for Positive Change Final Progress Report 
  • Social Care 
  • Rule Book Review (containing CECRA1 to CECRA7) 

There were a number of changes in our Rule Book in the Special Report but we will need to wait for next year when there is likely to be more as the Rule Book Working Party continue to meet.   

CEC Rule Amendments 

  • CECRA8 Rule 6 Rule 6 Complaints procedure for members 
  • CECRA9 Rule 8 Congress of the union 
  • CECRA10 Rule 19 Regions and how they are managed. 
  • CECRA11 Rule 43 Representatives in the workplace 
  • CECRA12 Rule 49 Strike benefit 

Emergency Motions  

4 Emergency Motions were agreed by the SOC, two from London Region and one of our Emergency Motions was composited with one from Midlands Region  

EM2 Gross Mismanagement of our Water Industry: GMB fight for cleaner water (E15 Thames General Branch) 

EM4 Reforming OFSTED inspections: Raising Standards  

(H37 Hillingdon Branch

Memorable speakers 

We heard some passionate speeches from our first time and other speakers on industrial and workplace matters but also on some important social issues. Some of our delegates received standing ovations as they “sang” their motion, incorporated props or spoke of emotional or personal issues.  

Bucket Collection 

London Region was chosen as one of the four bucket collections of Congress which was in aid of Care4Calais. The collection at Congress raised £538 and branches have been asked to donate if they wish. 

RMA Report 

East Dereham Branch delegate and RMA Chair, Jan Smith was invited to give a brief verbal update on RMA matters and the RMA Banner was part of the Banner Ceremony that opened Congress  together with a newer version of the Regional Banner. We hope to have a new banner in place for next year.  

Rule Amendments 

Jan Smith and Stevie Robertson fought hard to support their branch Rule Amendments RA309 and RA311 on Funeral Benefit despite other Regional opposition- sadly Congress voted against this!! 

Branches were asked to nominate for two Congress awards and we were delighted that Simon Wilde of Best Food Hoddesdon (L56 London Logistics Branch) was the winner of the Mary MacArthur Health and Safety Representative of the Year award.  Simon challenged BestFood over their management of health and safety, and introduced a new risk assessment system which has reduced industrial injuries. 

Guest (and inspirational) speakers 

Labour Leader, Keir Starmer MP addressed Congress and had questions from delegates covering energy, oil and gas, Care Workers, New Deal, Amazon, 2 tier workforce and insourcing manufacturing, Asda and fire and rehire.

MB National Race Officer Tye Nosakhere, launched a new initiative programme, the GMB Race Achievement Scholarship Programme (GRASP). This is a major project to uplift and advance our members from racially marginalised backgrounds. He welcomed participants to the stage.  

Other events included GMB members from the Ambulance Service speaking candidly about violence and retirement age and Wendy Cox (L55 London Ambulance Branch) represented London Region.  There were also slots for speakers from Amazon Workers and it was refreshing to hear how our Social Care reps have been successful to increase the pay of our poorly paid members. 

GMB gave solidarity and support to two International speakers on Thursday, Ivanna Khrapko, a Ukrainian trade unionist and Christopher Siu-tat Mung, a Hong Kong trade unionist who spoke about the suppression and jailing of independent trade unionists under Hong Kong’s National Security Law.   Following Congress,  Christopher has been issued with an arrest warrant by the Hong Kong Police. 

Fringe Events   

London Region had two Fringe events on “Bladder Cancer- an industrial hazard” in conjunction with the charity Fight Bladder Cancer chaired by Penny Robinson.  We also had a Fringe on “Rights for All and Organising & supporting Migrant Workers” chaired by G50 Evri Branch Political Officer, Lara Parizotto. GMB reps also spoke at other Fringe Events on UBER, Show Racism the Red Card.   

Asda reps on organising in Retail and Asda members also met with Angela Rayner 

Congress sessions are available on GMB YouTube and you can access documents and reports on the National GMB website and a there will be a digital review on the London Region website.

At the close of Congress, Regional President, Penny Robinson was pleased to give the vote of Thanks on behalf of the CEC.  

What happens now

Key Congress Documents can be found on the GMB National website.

We will circulate a decisions of Congress document to Branches once received from National Office. The CEC will then agree which Department/Section will progress each of the Carried and Referred motions and Reports and this will also be shown on the website.

Branches have been sent a detailed document of Rule Changes at Congress and the new GMB Rulebook will be available on the website and will take effect from 1 July 2023.

Warren Kenny Penny Robinson
Regional Secretary Regional President

GMB Congress 2024 will be held in Bournemouth from Sunday 9 June 2024


A snapshot of reactions from some of London Region's Delegation to Congress 2022 in Harrogate

GMB Congress is held annually and it is where the lay member ruling body of the union decides GMB policy on all issues. GMB Congress 2024 will be held in Bournemouth, from Sunday 9th June to Thursday 13th 2024.

If you want to attend GMB Congress or put forward a motion to make GMB policy please contact your branch. To attend you must be nominated by your branch, and be a paid-up member for 53 weeks.