Barber: Our Traditional Industries Can Survive

Article excerpt

Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC, recently visited the Tees Valley to deliver the annual University of Teesside Business School lecture. His wide-ranging lecture explored the economy, manufacturing, productivity, high-performance workplaces, and the union agenda, which is moving away from pay towards work-life balance, diversity, skills and pensions.

Brendan Barber began his lecture by saying: "This lecture has become a key fixture on the regional business calendar. I'd like to congratulate Teesside University for its groundbreaking work in widening access to higher education among under-represented communities ( something the TUC wholeheartedly supports. We were delighted to see this recognised in the recent Higher Education Performance Indicators, and long may this good work continue.

"There is absolutely no doubt that if this country is to succeed in the 21st century, we have to unlock the talents of everyone in our society."

When describing the UK's decline in manufacturing Mr Barber said: "Local workers in traditional manufacturing industries face a turbulent future and we remain a long way from a solid manufacturing recovery. We need to address these economic challenges as a matter of urgency. The TUC's position is clear. We don't agree with the doom-mongers in the City who say our manufacturing days are over.

"We do not believe that an economy the size of Britain's ( the fourth largest in the world ( can get by on services alone. …

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