'Privilege to serve'

Unite executive head of operations Gail Cartmail gives final address to TUC Congress

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Unite executive head of operations Gail Cartmail gave her final speech on Wednesday (September 13) to TUC Congress after retiring from the TUC general council.

Addressing Congress on the last day of the conference, Gail called it a “privilege” to have served on the general council, and she thanked her “terrific union Unite”, including “all the lay members I’ve worked alongside during this period”.

Gail also thanked Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, who she called “one of the foremost, if not the foremost leader – showing that women can really shake things up”.

Gail closed her speech by recalling a previous TUC Congress in 1983, when she was urged to call on delegates to vote against a motion that would undo the support for the Palestinian people that was agreed in a motion from the previous year.

 “We defended the 1982 policy – and we have defended it every year since,” she said, adding, “and as a last time speaker to this Congress — free Palestine!”

By Hajera Blagg

Photo by Jess Hurd