TUC 2012Trade union activists decided to take the first steps today on the road to the nationalisation of the banking and finance industry.
More than 500 delegates at the Trades Union Congress gave the thumbs up by a majority to develop the under-fire industry into a key public service.
The plans came in a long, wide-ranging debate on economic and industrial affairs which touched on fair and just taxation, public ownership of the banks, youth unemployment, industrial infrastructure, effective procurement and the power of the supermarkets.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack kicked off the bank nationalisation debate and said there must be an end to "casino" banking.
He said the banking and finance system was structurally built on the need to make profits alone.
"We need to say enough is enough - we want our money back and invested in economic recovery and public services and improving standards of living."
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said earlier the general council supported the idea but with the reservations that it would be very costly and it would involve the whole sector, including the Co-op and the mutuals.
But Mr Wrack replied that a crisis in one part of the sector would affect the whole sector.
Although most delegates speaking on the motion backed the general idea, some still supported the general council's view.
They all stressed that it was wrong ordinary bank workers were demonised in the same way their bonus-hungry bosses were spotlighted.
A motion calling on the TUC to continue to campaign for industrial activism and the government to develop an effective industrial policy was passed unanimously.
Steel industry union Community proposed the motion and Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke, seconding, said the lack of an industrial strategy is "devastating" the country.
Also a composite motion put forward by NUT saying that youth unemployment should be given the "highest priority" through campaigns with affiliates, trades councils and other activist groups was unanimously passed.
Congress also backed a composite motion, put forward by Community, which said the government was neglecting massive opportunities that public procurement can give to British industry and jobs.
Delegates also unanimously backed a motion, put forward by BFAWU, that the general council supports the monitoring of the power supermarkets have over manufacturers.
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