URGENT Webinar

One of the most worrying attacks on a democratic political party and a people in the world today is what is happening to the Parliamentary Party the HDP (People’s Democratic Party) in Turkey and the Kurds.

GFTU delegates to our last three Conferences have heard first-hand from HDP MPs who have visited us about what is happening. We also asked our lawyer Paul Scholey and TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes to visit Turkey and the Kurdish regions for us. Manuel and Paul now strongly encourage you to get informed about the situation by joining in with this webinar.

The situation is so bad now that we are holding a webinar on the situation. An introduction will be given by Dr Hisyar Ozsoy,  Co-spokesperson of HDP Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Member of Parliament, and Bedia Ozgukce Ertan, a former MP and Co-Mayor of Van. 

The world knows too well from the 1930s what consequences can follow from the banning of well supported parliamentary parties and attacks on ethnic groups.

Click here to read recent letter to the Foreign Secretary which sets out the issues.

We hope you will join us for this important discussion.

The joining details are as follows:

Topic: Peace and Democracy for Kurdish People.

Time: Jun 16, 2021, 06:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 828 1364 0293

Passcode: 745724

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcu7JIYTSz

Young Member’s Development Weekend 2021

The Young Member’s Development weekend is back this summer from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th June 2021. Quorn Grange Hotel will open its doors to young trade unionists for an event full of inspiration, opportunity, education and networking, a real chance for young members across the movement to develop their skills, extend their knowledge and create links with other trade unions.

The weekend is perfect for our young members, from those who are fairly new who want to find out a bit more about the union movement, to those who are more experienced and active in the union and those who want to connect with other young members from different unions and fill in gaps to their knowledge.

This is an annual event and each year we have success stories of members coming along to dip their toe into the relatively unknown and leaving hungry to be actively involved in their union whether in their workplace, region or nationally. In previous years we’ve had members attend the event, which has started them on a journey that has seen them progress into paid trade union officials and prospective MPs. It’s a weekend where members can meet others like them from different unions, share their experiences, realise they aren’t alone in facing the issues they do at work and understand that collectively they are stronger not only to make a difference in their jobs but actually within the trade union movement too.

The event covers everything from introducing trade unions, the history of the movement, employment rights, campaigning in different forms, politics, media and economics as well as looking at what happens internationally!

The weekend has been organised by young people for young people, a few years ago the GFTU recognised that something different was needed to attract young people into the movement, something that didn’t revolve around motions and formal conferences as that can be daunting for any first time attendee! But something that was welcoming, educational and enjoyable. The YMDW is designed to encourage young people to be active in the movement give them the confidence and the tools to do so whilst validating their knowledge and experiences.

This year, the the various workshops will be:

Introductions to trade unionism and the GFTU

Union Learning and the importance of continued education

The Importance of Negotiation

Introduction to Employment Rights and Employment Law

Video reporting ( Campaigning Online)

Politics and trade unionism

Politics and Media

International overview of trade unions

All travel expenses are covered as are the accommodation costs and food. You will need to fill in a GFTU application form to attend which can be found here.

To sign up, please send over a completed application form, signed off by the appropriate union officer to markr@gftu.org.uk by June 1st at 12 noon. 

Morrish Solicitors’ Free Webinar

Following the success of Morrish Solicitors’ last webinar, they will be hosting another webinar, on Employment Status following the Uber Supreme Court ruling last month.  

The webinar will be held on Thursday 27th May at 12pm and will be delivered by Daniel Kindell, their Partner and Deputy Head of Employment Law. 

Of course, the webinar will be completely free to attend, and the training is designed specifically for our Trade Unions, Associations and their members. Whether you need advice yourself, or are preparing to help your members, they hope the webinar will be useful.  

More details on how to register and information about the topic are set out here



We are delighted to share with you our great news that The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded a £4.5m grant for the restoration of Redhills and its renewal as a vibrant centre of culture, heritage and education.

The restoration together with the addition of new buildings with modern facilities will improve accessibility and enable us to offer a wide-ranging programme of activities and community resources. The renewed Redhills will use cutting-edge audio-visual technology to bring to life the rich history of the DMA, the people and the communities of the Durham coalfield.

Durham County Council is also providing £1.1m of matched funding toward the £7.25m project. 
Building work at Redhills is due to get underway early in 2022. The renewed Redhills is then due to reopen to the public in Spring 2023.
Our thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund – and our thanks to you for supporting us over the 4 years of this campaign so far.

For more information about this brilliant news, please follow the link below:

Read more

We’d also love for you to share your reaction to the news, as well as your thoughts on Redhills and what it means to you. 

Please take a moment to share your feedback by following this link:


Our thanks again for your support for Redhills. We’ll keep in touch with developments as the project progresses, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Redhills as soon as we are able. 

Interview with GFTU General Secretary

Take a look at the interview of GFTU General Secretary Doug Nicholls by Journalist Erem Kansoy here.

He comments on the repression and closure procedure against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and speculations about the well-being of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Keeping Our History Alive

Doug Nicholls, General Secretary of GFTU recently participated in an international conference looking at ways in which unions keep history live.

Read his contribution here

Surjeet Dhillon

It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the passing of Surjeet Dhillon, the GFTU’s Senior Finance Officer. Surjeet caught COVID-19 and was admitted to ICU this week but unfortunately wasn’t able to recover.

The entire GFTU and Quorn Grange Hotel family and friends of the GFTU are devastated by this news and have sent heartfelt messages to Surjeet’s family and a plan to honour his memory throughout the organisation is currently underway.

Surjeet first started with GFTU in 2019 and immediately built up a great rapport with the team as his kind, caring nature and his positive, can-do attitude always shone through whenever he’d engage in conversation. His smile was contagious, as was his laugh, and there was never a dull moment with him around. He was always a hard worker in whichever task he was given and he would always go the extra mile to meet deadlines.

Surjeet worked closely with the Prison Officers’ Association on behalf of the GFTU and was extremely popular with colleagues there. POA friends share our great sense of loss. The POA’s welfare fund has already made a touching and generous gesture for Surjeet’s family.

Surjeet was a family man; he would mention his loving wife, children and grandchildren often and would take the time to get to know the team as people and built friendships within the organisation.

Surjeet was born in Kenya on 17th January, 1958 and moved to the UK when younger where he lived with his family in Nottingham. Before he joined us, he had a built an impressive career; having worked as a Finance Analyst and Finance Manager for the National Trust.

I’m sure you will join us in sending our deepest condolences to Surjeet’s family and friends and agree with us that Surjeet will never be forgotten, nor will his immeasurable contribution that he not only made to the organisation, but to our lives.

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