Wednesday at the TUC

The final day of Congress, FDA general secretary Dave Penman seconded a composite motion calling for the setting up of an independent commission on pensions.

Referring to the rise in state pension age, he said: "This has a major impact on the lives of the vast majority of the working population. There needs to be a counter balance. Left alone, the Government will always cave to fiscal pressure... Decisions need to be taken that balance benefits and costs."

Just before close of business on Wednesday, outgoing FDA general secretary Jonathan Baume was awarded the TUC gold badge by President Paul Kenny.

Baume thanked colleagues at the TUC and the FDA with whom he has worked over the years.

He told delegates: "I've learnt that there is one constant: regardless of your role in the workplace, regardless of your social and ethnic background, gender or profession, you face much the same problems and you need a union by your side.

"Our influence is at its peak when we can speak as a broad church. It's been a great privilege to have had the opportunity to strive for social justice and fairness in the workplace."

JBaume TUC 2012
Outgoing FDA general secretary Jonathan Baume: 'you need a union by your side'