If there is one phrase that sticks out from this year's TUC conference it is 'listen to us'.
By Ben Davies
BBC News Online political staff at the TUC in Brighton
Time after time union leaders expressed their frustration that six years after Labour was first elected they have still failed to secure for their workers the same rights as their European counterparts.
But this year the real anger focused on the Iraq war - closely followed by public sector reform and foundation hospitals.
New boss of the TGWU Tony Woodley said Prime Minister Tony Blair should consider quitting because of the war.
Others were more sanguine but still said he was in electoral danger if he persisted in ignoring trade union demands.
Whether Labour's most electorally successful leader takes the kind of notice that unions would like is dubious.
The strangest moment of the week came when Mr Blair was due to deliver a speech to union leaders at a private dinner.
Journalists were told that the prime minister would deliver an uncompromising message that there be no swerving to the left.
The quotes that reporters were given were shown to various union bosses after the event who failed to recognise them.
Blair dined with union bosses on Tuesday evening
Having heard Mr Blair speak, they said the prime minister had struck a rather more conciliatory note.
Downing Street acknowledged later that although some of the words had been changed the message remained in tact.
The episode prompted renewed accusations of spin from some union bosses and one Labour insider told BBC News Online that the episode was "utterly unhelpful" in the current climate.
Another notable event was when Chancellor Gordon Brown appeared for his keynote speech to delegates.
His message was uncompromising: reforms would go on and the government would not cave in to inflationary pay awards.
His reception was possibly more lukewarm than that afforded to CBI boss Digby Jones earlier that day.
Inevitably different people have different memories of this year's conference.
Outgoing T&G boss Sir Bill Morris is at his last conference as general secretary but far from indulging himself in nostalgia he said his highpoint was a debate on Europe.
Lucinda Yeadon, 22, from Leeds was at her first ever TUC conference.
Her assessment: "I think the fringe produces a lot of good debate whereas in the main conference hall everybody seemed to agree and while that's good on one level it's also good to have lively discussions."
Ms Yeadon was particularly pleased there had been a detailed debate on disability rights pointing out that she is disabled herself.
Harpal Jandu, from Oldbury near Birmingham, said that a lot of lessons could be learned about fighting workplace exploitation at the TUC.
His particular concern was pensions, however.
He told BBC News Online: "Where I work, in the chemical industry, we took industrial action to save our final salary scheme and won."
Sharon Nicholson a GMB member from the southern region said her memory from the day that Mr Brown came to the conference was that he just "reeled off a list".
"He continues to say the same thing and people are realising that he doesn't mean what he says.
"I wanted him to talk straight and he didn't."
Peter Foley, a professional footballer in the mid-sixties for teams like Scunthorpe and Workington said he was principally concerned with fighting racism.
"I go around schools telling the pupils about the effect of racism. I was particularly pleased with the way we debated the issue especially in relation to the BNP."
Labour MP Angela Eagle - who came to much of the TUC conference and appeared at the fringe - acknowledged the "growing impatience" among trade unionists but insisted there was still "a lot of good will".
"People want co-operation not confrontation."
"I think the main issue was Iraq but it's also public services, and issues like rights at work."
Asked for her favourite bit of this year's TUC, she said: "This year the fringe was much more lively and I think people are searching for serious debate about issues."