The Unite union held a series of sector conferences in Brighton last week.
General secretary Len McCluskey was challenged over the defeat at Grangemouth petrochemical plant last month.
The health sector passed an emergency motion against Tory plans to charge migrants for health services after a number of heartfelt speeches from the floor.
More than 100 people packed into a fringe meeting on defending the NHS. Speakers who called for strikes were applauded.
The aerospace and defence sector discussed the massive job cuts at BAE shipyards. The convenor of the Govan shipyard pointed out that the yards could be used for purposes other than defence.
In finance, a sector marked by huge job cuts and other attacks, an official called for every workplace to be “strike ready”.