Wednesday, April 25, 2007

TGWU Executive Recalled over "Super Union" Name Debacle

The Amicus CC website reports

The T&G leadership have had to concede to recalling its Executive tomorrow (25th April), after failing to convince the Executive members with a two page letter last week that there was no going back on using the name 'Unite' because the name had been registered by Amicus and all the publicity material for the new union had already been printed.

This latest set back for the TGWU leadership follows it losing a 6 to 2 vote at the Finance and General Purposes meeting on Thursday 12th April over balloting the membership on a name for the new union.

The T&G Leadership had apparently given a commitment throughout merger process that the membership would be given a democratic vote on the name of the new union. This was confirmed on the front cover of the March/April TG Record announcing the successful 'yes' vote of the unions' membership to merge.

Preparatory work on choosing a name for the new union is almost complete, and alternatives will be put before the membership in a democratic vote in the near future." The ditching of the ballot of the membership has created a serious division between the leadership and the lay members of the Executive, who see the issue now not just about the question of the name but one of a test of lay member democracy, and ultimately, who will control and decide on policy when the new union is formed in May. And this on top of the T&G leadership's failure to support John McDonnell and the 'merger' agreement with the UNited Steel Workers

It is also understood that motion 26
(The terms and conditions of the General Secretary) will be raised at the recalled Executive meeting. A busy meeting.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

National Strike Ballot in Royal Mail?

We reproduce below news from the CWU in relation to negootiations with Royal Mail.

Royal Mail Pay 2007

A further meeting took place with Royal Mail yesterday afternoon. The meeting concluded with Royal Mail still refusing to offer our members any basic pay increase. Instead, they revised their position by increasing the range of lump sums on offer from between £250/£400 to £250/£550. These lump sums remain conditional on the Union signing up to specific savings initiatives, most of which amount to significant pay cuts and involve major change.

Royal Mail’s position on local productivity remains unchanged. We have totally rejected Royal Mail’s offer and informed them that their overall position is completely unacceptable to the Union.

We have told Royal Mail that we are prepared to deal with Major Change, Efficiency and the Challenges facing the company – but this is conditional on them significantly improving our members’ terms and conditions and honouring the commitments they made to raise the value and status of postal workers’ jobs.

A key factor in our negotiations has been our insistence that Royal Mail back off from introducing panic driven cost cutting measures at local level. Therefore, we have offered Royal Mail the opportunity for a moratorium on managerial executive action and industrial action over efficiency issues. This was rejected out of hand by Royal Mail.

The Union remains committed to achieving a negotiated settlement but we cannot allow Royal Mail to drive down our members’ terms and conditions.

We have advised Royal Mail that we are prepared to continue negotiations. However, the business has left us with no alternative other than to prepare the ground for an industrial action ballot. Therefore, CWU Headquarters has begun the process of ensuring that membership lists are up to date and meet the necessary legal requirements.

Following a joint meeting yesterday with the Postal Executive and Divisional Reps, we have asked the Divisional Representatives to take a number of initiatives designed to gain support for the Union’s course of action.

We will be writing direct to members next week to explain the overall position. In the meantime, it is essential that Branches continue to communicate face to face with our members at every opportunity.
Yours sincerely

Dave Ward
Deputy General Secretary

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Firefighters union makes cash donation to SNP

SCOTTISH Nationalists today welcomed donations from the Fire Brigades Union to several SNP candidates in next month's Holyrood and council elections. It is the first time the party has had support of this kind from any trade union.

Justice spokesman Kenny MacAskill, who is fighting Edinburgh East & Musselburgh and is top of the Lothians list, has been given £500 and West Lothian council group leader Peter Johnston £250. The FBU, which disaffiliated from the Labour Party in 2004, said it had made a number of donations to candidates from a range of parties who had been helpful to it in the past or had given commitments for future action.

Meanwhile, First Minister Jack McConnell was today due to address the Scottish Trades Union Congress. Yesterday, the STUC's general council agreed by just one vote to back Labour in the May 3 elections. SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon, also visiting the STUC, attacked Labour's use of private finance initiatives for public projects.