Friday, 8 June 2012

United Left Candidate for Unite Executive By-Election

Unite the Union

Executive Council By-Election

North East, Yorkshire and Humberside Region


Sharon Wadwell                   

Membership Number: 1482299  
Branch: NE302/36 First Leeds
Workplace: First Group Leeds


I work at First Group Leeds as a bus driver and have been a member of Unite for 10years. Since joining I have been involved as an activist working alongside the late Ian McDonald.
I am seeking Branch/Chapel nominations to enable me to stand in this important election.

My experience as an activist includes:
·        Women's rep for 5 years
·        Recently elected as equalities rep for First Leeds
·        Delegate to Passenger Transport National Industrial Sector Committee
·        Delegate to regional LGBT committee
·        Delegate to Unite Equalities Conference 2012
·        Labour Party member

For the last 5 years I have been representing Unite and the LGBT by actively supporting Leeds Pride and this year I will be following in a great mans shoes and taking the place of Ian McDonald by leading the Unite members to make people aware of who we are and why equalities lay at the heart of our union.

I have been selected as the United Left candidate for this election and if elected to the Executive Council I will work with the current regional Executive members and continue the progress made by this region that has brought it to the forefront of the progressive initiatives instigated recently by Unite, including the new Community membership and the launch of the Unite Women’s toolkit.

We must ensure that our union continues to fight against the austerity programme imposed on our class by this out of touch Con-Dem Government:
·       Oppose all cuts at every opportunity
·       Defend pension rights of all workers
·       Ensure that reps have the resources at their disposal to protect members in the workplace
·       Ensure that our education programme is the best and delivers the training our reps deserve
·       Build opposition to attacks on Trade union and employment rights

If you elect me you will be choosing a person who is a committed activist, has a keen sense of accountability and will represent North East, Yorkshire and Humberside region in the interests of members. 

Please nominate and support the United Left candidate
Sharon Wadwell

Friday, 1 June 2012

Unite Bank Holiday Demo Greencore Hull

Unite has called for an emergency demonstration at Greencore Amsterdam Road Hull on Monday 4th June beginning at 12-30pm.
The employer is accused of failing to consult properly over redundancies and offering unfavourable terms and conditions to its existing workforce.
Below is a sample of the newsletter being issued by Unite.
Please send messages of support to the convenor Pete Ford.

The 12 week consultation is less than half way through but management have told us they will start individual consultation on 6th June – this is totally unacceptable when we still have seven weeks left of the consultation.
We believe that attendance should be voluntary, but if you do attend we strongly suggest you should: 
Insist on having a shop steward present

Simply listen to what is said and then seek advice from your union afterwards – do not commit yourself to anything
We believe management are doing this to make you believe there is no alternative to their plans – something they constantly repeat in all their communications - and in fact they’ve told members a lot of things that need to be challenged so we’ll answer some of those points here.
Bank holidays worth more than back pay
Management is saying that if their proposals were accepted, we would get £211 in back pay. However, if we get our bank holidays back and work the two Jubilee holidays we would get double time and a day off on pay for each. This works out at £6.44 x 7.5hrs x 2 (double time) x 2days = bank holidays – no wonder our members want their conditions back!
£193.20 plus 2 days off on full pay. This is just for the two bank holidays
Is there a need for redundancies?
Absolutely not Unite believes that the threat of redundancies is being used as a weapon by management to frighten you into accepting their proposals. The company has made over 60 agency workers permanent in the last 12 months and is has been taking on more agency workers every week, so they can’t argue we’ve got too many workers on site.
And just to stress – We raised this with HR last week, they didn’t deny it so don’t be fooled by threats of losing your job.
It is not legal to make people redundant and replace them with agency workers!
Why hasn’t Unite put forward any new alternatives yet?
That’s easy! Management hasn’t proved to us that there is any financial need to take the drastic action that they’ve proposed. This is why Unite’s financial expert is looking at much more detailed company financial information from Greencore’s finance officer; this will help us to know the truth of what is being said – and put forward alternatives.
This is the whole point of consultation, we must be given time to do a professional job on this.
The truth about the notice boards!
Management says they haven’t banned the Union from using the notice boards -
In a meeting with Unite, Dominic Kerrigan clearly stated that this was a ‘war’, that the company was going to win and that we could not use notice boards or put leaflets on canteen tables. He has since changed his position and said we can use these facilities so long as they are approved by the company for accuracy or tone, but it will be interesting to see whether any of our newsletters do in fact get approved.
And what about the ‘Employee Welfare Officer’?
The company’s attempts to explain this away are frankly laughable and the reasons for creating this position have changed since we first challenged it. Management told us last week that as the role of Convenor was contractual, when Di Mulligan was voted out of office they had to find an alternative position for a limited time until something substantive became available. Now they say it’s
‘to provide union and non-union employees with a mechanism forgaining advice and guidance on employment issues”.
 This is a blatant attempt to undermine union democracy –if the union votes a convenor out of office, for management to give them a job with the same role is a disgrace
And of course it is also a complete breach of all equality requirements – it wasn’t advertised in any way so where’s the fairness?