Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC December 2004 Secretary's Report www.wolvestuc.org.uk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

next delegate meetings: Thurs 16th Dec AGM 20th Jan 05 Next EC Thurs 13th Jan

• Sat. 20th Nov demo, Lambeth - themes anti racism and for the reinstatement of a shop steward who won his job back at tribunal, Movement For Justice

• Black Country Unite Against Fascism campaign against the BNP in Sandwell -- the Old Warley ward by-election in Sandwell - Labour 1,087 (42%), Con 778 (30%), BNP 410 (16%), Lib Dem 293 (11%)

• Save Jaguar campaign - TGWU and Amicus have announced plans for a major march and rally in Coventry place on November 27th to demand the retention of Jaguar car production at the historic Browns Lane plant.

• Wolverhampton Unemployment "Claimant Count" Aug 2004 (latest figures) decreased by 11 to 6,103. The current rate of Borough unemployment 6%; in the West Midlands County 5.6%; nationally 2.3%. Claimant count figures are no longer available for electoral ward boundaries.

Some branches have still not registered THIS year.
TU branches affiliated for 2004:
Amicus Bilston, Amicus 13/D Craft, Amicus 0758, ASLEF
CWU (W.Mids&Worcs.), CYWU FBU,
GMB (B'ham General), GPMU ISTC (Hall Palm),
NASUWT, NATFHE (University), NULMW, NUT
TGWU 5/748, TGWU 5/836
UNISON General, UNISON Primary Care Trust (13,238 affiliated trade unionists)
Affiliation forms are now being sent out to branch secretaries.
Please raise re-affiliation at your branch meetings.

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC November 2004 Secretary's Report www.wolvestuc.org.uk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

next delegate meetings: Thurs 18 Nov, Thurs 16 Dec Next EC Thurs 9 Dec

• PCS union strike - 200,000 nationally took part in the union's first national strike for 11 years. Several workplaces are under threat in Wolverhampton including Wednesfield Job Centre. Members of UNISON, FBU, NUT & WBDTUC joined the strikers at their lunchtime rally.
The Labour Government has embarked on an attempt to cut 104,000 jobs in the civil service. These are direct front line services that affect all of us. PCS has committed to use all of its national resources to oppose this attack. It is essential that we get as much wide spread support as we possibly can to add impetus to the political and industrial pressure in order to reverse the Government's decision. When we have an ageing population and the Midlands is suffering from job cuts in manufacturing. The front line services, that a lot of your clients or members depend on, will disappear. In the Inland Revenue, this can only mean the deterioration in the delivery of tax credit and tax advice. The cuts will also decimate services in other sections of society such as winter fuel payments, pensions and benefits, education and skills; services that touch everybody' lives from cradle to grave. The loss of 1 in 5 civil servants, can only make your work harder in representing sometimes the most vulnerable in society.

• Sat. 20th Nov demo, Lambeth - themes anti racism and for the reinstatement of a shop steward who won his job back at tribunal, Movement For Justice - a UNISON minibus is due to be hired and places are available. Contact Malkit Sahota 554004

• Support the campaign against the BNP in Sandwell -- they are contesting the Old Warley ward by-election in Sandwell on Thursday 25th November.
Leafleting against them at 11am on Sunday 21st November.
Black Country Unite Against Fascism 07960 553349

• TUC Women's Committee event Domestic violence - a workplace issue
Thursday 25th November 2004 9.30 - 4pm free lunch at Jennie Lee Centre, Wednesfield
``This is an opportunity for open to men & women trade unionists and employers to work in partnership.``

• Save Jaguar campaign - TGWU and Amicus have announced plans for a major march and rally in Coventry place on November 27th to demand the retention of Jaguar car production at the historic Browns Lane plant.

• Wolverhampton Unemployment "Claimant Count" Aug 2004 (latest figures) decreased by 11 to 6,103. The current rate of Borough unemployment 6%; in the West Midlands County 5.6%; nationally 2.3%. Claimant count figures are no longer available for electoral ward boundaries.

• ALMO - having sprung a election without any notice, there was a 40% turnout, 84% voted in favour of privatising the estimated 400 UCATT and 200 UNISON members into the Wolverhampton Homes ALMO. Council tenants are no doubt eagerly awaiting the £287 million that Wolverhampton councillors have promised to deliver.

Some branches have still not registered THIS year. TU branches affiliated for 2004
Amicus Bilston, Amicus 13/D Craft, Amicus 0758, ASLEF
CWU (W.Mids&Worcs.), CYWU FBU,
GMB (B'ham General), GPMU ISTC (Hall Palm),
NASUWT, NATFHE (University), NULMW, NUT
TGWU 5/748, TGWU 5/836
UNISON General, UNISON Primary Care Trust (13,238 affiliated trade unionists)
Affiliation forms are now being sent out to branch secretaries.
Please raise re-affiliation at your branch meetings.

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC September 2004 Secretary's Report www.wolvestuc.org.uk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The West Midlands County Assoc. of TUCs has postponed its annual seminar planned for Sept 15th.

Next EC Thurs 9th September next delegate meeting Thurs 16th September

Workers Beer Company:
We have raised over £1,950 this year by sending teams to work on the bars and enjoy Homelands, Glastonbury and Leeds festivals. This is over 300 hours of voluntary work for our TUC by non-delegates. Half goes to WB&DTUC and half to the Morning Star - this doubles our 2004 affiliation income.
Would delegates please approach people who would want to go to future festivals.

A Wolverhampton Social Forum is being established at the moment, a garden party was held and some events are planned for October.. contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The 3rd European Social Forum (ESF) 14-17 October in London.

The ESF is a giant gathering for everyone opposed to war, racism and corporate power, everyone who wants to see global justice, workers' rights and a sustainable society. It emerged from the spectacular success of the World Social Forum which opened in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001. Its first two gatherings in Florence (2002) and Paris (2003) attracted over 50,000 participants from across Europe and beyond. It is a chance for people from around the world to come together to engage in debate, organise action and build networks to strengthen our movement.
The Forum will be launched with a large opening event on Thursday 14th followed by three days of discussion and debate involving leading activists from around the world as well as music, drama, film-showings and exhibitions celebrating the global movement. The key themes addressed will be:
• War and peace • Democracy and fundamental rights
• Corporate globalisation and global justice • Environmental crisis & sustainable society
• Against racism, discrimination & the far right: for equality and diversity
• Social justice & solidarity: against privatisation (deregulation), for workers, social & women's rights

There will be an International demonstration through central London on Sunday afternoon.
The 2004 ESF is being organised by an Organising Committee of affiliated national and local social movement organisations and trade unions in the UK with support from the GLA. The TUC has affiliated. The following unions backing it nationally & regionally are the T&G, UNISON, NUJ, GMB, AUT, NUT, NATFHE, AMICUS, TASS, RMT, SERTUC, SWTUC, STUC.

Corporate Killing Law - press reports and some very inadequate court rulings on rail disasters have again raised the profile of this 1997 Labour election manifesto pledge. More promises but no confirmation that there will be a Bill announced in the next queen's speech.

BASQUE BALL: SKIN AGAINST STONE (15) - Fri 10 Sept - Wed 15 Sept, 8pm daily
A controversial documentary about Spain's Basque separatists ETA, and the Basque region that uses over a hundred interviews and extensive archive footage to examine the complex web of history and politics of the Basque area.
THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES (15)
Fri 24 Sept-Wed 6 Oct, 8.15pm daily except Wed 29 Sept 2.15pm only
Based on the journals of Che Guevara recreating his 1952 road trip across Latin America, a trip that becomes a journey of self-discovery., Spanish with subtitles.
Please contact Light House on 01902 716055 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.


TU branches affiliated for 2004: Amicus Bilston, Amicus 13/D Craft, Amicus 0758, ASLEF, CWU (W.Mids&Worcs.), CYWU, FBU, GMB (B'ham General), GPMU, ISTC (Hall Palm), NASUWT, NULMW, NUT, TGWU 5/748, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Primary Care Trust (12,888 affiliated trade unionists)

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC JULY 2004 Secretary's Report  www.wolvestuc.org.uk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

17/18th July Tolpuddle weekend

Workers Beer Company:
We have raised over £1000 this year by sending teams to work on the bars and enjoy Homelands and Glastonbury festivals. Glastonbury was great but we had real problems at the other festival. I was unable to attend, but two of our regular workers were in charge and did very well. However the other 8 workers were new and caused a lot of problems and can't be used again. Due to the fact that WB&DTUC has worked the festivals for the last 6 years without problem, WBC accepted our apologies. But if it was to happen again we could lose the festivals as a source of funding. Problems are arising due to the lack of new workers that we have. We are not receiving interest from members of our affiliated trade unions and are having to rely on other volunteers with less recommendations.
Would delegates please approach people who would want to go to future festivals.

LEEDS Festival dates for 2004 - urgently needed trade unionists willing to become bar worker volunteers in our teams for 27/29th August. Deadline to apply 20th July

AS USUAL THERE WILL BE NO EXECUTIVE OR DELEGATE MEETINGS IN AUGUST
Next EC Thurs 9th September next delegate meeting Thurs 16th September

From Birmingham TUC: Troops Out Movement 2004 Delegation to Belfast Thursday 5th - Sunday 8th August
The delegation will : Attend discussion workshops, Meet with campaign and community groups, Visit an area under attack from Loyalists, Participate in the West Belfast Community Festival, Take part in the annual march and rally
Costs :-Registration (£60 unwaged, £75 waged, £90 high waged) includes hostel accommodation, breakfast, supper and a sandwich lunch Fare to Belfast - (e.g. £55 from B'Ham if booked now on the internet, returning Mon)
Interested ? Contact Troops Out Movement 0121 773 8683 mob: 0797 017 4167 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC JUNE 2004 Secretary's Report www.wolvestuc.org.uk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There have been poor attendances for the last couple of meetings. Last month four TGWU DAF Electricians came from Manchester to speak to six delegates - our worst turnout for years.

DAF Electricians' dispute - We are skilled electricians locked outside of our place of work since MAY 2003. We were dismissed for organising a TGWU shop on site to challenge our employer, DAF Electrical, from Cheltenham. Our employer freely ignored the right to consultation, European law on Holiday Pay, Health and Safety laws, and our National Agreement - and replaced us with sub-contract agency labour.
We have 3 tribunals against our employers, supported by the TGWU, now set for this month.
Donations/letters of support to: "DAF Hardship Fund", TGWU 6/1400/7 Branch Secretary, 13 Thompson Close, Dane Bank, Denton, Manchester M34 2PQ

Europackaging Dispute - speaking at this month's delegate meeting.
175 GPMU members at Europackaging in Sparkbrook have been in dispute for the past month due to an unsolved grievance regarding proposed redundancy of half of the plant workforce. Management have now taken this one step forward by trying to remove machinery from the plant. They produce paper packaging for Sainsbury's, Tesco, Woolworths etc and have a £200million turnover.
The picket line is at Europackaging, Highgate Road on the corner of Queens Street, B12.
Working conditions include 60-84 hr weeks @ £4.50/hr, no overtime rates, min. holidays - 12 days + 8 bank hols. Workers have demanded a 37.5 hr week to save the proposed redundancies.
Send messages of support to/get more details from: GPMU, 9 William Street North B19 3QH

LEEDS Festival dates for 2004 - urgently needed trade unionists willing to become bar worker volunteers in our teams for 27/29th August. Deadline to apply 18th July
TUC `Pay Up for Pensions' demonstration in London on Saturday 19th June
the Government is planning to lessen your enjoyment of retirement by making you work longer for less pension. It's time to take to the streets again.
Wolverhampton NUT has booked a coach for the TUC pensions demo on June 19th. We will be pleased to take anyone who is interested in defending pensions. But please let us know in advance if you are coming.
 01902 429591 e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. £10.00 a seat.

Sat 10th July afternoon/evening Garden Party for Cuba&Palestine Real Ale, good food, Cuban music at "Pendle", Richmond Road, Wolverhampton organised by Wolverhampton Cuba Solidarity & Palestine Solidarity

17/18th July Tolpuddle weekend
Sat. 17th July Ken Livingstone's London anti-racist annual Festival

From Birmingham TUC:
Troops Out Movement 2004 Delegation to Belfast Thursday 5th - Sunday 8th August
The delegation will : Attend discussion workshops, Meet with campaign and community groups, Visit an area under attack from Loyalists, Participate in the West Belfast Community Festival, Take part in the annual march and rally
Costs :-Registration (£60 unwaged, £75 waged, £90 high waged) includes hostel accommodation, breakfast, supper and a sandwich lunch Fare to Belfast - (e.g. £55 from B'Ham if booked now on the internet, returning Mon)
Interested ? Contact us at address below. Troops Out Movement
0121 773 8683 mob: 0797 017 4167 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
TU branches affiliated for 2004: Amicus Bilston, Amicus 13/D Craft, Amicus 0758, ASLEF, CWU (W.Mids&Worcs.), CYWU, FBU, GMB (B'ham General), GPMU, ISTC (Hall Palm), NASUWT, NULMW, NUT, TGWU 5/748, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Primary Care Trust (12,888 affiliated trade unionists)

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC MAY 2004 Secretary's Report www.wolvestuc.org.uk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

STOP PRESS: TGWU DAF Electricians to speak at May delegate meeting

Anti-Fascism rally - Friday 21st May 2004 at the Council House, Birmingham. On the eve of the Conference, Birmingham Trades Union Council will be hosting a rally against racism and fascism.
Speakers: Unison President Dave Anderson, Cheryl Garvey from the Birmingham Race Action Partnership and Dr Mohammad Naseem, Chair of the Birmingham Central Mosque.
Trades union councils are encouraged to publicise this event and to send delegations.
Delegates are encouraged to bring their trades union councils' banners to the rally.
The Annual Conference of Trades Union Councils will take place on Sat/Sun 22-23 May (do you want to attend as a visitor?), Copthorne Hotel, Birmingham


Fighting back for MANUFACTURING - Join the Rally to save the future of manufacturing Saturday 22nd May 2004 Called by: GMB

Assemble: Broad Street, Birmingham 11 am Rally: Centenary Square, Birmingham ends 1 pm
SPEAKERS: Tony Woodley T&G General Secretary
Derek Simpson Amicus General Secretary
Debbie Coutter GMB Deputy General Secretary
Richard Burden MP Birmingham Northfield
The Rally to be Chaired by Gerard Coyne Regional Secretary TGWU

Thurs 10th June local & Euro elections

Festival dates for 2004 - bar worker volunteers needed for 27/29th August Leeds
TUC `Pay Up for Pensions' demonstration in London on Saturday 19th June

Sat. 17th July Ken Livingstone's London anti-racist annual Respect Festival

1000 protested against Le Pen in Brum. He barely got out of Manchester, before ending up in a tent in a field near Welshpool.

• Workers` Memorial Day, 28th April about 2 dozen attended.

• MAY DAY Saturday 1st May - good turnout over afternoon- twin themes of anti-fascism & dispelling myths of asylum.


TU branches affiliated for 2004:
Amicus Bilston, Amicus 13/D Craft, Amicus 0758, ASLEF, CWU (W.Mids&Worcs.), CYWU, FBU, GMB (B'ham General), GPMU, ISTC (Hall Palm), NASUWT, NULMW, NUT, TGWU 5/748, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Primary Care Trust (12,888 affiliated trade unionists)

April 2004 Secretary's Report Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC
www.wolvestuc.org.uk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TU branches affiliated for 2004: Amicus Bilston, Amicus 13/D Craft, Amicus 0758, ASLEF, CWU (W.Mids&Worcs.), CYWU, FBU, GPMU, ISTC (Hall Palm), NASUWT, NULMW, NUT, TGWU 5/748, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Primary Care Trust


Monday 19th April, 7.30pm - next Wolverhampton Stop the War Coalition meeting, convened by WB&D TUC, Bagot Arms, next to Avion Centre, Whitmore Reans.

Saturday 24th April Pensioners' Demo Leicester - details 024 76675840

Sunday 25th April - RUMOURS OF JEAN MARIE LE PEN VISITING FASCISTS AT A MEETING IN BRUM or WOLVES


• Workers` Memorial Day, Wed 28th April 2004 12.30 at WMDay tree - could delegates who are coming think about saying a few words so it is not the same speeches again. Do any branches want wreaths arranged? Contact secretary ASAP

• MAY DAY Saturday 1st May 2004 noon-4pm- being arranged as of this mailing date - venue confirmed Victoria pub, Gatis Street, Whitmore Reans URGENT HELP NEEDED BY COMMITTEE


• International Women's Day 2004 TUC Women's Committee event postponed to Sat 8th MAY, B'ham

Palestine Solidarity has called a national demo
SATURDAY MAY 15TH - THE WALL MUST FALL!

Anti-racism rally - 21st May 2004 -the Annual Conference of Trades Union Councils will take place on 22-23 May 2004 (do you want to attend as a visitor?)
at the Council House, Birmingham. On the eve of the Conference, Birmingham Trades Union Council will be hosting a rally against racism and fascism.
The rally will take place at 7.30pm on Friday 21 May, at the Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham.
Speakers: Unison President Dave Anderson, Cheryl Garvey from the Birmingham Race Action Partnership and Dr Mohammad Naseem, Chair of the Birmingham Central Mosque.
Trades union councils are encouraged to publicise this event and to send delegations. Delegates are encouraged to bring their trades union councils' banners to the rally.

Thurs 10th June local & Euro elections

Festival dates for 2004 - bar worker volunteers needed

16-18th July National Adventure Sports
27/29th August Leeds
18/19 September Thames Festival
TUC `Pay Up for Pensions' demonstration in London on Saturday 19th June

Sat. 17th July London anti-racist annual Respect Festival

Feb 2004 Secretary's Report Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC www.wolvestuc.org.uk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TU branches affiliated for 2004: Amicus Bilston, Amicus 13/D Craft, Amicus 0758, ASLEF, CWU (W.Mids&Worcs.), CYWU, FBU, GPMU, NASUWT, NUT, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General

Elected President Marie Taylor (CYWU)
Officers: Secretary Nick Kelleher (UNISON)
Treasurer John Grant (NATFHE)
Minutes Secretary Dave Joynson (UNISON)
Executive Committee: Satwant Sagoo, Paul Davis & Don Ash all UNISON 

Stop the War Coalition has called another national demo against the occupation of Iraq and in the wake of Hutton and the continued search for the reason for going to war.
SATURDAY MARCH 20TH
Travel to London by train or coach depending on numbers,
early to enquire about booking. Looks like it will be another big demo.

Monday 8th March '04, 7.30pm - next Wolverhampton Stop the War Coalition meeting, convened by WB&D TUC, Bagot Arms, next to Avion Centre, Whitmore Reans.


Holocaust Memorial Day, 27th January - co-sponsored by the City Council and Inter-Faith Group.
Good speakers and poetry written especially for the evening.
We were very pleased with the way it went and the positive outcome of future activity. About 40 people signed up to help with the anti-fascist election campaign work that is being planned. The Holocaust Memorial Day Statement of Commitment was signed by over 75 organisations and individuals with more coming in. We mounted an information display in the Civic Centre for 3 weeks. There was a response from the appeal to schools - poems from Kings school were displayed at the Civic and pictures from the Girls High at the Light House. We had coverage on Radio Wolf.

Thursday 4th March '04 Palestine Solidarity meeting, 7.30pm Dudley Road Community Centre. Next activity: Sat 20th March, leafleting Queens Sq, 12-2pm


Festival dates for 2004 - bar worker volunteers needed

14th March St Patrick's Festival - London
29th May Homelands
24/27th June Glastonbury
16/18th July Tolpuddle festival - Dorset.
17th July London Respect Festival
July National Adventure Sports
27/29th August Leeds
September UK pop-shows 

• Workers` Memorial Day, Wed 28th April 2004

• 10th Wolverhampton annual May Day Festival, Saturday 1st May 2004 - help needed on Committee

• International Women's Day 2004 TUC Women's Committee event postponed to Sat 8th MAY, B'ham

• Trades Union Council`s Conference 2004 is in Birmingham - do you want to attend as a visitor?
Friday 21st May, anti-fascist evening rally,
Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd May - conference Copthorne Hotel Birmingham

 

Jan 2004 Secretary's Supplementary Report Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TU branches already affiliated for 2004:

Amicus-MSF 13/D Craft, Amicus-MSF 0758, ASLEF, CWU (W.Mids & Worcs.), CYWU, FBU, GPMU, NASUWT, NUT, TGWU 5/836.

Nominations:

President Marie Taylor (CYWU)
Vice-President none received
Secretary Nick Kelleher (UNISON)
Treasurer John Grant (NATFHE)
Minutes Secretary Dave Joynson (UNISON)

Executive Committee: Satwant Sagoo, Paul Davis & Don Ash all UNISON General


Holocaust Memorial Day, 7-9pm Tuesday 27th January 2004 Friends Meeting House, Summerfield Road, West Park organised by WB&D TUC. Plans underway.


Thursday 5th February '04 Palestine Solidarity meeting, 7.30pm Dudley Road Community Centre, next to Gudwara at top of Dudley Road and opposite Billa's Bar.

Monday 9th February '04, 7.30pm - Wolverhampton Stop the War Coalition, convened by WB&D TUC, Bagot Arms, next to Avion Centre, Whitmore Reans. Next activity Sat 20th march anniversary of Iraq war

Festival dates for 2004 - bar worker volunteers needed 14th March St Patrick's Festival - London Southbank
29th May Homelands - Winchester dance all-nighter
24/27th June Glastonbury - there is a field in Somerset...
16/18th July Tolpuddle festival - Dorset.
17th July London Respect Festival
July National Adventure Sports Show
27/29th August, Leeds - the Reading of the North
September UK pop-shows
Advance notice:
Workers` Memorial Day, Wed 28th April 2004

10th Wolverhampton annual May Day Festival, Saturday 1st May 2004

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
 Secretary's Annual Report of Work 2003-4


WB&D TUC was established in 1865, following a period of strife between workers, and employers who had attempted to thwart the organisation of labour. 
It is now the local arm of the TUC, with delegates from the local unions. 
The Trades Union Council is an organising body for local union campaigns and the link between unions and the communities that they are part of.

www.wolvestuc.org.uk   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 PO Box 2917 Wolverhampton WV2 2YA   686613

WB&D TUC meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month (except August), 7.15pm, Civic Centre.  Entry through outside car park entrance.
All trade unionists are welcome to attend.
The EC meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month.
 
Outgoing  President   Marie Taylor  (CYWU)
Officers:  Vice-President  Rob Marris  (TGWU)
Secretary   Nick Kelleher  (UNISON)
Treasurer    John Grant  (NATFHE)
Minutes Secretary  Dave Joynson (UNISON)
Executive Committee: Satwant Sagoo, Paul Davis & Don Ash  all UNISON

TU Affiliations - 19 trade union branches affiliated to us with 11,600 affiliated members (similar to last year):
Amicus Craft 13/D, Amicus  0758, ASLEF, CWU (W.Midlands), CYWU, FBU, GMB 223 Rover, GMB X13, GPMU, NASUWT, NATFHE (Bilston), NATFHE (University), NATFHE (Wulfrun), NUT, POA, TGWU 5/748, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Healthcare.
Branches from ISTC, NULMW and UNISON failed to re-affiliate last year, but new GMB and NATFHE branches maintained our total affiliation.  There are still a number of local branches that do not affiliate which we must contact.

This year WB&D TUC affiliated to: Action for Southern Africa, Abortion Rights, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, Cuba Solidarity, Justice for Colombia, Liberty, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, TU CND, TU Friends of Searchlight, TU Friends of Palestine, TU Pensioners Action Association, Unity Campaign Against Racism & Fascism, Walsall WEA, W.Mids County Association of TUCs, W.Mids Low Pay Unit, W.Mids CND, W'ton May Day Committee, W’ton Pensioners Convention.

Attendance at meetings averaged 13.9, up on the last two years.  The delegate:visitor ratio increased as the call for action in our last Annual Report was heeded and some new branches affiliated.  Branches still need to attract new names to be put forward as delegates.  There is still a huge potential for increasing our affiliation base and delegates can assist by contacting unaffiliated branches with which they have dealings.  At the end of the year an application was made for a TUC grant to help us start recruiting Dudley area trade union branches at the request of the West Midlands County Association of Trade Union Councils, since Dudley TUC is now defunct.

A delegate was sent to the national Trades Union Councils' Conference in Bradford and observers to the Women's TUC, Black Workers’ TUC and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender TUC.  We also sent representatives to the West Midlands CATUC, some of whom also represented it at these conferences and the Midlands TUC.  We also had co-optees on W'ton City Council Scrutiny Panels.

Our meetings heard speakers on the following issues: domestic violence, victimised trade unionists, anti-war, anti-fascism, Nicaragua, Colombia, Mikey Powell campaign & sexual equality regulations as well as many workplace, conference and industrial reports.

The annual TUC Programme of Work for Trades Union Councils guides our activity.  Only through union strength can we win better rights at work and deliver a better quality of life for people throughout society.

Trades Union Councils are more important now than they have been for over a decade. With threats of racism and fascism, changes in the labour market and debates over the future of public services, the trade union voice in the community is as important as ever. The capacity of our trades council to provide a local response and to organise trade unionists into coalitions with other progressive forces is crucial.

People at work in the UK enjoy fewer rights than most people in the rest of Europe. But that doesn’t stop employers’ organisations from arguing for less ‘red tape’. What they really mean is there should be fewer rights for workers.  We owe it to the Holdens, Friction Dynamex and William Cook workers whom we have supported over recent years, to continue to campaign for protection from day one from unfair treatment or dismissal and the right to take industrial action, including solidarity action, without  breach of contract or dismissal.

The infamous PFI, where entire NHS services are built and run by big business, student top-up fees and Foundation Hospitals will continue to dog New Labour in the coming year.  The newly built publicly funded Heart & Lung Centre in Wolverhampton proves the lie that privatisation is the only option for the NHS.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Wolverhampton increased over the last year to 6,295 (6.2%). The West Midlands rate increased to 5.8% but nationally it dropped to 2.4%.

The frustration of the hopes and aspirations of trade unionists on a whole range of issues has become more difficult to live with and the last year has seen a continued rise in the number of industrial unrest.


Workers’ Memorial Day

It was marked in Wolverhampton for the 12th year, held again in conjunction with the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission.  There were speeches, a service and 249 balloons were released in Queens’ Square to mark all those killed while working last year.  We got good TV, radio and press coverage and then further follow-up coverage later in the year.  The council lowered the Civic flags to half-mast. 

Corporate lobbying
Unions sponsored cards attached to the balloons, giving details of the year's theme - Corporate Killing.  Within days there was a government announcement of forthcoming legislation and we received assurances from ministers and MPs.  However over the summer, the minister was changed and public services were rumoured to be exempted.  Finally, it was backdoor corporate lobbying that paid off, as when it came to the Queen’s speech there was nothing announced for the forthcoming Parliament.  For another year there will be meagre fines for the manslaughter of working people and company directors will continue to profit from their abuses of health and safety in the knowledge that they are still above the law.

Building work has finished and the Workers` Memorial Day Tree is again accessible and now with better access, next to the war memorial in St Peters Square. 
This year 28th April will be on a Wednesday.

Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living


Coventry TUC again organised a coach to the annual Tolpuddle march & festival, which they made available to our delegates. 
This year it will be Sunday 18th July .

Cuba Solidarity – the NUT has helped establish a Cuba Solidarity Group in the City this year, which has been promoted via our website.
01902 429591      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Challenging racists and fascist organisations

Racism is an issue for all trade unionists as there are at least 350,000 black trade union members in Britain.  Trades Union Councils are committed to tackling racism and fascism in all its forms. We must play an active part in preventing the rise of the far right by supporting those communities being targeted and challenging the arguments of racist groups that attempt to intimidate and spread fear, particularly myths about asylum-seekers. We must recognise and tackle the social deprivation and unemployment which far-right organisations have exploited to increase racial hatred.

The Wolverhampton Race Equality Council was closed down earlier in the year after many years of service to the city.  We have been excluded from the initial consultation by the council who are seeking to establish something to replace it.

27th January 2001 was the first official national Holocaust Memorial Day.  In partnership with the City Council, we have organised a meeting for Tuesday 27th January 2004 at the Friends Meeting House to mark the day, and discuss responses to expected fascist activity, inviting trade union, community and religious groups.


Would your members like FREE ENTRY to a music festival?

Festival dates for 2004 - bar worker volunteers needed

London St Patrick's Festival  (14th March)
Homelands all-nighter             (29th May)
Glastonbury            (24/27th June)
National Adventure Sports Show     (July)
Leeds          (27/29th August)
UK pop-shows                 (September)

What do you get?

• free entry to a festival (worth up to £100)
• free meal and 2 pints each day
• free festival T-shirt
• subsidised bar, open until you drop
• hot showers, flush toilets & secure camping

What is expected of you?

• work a 6 hour shift, each day of a festival
• pulling or serving pints, no experience needed
• hard work, reliability and a sense of humour
• if you offer to work, you must be available
• transport - if not, there's usually space in a car
• you'll also need a tent for the weekend festivals

-leaflets are NOW available from WB&DTUC for branches to distribute their members-

What's it all for?   
Wolverhampton TUC gets £5.60/hour for each worker from the Workers' Beer Company
(set up by Wandsworth & Battersea TUC).
We raised £2,000 this year making a total of over £10,000
 in the last five years.  This has allowed us to increase activity, spending it on solidarity to strikers, advertising, general recruitment campaigning and all the other events that we help organise such as May Day and hiring coaches to national demos.


Fire Fighters’ Dispute – the FBU’s campaign for fair pay continued throughout the year and was eventually settled only then for employers to renege.  New Labour sensing defeat did the old Tory anti-union trick of passing legislation imposing terms and conditions on the FBU’s members.

www.wolvestuc.org.uk

Our website has proved a great success and we now have about 400 hits each month, double this time last year.  It is kept fully updated and has been invaluable especially in regard to organising anti-war protests - stimulating many new contacts.  TU job adverts, all local activities and general union information are put on.  We encourage union branches to submit their forthcoming events and campaigns for posting on the site.
 
 “Trades councils, many of which have been stagnating in recent years, have found in the internet a possible means of revitalising themselves….But it is to the West Midlands that my unofficial award of trades councils internet champions must go. The region provides two fantastic but very different sites originating from Birmingham and Wolverhampton.  Birmingham's front page is packed with news, information and hyperlink services. Wolves looks Spartan by comparison, but don't be deceived. It is concise, direct and pretty comprehensive. “   Labour Research  Feb.’03

Much information is now sent out by email in addition to the monthly mailshot to delegates.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your email address to be added to our contact list.

 Palestine - A local group of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was set up with the help of WB&D TUC and is working well and reports regularly to our delegates.
There is a huge media bias against the Palestinians and a huge misunderstanding amongst trade unionists and the public.  This is no different to the public perception at the time of Apartheid South Africa.  We shouldn’t forget the support by successive British governments of that vicious state, and their condemnations of Mandela and the ANC’s so-called terrorism. 
The group meets on the first Thursday of each month, 7.30pm Dudley Road Community Centre and can be contacted directly:
01902 450640  or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Friction Dynamex victory declaration was perhaps premature. Despite winning one of Britain’s longest disputes at Employment Tribunal, the 86 TGWU workers may still lose everything.  Craig Smith the US owner, declared the car parts manufacturer bankrupt, split it into three, renamed it Dynamex Friction and reopened overnight at the Caernarfon factory.  The TGWU are still pursuing this loophole with the government. 
WB&D TUC has supported these strikers and a number of Wolverhampton trade unionists took part in demos in North Wales and visited the picket line which was maintained consistently for over 30 months, until days before Xmas when a vote was taken to end it.

TGWU workers were locked out during a week’s strike over proposed removal of statutory health & safety rights, cuts to holidays, ending of shift payments and 15% pay cut. The employer refused to negotiate and sacked them, despite New Labour’s employment legislation, which was meant to give workers 8 weeks of protection while in dispute. The strike received tremendous support from people and even businesses in the area.

AEEU/GMB dispute at William Cook
3 years ago, Wm. Cook Heavy Foundry castings plant in Sheffield, proposed pay cuts on top of 5 years of pay freeze and a previous £50/week cut.  Resulting in a 100% strike ballot.  Despite operating within the anti-trade union legislation, they were locked out and sacked before the 8 weeks protection granted under the law. 
We attended a demo in Sheffield in their support this summer prior to their E.T. victory.  On the last day possible, Cook appealed, but were refused.  Wm. Cook legal team appealed again and a hearing is expected May 2004. 

They are existing on £45 a week strike pay with little else.
‘William Cook Strike Fund’
c/o Eddie Grimes, 116 Richmond Park Crescent, Sheffield S13 8HG
They also request reports of their dispute be put in union newsletters.

May Day Festival, 1st May

WB&D TUC is part of the Wolverhampton May Day Committee.  Despite a last minute change of venue and election night, it again went well, attracting 200 people again.  Sponsored by UNISON West Midlands with a Jobs Not War theme. As well as our speakers, we were entertained by Indian dance displays, dohl players, live music and Front Line Radio sound system. There were stalls, menhdi, bouncy castle and an Asian buffet. We received radio and press coverage.  This year will be the Wolverhampton May Day Committee’s 10th year and a Saturday so a bigger event is planned.                      
More help will be needed so VOLUNTEER NOW.


• Peace

Internationalism is fundamental to trade unionism.  As we well know here, the views of working people are not necessarily those, which are represented by governments.  We have more in common with each other than we have differences.  The working classes all over the world have the same needs and wish to work, so that we can provide for ourselves and our families. The ruling classes’ agendas are often determined by their ability to bully and steal.
Last year’s Annual Report warned about the recklessness and dangers of Britain’s new foreign and military policy and the likelihood of a succession of wars to subjugate divergent political cultures. Previous military interventions, in the Balkans and Afghanistan, were bad enough, and it is likely that Britain committed war crimes in the Balkans, but there was a form of international consensus about the existence of a problem of some sort. To invade Iraq in opposition to the UN, however, was of a different dimension. 

Hypocrisy
The hypocrisy of our government’s never-now mentioned “ethical foreign policy” was demonstrated most obviously by the crocodile tears and mock outrage of the gassing of Kurds by the Ba’athists a decade too late.  Why did the passage of time make it all so imminent?  Well allegiances change, the Ba’athists fell out of favour with the US and thus UK, as control of oil became more essential.  Tony Blair and his ministers, none of whom had backed George Galloway or other progressives and those in the trade union movement who had highlighted and condemned these atrocities when they actually happened.

Once again our bourgeois democracy failed.  Despite massive constituency post-bags begging Labour MPs to oppose war, the thousands of demonstrations, meetings and protests, including the biggest gathering of people in the entire history of Britain, Blair forced MPs to choose him or war.  10,000 dead civilian men, women and children later, Blair still has his job.

Stop The War
We convened a local Stop The War group which has continued to meet and plan activity throughout the year.  We sent more coaches to demos than ever before, involving hundreds of new people.  Links were built with other groups and the Light House cinema, where we held film shows and meetings.  Without our organisational backing it is unlikely that such mobilisations would have been possible.  At the outbreak of war a thousand strong demo was led through the city by the trades council.  Interestingly, there were never any demonstrations in support of war, New Labour never had the balls to see how many people would have turned up.

No amount of spin has located any Weapons of Mass Destruction. The “justifications” were untrue, Iraq under Saddam Hussain was not demonstrably a threat to other nations. 

Civil Liberties
This so-called War Against Terrorism is also a War Against Civil Liberties.  The racist 2001 Terrorism Act is in force with 14 foreign residents of Britain languishing without charge and indefinitely in Belmarsh prison.   Nine Britons, three from Tipton, are being tortured in Camp Delta with nothing being done by their government about it.  The richest and most powerful country in the world is sticking two fingers up to human rights in defiance of all international law, holding and torturing 660 in Guantanamo Bay, and others in British-loaned Diego Garcia, Yemen, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.  The Red Cross and Amnesty were thrown out, no lawyers have access to these caged prisoners.  After 2 years no one has been charged as a terrorist or as anything else.  It seems, like the Nazis, the US government also has a racial theory of “unter-menschen”.


People in the rest of the world no longer admire the US and Britain or wish to emulate our “democracies”   –   now they just fear us.
 


Future – the TUC carried out research on trades council activity.  We already do much of the good practice identified and we are certainly in a much better state than most. The number of TUCs has halved in less than a decade and at the current rate of decline could disappear completely in the next.  County Associations of TUCs, in rural areas particularly, are having problems.  West Midlands CATUC is however doing better than most and links and activity are co-ordinated by it.
The TUC and Regional TUC are not helping as trades union councils are largely ignored by them.
Increased participation by trade union branches and delegates is of course the key.  Responsibility needs to be undertaken by more delegates.  This year has been one of our most active in recent times and we are one of the leading co-ordinators of political activity in the City.  Our potential is much bigger though and we must fulfil this role.
I don’t want to be the last Secretary of WB&D TUC.