W'ton, Bilston & District TUC Secretary's Report November '01

2001 Affiliations
CWU(W.Midlands&Worcs), CYWU, ISTC (Wednesfield No.2), ISTC (Monmore Tubes), ISTC (Hall Palm), FBU, GMB, GPMU, NASUWT, NATFHE (Bilston), NATFHE (Wulfrun), NUT, MSF Craft 13/D, MSF 558, POA, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Health, UNISON Healthcare. TGWU 5/748 to pay still

No to War!

A public meeting was held with 3 excellent speakers Muff Sourani, Hannif Kamis(Palestine Solidarity) and Brian Boshell(CND), although the turnout was small compared to other meetings held locally by TUC's. We got a write up in the Express&Star and a radio interview. As a result a coach was booked and there was an expectation that we would work with the Stop the War Coalition group that set up at the same time.

Wolverhampton TUC has booked a coach for the anti-war demo on SUNDAY 18th NOVEMBER in London.
This demo is expected to be even bigger than the 50,000 who demonstrated in October.
Coach leaves 8.30am Faulkland Street Coach Park and we'll return from London about 4pm.
Tickets are £10 waged £5 unwaged. Please contact me asap as we need to fill the coach quickly so that we know whether to book another.


A number of trade unions have made executive statements condemingnthe bombing of Afghanistan including: UNISON, FBU, NATFHE, CWU, ASLEF, TSSA, RMT

Banged-up - play about prison racism based around the cases of Satpal Ram and Alton Manning. Arena Theatre, W'ton Thurs 22nd and Fri 23rd November

W'ton, Bilston & District TUC Secretary's Report July '01


Tolpuddle - there will be a coach from Coventry 7.30am Sunday 15th July ring Norman Brackenridge immediately if interested.

GATS seminar Wed 5th September 7.30-9pm B'ham Co.House - the West Mids CATUC is relaunching itself as a campaigning organisation and will be holding a seminar with an impressive range of speakers. Other Trades Union Councils will be participating (Coventry has booked a minibus) so it is important that we get involved in a similar manner. Details enclosed, please fill in registration forms as this will help the organisers. Please also raise this with your our union branches as this is of interest to all trades Union Councils will be participating (Coventry has booked a minibus) so it is important that we get involved in a similar manner. Details enclosed, please fill in registration forms as this will help the organisers. Please also raise this with your our union branches as this is of interest to all trades unionists.

Sept 13-17 Fete de L'Humanite and Euro Employment Rights conference + 4 nights in Paris £150 (Mick Rice B'ham TUC 0121 685 1070

TUC anti-fascist events are being planned in Lancashire for later this year. It is expected that transport will be organised locally.

2001 Affiliations
CWU(W.Midlands&Worcs), CYWU, ISTC (Wednesfield No.2), ISTC (Monmore Tubes), ISTC (Hall Palm), FBU, GMB, GPMU, NASUWT, NATFHE (Bilston), NATFHE (Wulfrun), NUT, MSF Craft 13/D, MSF 558, POA, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Health, UNISON Healthcare. TGWU 5/748 to pay still

There are vacancies on the Executive.

 

W'ton, Bilston & District TUC
Secretary's Report June '01


General election - CONGRATULATIONS to our President Rob Marris who is now Wolverhampton SW Labour MP. His campaign team did him proud and brought in a lot of volunteers and kept up the vote. We wish him every success and expect him to do a good job and continue in the vein of his victory speech calling for a more radical approach from the new Labour government. I am sure that our delegates will be too!

As part of a worrying trend of increased fascist activity, the NF stood in W'ton SE and got over 550 votes seemingly without a leaflet drop or campaign, which makes their vote even worse. Did anyone come across any fascist activity?

Festivals
Homelands all-nighter raised £280. Fleadh weekend in London is happening this week.
There maybe some places left for Sports &Adventure Show X-treme sports festival with Run DMC headlining near Glastonbury June 21st weekend.

Still seeking places for Leeds Festival 3days at end of August on bank holiday weekend. Camping, entry, some food and drink all free for 6hrs/day not bar work experience needed, likely to be working on backstage bar agaign.

Iraqi sanctions petition not one constituency petitions was returned. We had previously had a discussion and made a agreement to circulate these petitions which I eventually did but nobody else dd as they had agreed. The bombing and deaths continue.

2001 Affiliations
CWU(W.Midlands&Worcs), CYWU, ISTC (Wednesfield No.2), ISTC (Monmore Tubes), ISTC (Hall Palm), FBU, GMB, GPMU, NASUWT, NATFHE (Bilston), NATFHE (Wulfrun), NUT, MSF Craft 13/D, MSF 558, POA, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Health, UNISON Healthcare. TGWU 5/748 to pay still


There are vacancies on the Executive.

W'ton, Bilston & District TUC
Secretary's Report May '01

2001 Affiliations (so far)
CWU(W.Midlands&Worcs), CYWU, ISTC (Wednesfield No.2), ISTC (Monmore Tubes), ISTC (Hall Palm), FBU, GMB, GPMU, NASUWT, NATFHE (Bilston), NATFHE (Wulfrun), NUT, MSF Craft 13/D, MSF 558, POA, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Health, UNISON Healthcare.
TGWU 5/748 cheque to follow
Some branches are still to affiliate and there are a number of other local branches which have not recently affiliated. Do what you can to get new affiliations, they are the future of our TUC
There are vacancies on the Executive.

I asked in my last report for delegates and branches who publicised our AGM or put the posters up on noticeboards as we request, to contact me. This was because the arsonists who have attacked and threatened me may well have got my address from that particular mailing and it would be useful to know as it may shed a little light on the attacks. Only one delegate has reponded. Does that mean nobody publicises the meetings or nobody reads the report?
Our own delegate survey raised a number of issues which were addressed in order to widen the appeal of the meetings, the very minimum that delegates can do is to try and bring in other trade unionists. As secretary I have exhausted all avenues as regards further expansion and without help, our meetings will never expand and we will suffer the fate of other local TUCs..

Workers Memorial Day Sat 28th April. We had less than half of those who turned up last year. Saturday it should have been easier to attend for many people. It did work very well though. I was interviewed three times on local radio stations about asbestos, this year's theme. Flags were again flown at half mast, more speeches were made, a banner was made to publicise us and we even sung a song!

Wolverhampton May Day Festival - surprisingly as big if not bigger than last year with over 200 adults and kids, despite not overwhelming support from delegates.. Speeches, stalls, food and kids entertainment went down well though we did have trouble with some of the entertainment not turning up. As I continually stress, the very small involvement from our TUC in the May Day Committee is holding it back and organisiation is letting us down.

General election - as you know our President is standing in W'ton SW for Labour, help is urgently needed ( Jane

Iraqi sanctions - Constituency petitions enclosed please get filled in as a priority as deadline is May 23rd

ed.

W'ton, Bilston & District TUC
Secretary's Report April '01

2001 Affiliations (so far)
CWU(W.Midlands&Worcs), CYWU, ISTC (Wednesfield No.2), ISTC (Monmore Tubes), ISTC (Hall Palm), GPMU, NASUWT, NATFHE (Bilston), NUT, MSF Craft 13/D, MSF 558, POA, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Health, UNISON Healthcare.
GMB, TGWU 5/748 cheques to follow
Other branch affiliations are overdue so please follow up your own branch since I waste a lot of time doing this over the year, which could be spent campaigning. There are vacancies on the Executive.

The meeting that we co-hosted with the AEEU and MSF branches, Labour, why a 2nd term? went very well except for a poor attendance. It seemed that the meeting had missed out to Who shot Phil Mitchell! Hopefully Ken Barlow won't get shot on election day.

Enclosed is a letter from the May Day Committee seeking funds for this year's event. It should have been in the special mailing that you received a few days ago.

My thanks to everyone who has wished me well and offered their support to me after the two recent arson attacks and hate mail that I have sufferred. From some of the information that has been forthcoming it seems possible that the attacks were as a result of having a Searchlight speaker at the AGM, with my address publicised with that info. I would very much appreciate it if delegates and branches who did publicise that meeting or put the posters up on noticeboards as we request, could contact me.

Workers Memorial Day Sat 28th April 10am prompt St Peters Sq. We had 40 people turn up last year so we need to maintain that momentum and with it being a Saturday it should be easier to attend for many people. Details were sent out in the special mailing. Remember to bring wreaths from your branches and be prepared to say a few words on H&S or asbestos if you can. More contributions will be the making of this event.

May 1st Tuesday, 7pm onwards Dunstall Hill Community centre - with no election for another month there are no excuses not to attend this regionally renowned event. It has and still is coming together at the last moment. Publicity has been a bit late due the the recent problems that I have had but it is on its way. It is important that this doesn't damage the event. Please contact me with offers of help on the night or pre-publicity distribution. If you can circlate flyers, posters or programmes then let me knoe immediately.

APRIL Sat 21st Gujarat Earthquake Appeal street collection 10-4pm Queen Sq.
Sun 22nd Gujarat Earthquake Appeal Mayor's Civic function details to be confirmed
Sat 28th Workers Memorial Day - morning event W'ton. Likely to precede transport for the TU event in Manchester as part of the Campaign For a Living Wage.
MAY Tues 1st International Workers' Day 7th annual event evening W'ton
Sat 5th B'ham TUC's May Day
Mon 7th Chesterfield May Day
16/17/18 November Raise Your Banners festival of political song Sheffield

 

 

W'ton, Bilston & District TUC Secretary's Report February '01

2001 Affiliations (so far)
CWU(W.Midlands&Worcs), CYWU, ISTC (Wednesfield No.2), GMB, GPMU, NASUWT, NUT,MSF Craft 13/D, MSF 558, POA, TGWU 5/748, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Health

Other branch affiliations are overdue now so please follow up your own branch since I waste a lot of time doing this over the year which could be spent campaigning.

Officers elected for 2001:
President: Rob Marris Vice-President: Norman Brackenridge
Secretary: Nick Kelleher Minutes Secretary Dave Joynson
Treasurer: John Grant

Other members of the Executive Committee elected: Satwant Sagoo, Bob Tinsley

Publicity Officer: Don Ash

Thanks to all the delegates who offered their support after my arson atteack.

WB&DTUC Secretary's Annual Report of Work for year ending 2000
__________________________________________________

In his new year message, The TUC's general secretary John Monks emphasised the related priorities of jobs and manufacturing.  He pointed out that full employment is a realistic demand, not wishful thinking, though no Labour leader since the late John Smith has highlighted this crucial issue.

Official unemployment or claimant count which it is euphemistically and more accurately known as, stood at over 960,000 in Britain in November, down almost 140,000 on last year  This 12% fall was not matched in the West Midlands where there was a 5% drop.  In Wolverhampton, official unemployment is 6,758 down less than 2% in a year. 

Reality is that there are 3 million people who are either not drawing benefits or have been shunted off the jobless roll by governmental tinkering over the years but who would welcome the offer of work.  Job losses at Goodyear and the knock on effect that they will cause, can only further demonstrate the absolute need for the government to dramatically intervene in the economy and evolve a real strategy to bring about full employment.  Manufacturing industry, the heart of our local economy, and so fundamental to the national economy, must be supported and redeveloped.

When Thatcher expressed her hatred of our class and our unions, by laying waste to much of Britain's industrial heritage, the Tories claimed that manufacturing jobs would be replaced by service and finance jobs.  Trade unionists defending manufacturing were accused of living in the past and of failing to appreciate  the opportunities of a new post-industrial era.  Yet hundreds of thousands of banking, insurance and other finance jobs have gone to the wall as mergers and takeovers have proliferated.  Manufacturing has continued to slide partly as a result of a euro weak against the pound, dollar, yen and amongst a multitude of others, the Ugandan schilling and Russian rouble, and partly because of corporate decisions to relocate to other countries.  Relocations have occurred due to the ease in Britain compared with other countries, employers can lay off workers and low wage, low cost economies especially in eastern europe.

In virtually every circumstance, our Labour government has floundered, offering tea, sympathy and advice on looking for new jobs, but accepting as given the right of transnational corporations to operate without constraint.  They have restricted their intervention to slashing corporate tax to amongst the lowest in europe, rejecting any increase in the Tories' kid-glove levels of income tax for the rich, cutting red-tape to attract overseas investment and remostrating how anti-union it is here.  Bending over backwards for transnational corporations is no guarantee that they will honour their commitments or retain their investments stakes, as many countries could testify.

The government must insist on firms implementing personnel and union-recognition policies  appropriate to the 21st century, but this need not mean incarcerating us in the eurozone.  The EU favours putting corporate profitability before workers' rights and encouraging company mergers that threaten jobs while creating EU-wide global competitors in various sectors.  The battle for full employment begins here not in the secretive decision-making forums of europe.


Affiliations
21 trade union branches affiliated to us; (down on last year) with 12,289 affiliated members, (down on last year), : ASLEF, CWU(W.Midlands), CYWU, FBU, GMB(W70/Willenhall), GPMU, ISTC(Monmore Tubes), MSF Craft 13/D, MSF 0558, NASUWT, NATFHE(Bilston), NATFHE(Wulfrun), NULMW, NUT, POA, TGWU 5/748, TGWU 5/836, UNISON General, UNISON Health, UNISON Healthcare, USDAW.

Meetings averaged 16.4, the highest in recent years.  This is very encouraging but there is still room for more delegates.  The attendance is probably rising due to the number of visitors now attending, since we opened up meetings to all trade unionists as visitors.  There is a huge potential for increasing our affiliation base particularly within the TGWU, whichb wasn’t tackled successfully by the EC last year.  Recently all trade unions in the region were contacted to supply lists of local branches but few unions have so far responded and relatively few new branches have been identified.  Delegates can assist by contacting unaffiliated branches with which they have dealings.  We can supply speakers.

This year we affiliated to: ACTSA, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, CODIR, Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Liberty, National Abortion Campaign, TU CND, Walsall WEA(H&S), W.Mids County Association of Trade Union Councils, W.Mids Low Pay Unit, W'ton Race Equality Council.

A delegate was sent to the national Trades Union Councils' Conference and an observer to the Women's TUC, Black Workers TUC and Lesbian & gay TUC

Motions - maybe a lack of activity in branches or perhaps oversight or ignorance of us, but only two motions were submitted by a branch in support of the US journalist on death-row Mumia Abu Jamal, and in support of the flood victims of Orissa, India.

Workers' Memorial Day, April 28th . Workers' Memorial Day - over 40 people attended the services, speeches and wreath-laying, double last year's record attendance and we attracted press and radio reports before and after the day.  The theme was young people’s H&S.

International Workers Day - as part of the Wolverhampton May Day Committee we took part in the organising for this year’s May Day Festival,held at Dunstall Community Centre.  West Midlands UNISON sponsored the event, highlighting their Campaign for a Living Wage.  It has continued to grow and the 6th year was again the biggest ever with up to 200 people attending.  The stalls worked well again and publicity was pofessionally designed and printed.  Attempts were made to further involve the Labour Party.  £1000 was spent as the stops were pulled out for this year, so if this was not to be as good as it will get, then there will need to be a wider group of people on the Committee.

Some campaigning was done in support of the TGWU Lufthansa and the GMB Foframe strikes which were both settled after long and bitter disputes.

Music Festivals - for the second year we organised teams of young trade unionists to work on the bars at music festivals.  We worked backstage at each festival this summer which reflects the Workers Beer Company’s confidence in our group and meant a more pleasuable time for us.  We raised £2,100 at Homelands, Fleadh, Glastonbury,  Leeds and new years eve festivals.  Most of our 20 workers came from UNISON, though there were some from MSF and TGWU.  Half of the monet raised goes on adverts or donations to the Morning Star and the rest equals the entire year’s TU affiliation fees.  This has alleviated the need to raise affiliation fees and has allowed us to be more generous in our donations to strikers.
Publicity leaflets will be supplied in late March to branches for this year's festivals.  Widespread circulation could gain involvement from your younger members and as has happened this year, acted as a recruitment tool.

Press coverage - despite no Publicity Officer we have been in the press more than in recent years over May Day, Workers Memorial Day, Skychefs, Rover demo plus general quotes.

Other Speakers addressed council on a variety of issues over the year: Rover, Safe Britain’s Fishing campaign, Featherstone depleted-uranium fire, media liks, globalisation, Iraq, Future of WMBC.  In addition there were reports from the World Solidarity Conference in Cuba, anti-sanctions on Iraq conferences and regular workplace reports.


Industrial disputes - the campaign to save Rover gave rise the biggest demonstration in Britain this year with many of our delegates amongst the 80,000 in Birmingham.  The future of the Longbridge plant along with much of Britain’s remaining car industry remains in the balance.

The 600 UNISON Dudley Group of Hospitals strikers remain one of the largest groups involved in one of  the longest running disputes in Britain today.  They have been on strike seven times for up to three weeks at a time since last summer, against plans to transfer their jobs from the NHS to the private sector.  170 jobs are threatened under a PFI scheme that would also see the loss of 70 beds.  Just beforeXmas the Government finally directly intervened but failed to guarantee the workers future in the NHS so they are fighting on.  We need to expand the levels of our support as their campaign further intensifies.

Other work - the campaign to bring justice to the racist killers of Jason and Errol McGowan began to gain momentum with a big demo in Telford on the anniversary of Jason’s death.  The police launched an investigation only to close it down again.
Wolverhampton Race Equality Council’s Diversity 2000 failed to come to fruition depite the efforts of our delegate to it.
One of our delegates begame support crew as an Bury TUC unemployed workers' march came through our area.  We linked the John O'Groats to Lands End marchers with visiting South African Trade Unionists who we were hosting.
An invitation to speak to a local school about trade unions, was taken up.
Work wil continue on the campaign to lift sanctions on Iraq and for an end to the continued bombing by Britain and the US ten years after their war against Iraq began.  A constituency based petition in the run up to the election will be the initial focus.

The coming year
Continuing from our survey at the start of last year, we will continue to open up meetings and make them more accessible.
We could apply for a TUC Development Grant to set up a website.  It would primarily be to post duplications of the mailings that we send out but could easily(?) be expanded into much more as Birmingham TUC has done.

Thanks to the executive committee for it's work and to UNISON General for copying the mailings.

Good luck also goes to our President, Rob Marris, who was successful in becoming the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wolverhampton South West.  In a likely election year,with his abilities and a lot of hard work from him and some of us, he will keep Wolverhampton City Labour for years to come.

Nick Kelleher, outgoing Secretary,  9 Jan 2001