April 2011

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Minutes – Thursday 21st April 2011

  1. Introductions to delegates and visitors, new and old. Bro.Bostock in Chair.

Attendance: SISTER: Kelsey (CWU)    BROTHERS:  Rahimi (UNITE 0758M),Fraser, Everall, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Purchase & Marris (UNITE 5/836), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Thomas (Community) 

Apologies: Bro.Cole (NUT), Grant (UCU), Grant (NUT), Marriott (UNISON Gen), Juss (GMB)   Sis. Taylor (CYWU-UNITE), Petford & Sebastian (UNITE 0758M)

2) Minutes of February & March meetings – agreed correct and matters arising: to write re Agent Orange & Vietnam EDM1366 and Morning Star EDM1334 direct questions to Pat McFadden & response to Emma Reynolds

3) Executive Committee not held as leafleting on that night. Correspondence to be actioned:

  1. Abortion Rights briefing – model letters copied for delegates
  2. May 6th Venezuela Solidarity’s South of Border film showing 7pm Newhampton arts centre
  3. "Hardest hit March" May 11th – Assemble from 11.30am on the Embankment
  4. Various press reports of delegates’ activities
  5. Midlands TUC Pensioners conference April 14 – Bro.Deacon attended a third of last year’s attendance; details poorly circulated. Lacking purpose, no outcome to meeting. Sis Pidgeon spoke well. There is a need to link pensioner campaigning to TU issues.
  6. Pensioners TU Action Assoc – seeking delegate to next meeting 23rd March, details to Bro.Deacon
  7. Workers Beer Company just 2 places for Glastonbury allocated
  8. Xmas party final profit was £142.50
  9. Sent
  10. Re affiliation campaign to repeal anti-union laws £35
  11. Len Aldis responses from MPs re EDM1366
  12. POA thanks for £500 donation


4) Reports:

a)  Future of Chainmakers’ festival – Sis Kelsey gave report from Midlands TUC EC. Festival no longer to be at Black Country Museum, new venue still being sought, not cancelled.

b) delegates' workplace reports – UNISON. 250 announced redundancies were negotiated down to 26 only 8 of whom were their members.

c) POA  – Birmingham prison cheaper to run than many open prisons yet to be privatised. Av. Cost £21,500/yr/prisoner. Average is £28k yet private prisons are costing £35k/yr/prisoner.  It’s the central hub of prison transfer in country. Tenders on other prisons in June, all up for grabs – campaign and legal challenges running. Threats to brand new Featherstone2; built by taxpayers money to be handed over to G4S. Brinsford & Featherstone threatened to become part of private regional cluster group.

d) Anti-cuts No major loss of funds on coach organisation – national demo March 26th. Ex&Star coverage of our coach, also featured in music video, delegates on BBC radio and were organisers 8 of 10 local coaches.  Our online NHS campaign had a poor response

e) Anti-fascist campaign 5,000 leaflets for each of Bushbury N, Bilston N & Springvale linking with anti-cuts. Bushbury 95% complete, Bilston 40%, Springvale next weekend. Methodist church have offered use of venues for leafleting – very helpful. Wolverhampton Together March 17th report noted. To write to Vicar re picture of church on anti-fascist leaflet

f) Black Workers TUC report to be taken at next meeting

g) Secretary’s reports – amendment accepted: Wolverhampton’s LibDem mayor was recently arrested with regard to a cannabis farm.

May Day Sunday 1st May – help setting up needed.  £100 pledged from CWU plus stall booked.  Workers Memorial Day 28th April – wreath £25 to be delivered to venue. Sis Kelsey to read Womens’ TUC poem Empty Shoes.  Adverts for WMDay and 1st May in Morning Star

d)  Palestine Solidarity campaign – stall at Mark Thomas event next week. Boycott leafleting Friday 13 May 5-6.30pm @ASDA. Postcards to be distributed in next mailing, an initiative as a result of the motion passed at last TUCongress.

5) Debate: AV or not AV, that is the question.  Bro.Kelleher spoke against AV in favour of proportional STV system on behalf of the Communist Party. Bro.Purchase spoke in favour of FPTP and in favour of the recall of MPs. Bro. Deacon made point that absurd claims coming from both official campaigns; different electoral systems currently in use already for different types of elections. No points were made in favour of AV.

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