February 2006

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC

Sisters: Halfpenny (NUT), Ceresa (UNISON),  Taylor (CYWU)
Brothers:  Kelleher (UNISON), Grant (NATFHE),  Baynham (AMICUS), Deacon (UNISON), Cole (NUT),  Dolan (COMMUNITY), Davis (UNISON), observers: CS (GMB),  Millington (AMICUS), Goodall(UNISON),
Apologies –Marris(TGWU), Muir(CYWU), Ash (UNISON),  Farmer( UNISON)  Mansell-Green ( the speaker)
Bro. Dolan  was welcomed as a new member to the meeting.

2. The minutes of the last meeting were agreed to be a true record, MATTERS ARISING Letter sent as a response to UNISON health branch disaffiliation but no response
3.1.4  Letter to be sent to councillors re FLAG Staff Association
3.1.11  Data Protection Agency Scam letter to be sent to Blackpool Trading Standards and Rob Marris MP

3.1   No Executive Committee report as no meeting
3.2  Correspondence:
3.2.2   We do not appear to be covered regarding Community Centre Hirers Liability insurance.  Secretary to contact Councillor Peter O’Neil re May Day
3.2.4   Anti BNP activities.  BNP leafleted part of Wednesfield North.  BNP may be standing in Bushbury.  name?  Wednesfield south and north have highest white population in Wolverhampton.  Leafleting will need to be done against BNP in Wednesfield North, fallings Park and Low Hill.  How are BNP recruiting local people?  We need to monitor situation.  BNP have formed ‘union’ Solidarity for racist trade unionists kicked out of other unions and this has been recognised.  Would it be worth contacting Midlands TUC about this?
3.2.6    Delegates informed of Alan Marriot’s desire to implement some local trade union courses.
3.2.9 H S E consultation on control of asbestos.  Pat McFadden MP does not sign early day motions,  Renew our call to say we want extra coating staff to be licensed.   Secretary to write to Pat McFadden for an explanation as to why he does not sign early day motions.
3.2.19  6th March, Loughborough, Domestic Violence is a Workplace Issue – daytime event.  This issue is not taken seriously enough by Wolverhampton Council.  Details to be sent to A Dokov and Louise Miles to encourage them to go to this event
3.2.20  Confusion about campaign against closure of the Eye Infirmary when Walsall WEA believes there is asbestos in the building.  Suggest  Walsall contact UNISON hospital branch for clarification.
3.2.21 Affiliate to Labour Research rather than ACTSA which is no  longer a campaigning group but more a charitable organisation now.  We need to  ensure we get the right information from Labour Research.
3.2.28 Agreed affiliations Walsall WEA £20, Abortion Rights, TU friends of Palestine £10, Cuba Solidarity £30
No further discussion as time for the Speaker
a) Secretary – NONE due to time
b) Treasurer- NONE due to time
c) Pensions Campaign- NONE due to time
d) TUC Disability Conference written report but NO oral, due to time
e) WB&DTUC Employment Advisory Service Sub Committee -NONE due to time
f) West Midlands County Association of TUC’s -NONE due to time
g) Delegates’ Workplace reports – NONE due to time
h) Rahimi Family Must Stay campaign – NONE due to time
i) CSC & PSC reports – NONE due to time

5.  Speaker Andy Goodall VSC
Spoke at length about changes made by the president Chavez since 2003 bosses’ lockout.  Workers took control of the oil industry.  He has won 10 national democratic elections which were internationally accepted. Eliminated illiteracy, free health service with 10,000 Cuban Doctors, free education system, land redistribution, He will stand as president again in 2006.  Showing of Llaguno Bridge at Lighthouse on March 2nd 2006.  More information from venezuelasolidarity.org.uk

6. RESOLUTION : No to ID cards:
The Wolverhampton, Bilston and District Trades Union Council expresses concern that the Government’s proposals to introduce identity cards, coupled with the way that its anti-terrorism legislation is being enforced, present a genuine threat to civil liberties.
In particular, the concern lies not with the idea of an identity card but the nature of the card that is proposed. In Europe, identity cards are already in use but with safeguards and checks which are not part of the proposed British model.
The National Identity Register will strip British citizens of their rights of privacy and open their lives to the scrutiny of any individual or body that the Government deems fit to do so. With the Government’s current admiration of the market place, that may mean that the details of your life are offered up to private companies.
Today, there is widespread identity theft and it is logical to assume that the technical expertise of organised criminals will be able to breach the security of the new ID cards. When that happens, a great deal more information about individuals will available to the criminals than they can get at present. Consequently, identity theft is likely to increase both in quantity and quality.
The Government claims that the introduction of identity cards is necessary as part of the war against terrorism. Last year’s bombings in London are evidence against that argument: the bombers were established members of the community who would have found it as easy as any other British citizen to obtain a card and, therefore, not even have to resort to defeating technology designed to prevent identity theft.
The system will be extremely expensive. One estimation puts the cost of each identity card at as much as £500. That money could be better spent on health and education and even more effective methods of combating crime.
Finally, glitches in the complex system or human error could have serious consequences on individuals. For example, there is evidence that a significant number of people are still being wrongly labelled as criminals by the Criminal Records Bureau.
The Wolverhampton, Bilston and District Trades Union Council intends, therefore, to campaign against the current identity card scheme and, as part of that campaign:
 to write to the City’s MPs to urge them to vote against the Government’s proposals
 to urge all affiliated unions to actively oppose the proposals
 to support No2ID (www.no2id.net), in their campaign against the cards

7. AOB – issue of security was raised re use of full names in minutes.  Need to discuss again.
The meeting closed at 8.45pm with a great deal of unfinished.

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