Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Minutes - Thursday 16th December 2010
1) Introductions to delegates and visitors, new and old: BROTHERS: Cole (NUT), Woodstock (PCS), Grant (UCU), Grant (NUT), Fraser, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Chadwick (UNISON CVS), Purchase & Marris, (5/836), Baynham (UNITE 0758M)
SISTERS: Halfpenny (NUT) Taylor, Petford & Sebastian (UNITE 0758M), & Kelsey (CWU)
APOLOGIES: BRO. Marriott (UNISON Gen), Dodd (Unite 3210M), Childs (CWU), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Bechler (ATL), Brackenridge (FBU), Juss (GMB) SIS. Ceresa & Burth (UNISON Gen), Elson (PCS)
2) Minutes of October meeting – agreed correct and matters arising none.
3) Executive Committee Report 9th December 2010 and correspondence
Urgent matters arising from November minutes – acted upon:
3.2a Agreed re-affiliation to Walsall Health and Safety Bulletin £25
3.2c The future of WMCATUC website unlikely to continue but still undecided.
3.2g aluminium traders’ table purchased at a cost of £43-90
3.3 Wolverhampton Public Service Union Alliance coach to leave 8am Faulkland Street 26th March for national demonstration. Delegates can sign up through Face Book. £10 waged £4 unwaged
Affiliated unions could cover cost of members. Agreed £5 returnable depoisit.
3.3c Still need to invite Paul Uppal MP to a public debate
3.3d £500 will be received from the POA who agreed a donation
3.4 Sunday 1st May 2011 at the Pegasus Fargo are booked and Attila the Stockbroker. It is intended to ask Wolverhampton Brass Band to open the event. Discussion around the suitability of the venue was held.
3.5 Workers Memorial Day 12.30, 28th April 2011is planned. Mugs commemorating the event will be given to newly affiliated branches to publicise the event.
a) Secretary’s report: Lobby of council 15th December 2010 – Labour put motion to take control of the council and won the vote. They will take control immediately. Non statutory members of scrutiny panels who lost posts under the Tories may will be reinstated. Hopefully there will be more consultation on the restructure of the council. There has been a report to council on pay for positions, 6% reduction is likely on all councillors pay.
The English Defence league was thwarted with no violence. Trades council to approach Roger Lawrence, Leader of the Council, about EDL threat in Wolverhampton. Trades Council would like to know in advance about any future demonstrations. Brother Kelleher was thanked for his excellent short notice organisation. The consensus was not to create confrontation or abuse.
b) Wolverhampton Public Service Union Alliance: Local campaigning is needed. Agreed toleaflet in Wednesfield or Bilston. Queen Square not successful as so many leafleters e.g. religion, insurance. We will leaflet for the National Demonstration with something local on the other side. Dates agreed 15th January Bilston and 22nd January Wednesfield leafleting from 11o’clock to 1 o’clock.
c) delegates' workplace reports: PCS – Crown Prosecution Service office will be closed by June. Half will move to Wednesfield Police Station (magistrates’ court) and half to Birmingham (crown court). Witness care will also be centralised to Birmingham. Is there another service to the public that will be affected? There is a question as to whether there is room at Wednesfield. UNITE – There is a campaign regarding car parking at the Civic Centre it is proposed to charge staff for parking. This is a battle which has engaged members. UNISON – Changes in the NHS and use of the ‘3rd sector’.
d) Anti-fascist campaign: No plans a present.
e) Palestine Solidarity campaign: 29th, 30th January leafleting at ASDA contact detals to be put on WB&TUC website
f) Pensioners’ Report: none
5) Resolution – International Brigade Memorial Trust proposed UNISON General branch
‘The world is too dangerous to live in – not because of the people who do evil but because of the people who sit and let it happen.’
In 1936 when the fascist General Franco (with the help of Hitler) sought to overthrow the democratically elected Spanish Government, over 31,000 workers across the world did not stay sat down, they travelled to Spain and fought for the Spanish Republic.
2000 of these were from Britain, many of them never returned, 74 years on few survive.
The selfless act of these volunteers is one of the greatest examples of international solidarity displayed by the international labour movement.
But even more so now as the threat of fascism in the guise of the BNP and EDL march on our street, their memory, their sacrifice and the cause for which they fought and died should be preserved for future generations.
The International Brigade Memorial Trust works hard to keep alive the memory of those brave men and women who went to Spain in the 1930s to fight Fascism.
This Trades Union Council agrees to:
1. affiliate to the International Brigade Memorial Trust and encourage our branches to affiliate.
2. send this motion to the West Midlands County Association of Trades Union Councils with the aim of eventual progression to the Midlands Trades Union Congress.
Moved Brother Kelleher Seconded Brother Grant
Amendment proposed by Brother Marris – add:
3. Urge Stoke-on-Trent City Council to reinstate its annual lecture; commemorating those who fought fascism in Spain.
This was accepted by the mover. The resolution as amended was agreed unanimously.
There is a lack of events around the West Midlands. Consider inviting a speaker from the Trust. What was the position in the Black Country re volunteers for Spain?
6) Short film ‘Let there be Light’ about free eye operations for people in Cuba was not shown as lack of facilities. Show at future meeting?
There were Christmas drinks and nibbles – season’s greetings wished to all delegates.