Secretary's Report for February 2018
February TUC Love Unions week – still tbc by BFAWU activity outside McDonalds, W’ton
#HeartUnions - come and join Wolverhampton & Bilston TUC's campaigning in Wednesfield and Bilston to hand out Valentine flowers spread the trade union message as part of a national campaigning week.
TUC’s Great Jobs Campaign/Heart Unions week 2018:
Saturday 10th February Wednesfield High St stall 10.30am -12-30 https://www.facebook.com/events/446337765780737/
Sunday 11th February Bilston Market stall 10.30am -12.30 https://www.facebook.com/events/167813557277018
Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign #StopArmingIsrael protest
10am-12noon outside HSBC, Queens Sq Wolverhampton Saturday 17 February + Saturday 17 March
(a) decision of AGM to decline invite from Shirin Hirsch to help organise half day conference and party in Wolverhampton on Saturday 21st April. Lee Barron responded – Midlands TUC backing this conference and also a similar day event in Birmingham.
(b) Our speaker in February Mike Edwards on West Park school class of 68 project to discuss the impact of racism over last 50 years. He is also involved with above conference. So should be a lively debate.
(c) Ex & Star debate over Powell’s speech. UKIP were billed as panellists at the Wolverhampton literature festival/Express & Star Powell meeting in all of the publicity. This event was being promoted a few weeks before by the organisations who then called for a demo.
Shirin Hirsch and Patrick Vernon pulled out of the event after the meeting held at the art gallery last week (to which Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council had sent our objections to participation). It was unclear whether Eleanor Smith had indeed pulled out as both host organisations still listed her for the meeting alongside another Labour councillor. She did not announce it on social media but did not attend.
Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council AGM endorsed the previous delegate meeting decision not to be involved with events re-linking Enoch Powell with Wolverhampton. The feeling amongst our delegates was that Wolverhampton has moved on and should not be linked to a racist speech made half a century ago. Similar views were expressed by three groups at a recent British Future/RMC stakeholders meeting, including by ourselves and Wolverhampton City Council.
Demonstration called by SUTR/SWP 27-1-18 W'ton Uni, 15 attended. The meeting seemed poorly advertised online and drawing further attention to it and protesting in an undefined way possibly against Labour Party participants appeared unwise and possibly counterproductive. No calls had come from any part of the trade union movement. Only 2 shared the express and star feed with no retweets on the day. Maybe 150 at university event. Blue plaque was put forward at that meeting, then promoted by Ex & Star poll of 10k (?) and opposed by 38Degrees petition and SUTR petition. However even Tory Paul Uppal had stated at meeting he did not want plaque, “Wolverhampton has moved on”, so unclear apart from UKIP and Ex & Star who is actually proposing one and where. Surely Birmingham where speech took place anyway, and that won't happen.
2018 WB&DTUC officers elected [voting rights dependant on branch affiliations] - President Marie Taylor; Vice-President Rob Marris; Secretary Nick Kelleher; Treasurer John Grant; Asst Sec Bob Simm; Executive Paulette Whyte
Places available for nomination to:
Midlands Inclusion Committee, Regional Women's Committee, Pensioners Network, Young Workers Network; Black Workers’ TUC Fri 20 – Sun 22 April [deadline 16-3-18]; LGBT TUC Thurs 5 & Fri 6 July [deadline 1-5-18]; Trades Union Councils Conference Sat 10 & 11 June Manchester
Branches that have re-affiliated for 2018: ASLEF, Community W'ton Craft, NEU-NUT, UNISON Sandwell General, UNISON Wolverhampton Gen, UNISON Acute (New Cross), UNITE Faith workers
Mon 5 March 7.30pm £12 / £10 Midlands Arts Centre We Are The Lions, Mr. Manager!’ is the remarkable story of Jayaben Desai the inspirational leader of the 1976-78 Grunwick Film Processing Factory Strike.
WM economy strategy conference Sat 10 March, Birmingham 1-30 to 4-30pm UNITE office B7 4AZ see www.wolvestuc.org.uk