July 2022

Delegate Minutes – Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Thursday 21st July 2022

  1. Welcome & introductions to delegates, visitors and new delegate Dane Cross UNITE Wolverhampton bus garage WM7032. Also present: Graham Childs CWU; Warinder Juss GMBx13; Clare Simm PCS, Steve Smith RMT, Penny Welch UCU Wolverhampton University, John Grant UCU College, Michael Vaughan UNISON Staffs; Bob Simm, Bob Deacon, Paulette Whyte UNISON City of Wolverhampton; Marie Taylor UNITE LE/372; Di Weaver UNITE WM/5203; Ali Rahimi, Carol Hyatt UNITE Community; Nick Kelleher, John Oakley, Rob Marris UNITE WM/6150; ; Russell Lowe apologies Tim Martin MU, Sharon Dixon, Jayne Weaver UNISON City of Wolverhampton
  2. Minutes of last Delegate Meeting (June) & Matters Arising – Graham Childs reported positively on Unite coach from Wolverhampton and London TUC demo June 18th
  3. EC Report – correspondence of note:
  4. Reports and discussion:
  • RMT further strikes Wolverhampton railway pickets: Wed 27 July 7-10am & 4-7pm, 18 August and 20 August; employers now want to close all ticket offices. Steve Smith branch Sec reported excellent support on this month’s 3 days of strikes with up to 50 in support of picket. Thanks given to Wolverhampton TUC delegates and other union members who attended. He also reported that the cleaners who are still in a pay dispute were encouraged by solidarity support for RMT.
  • ASLEF strike of West Midlands Trains drivers on Sat 30 July Wolverhampton picket 10am-4pm
  • UCU & UNISON University Penny Welch reported on campaign against redundancies. 100 agreed voluntary redundancy, 250 compulsory notices issued on 6 July by University in video link reminiscent of the P&O mass sackings. Walsall TUC lobbied their council over cut of Performance Hub in Walsall. UCU yet to contact individual Wolverhampton councillors. Consultation more difficult over summer months. UCU protest picnic, Sat 16 July West Park , possible September event. Suggestion from delegates – request emergency funding from central government with all governors to resign unless they had previously objected to university finances. Chair of audit committee has resigned. Next Wolverhampton full Council meeting is September
  • UNITE – Coventry HGV bin drivers’ strike now in 7th month, talks ion advanced stage UNITE Wolverhampton Buses – negotiating reduction of 38 to 37hrs/wk without loss pay, sixteen offers have so far been rejected.
  • CWU announced 98% for strike on 77% turnout
  • FBU have rejected a 2% pay offer since inflation now over 10%
  • GMB new Midlands region established. Asbestos related cancers killing 5,000 each year in UK. Asbestos Support Central England as a future speaker. Since Tories cut H&S Executive, 30% increase in injuries at work; inspections down 67% and prosecutions down 75%
  • PCS DWP announced more office closures including Wolverhampton & Walsall
  • UNISON joint pay claim with GMB and UNITE, already ongoing since 1st April. Dispute in Birmingham over council paying higher single status payouts to non-union members.
  • LP – report circulated by Di Weaver Wton SW CLP Sec; Cnllr Clare Simm is now Chair of CLP, both are our Exec members. Thanks expressed to Di for taking our banner to Orgreave rally and to Durham miners Gala
  • Secretary report circulated– ten delegates had been at Chainmakers and many helped on our stall, the only run by a trades union council. Well run by Midlands TUC, again unlucky with weather. Midlands TUC EC are launching a Black Activists Network plus demo Birmingham at Tory conference Sun 2 Oct with Peoples Assembly.
  • Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign raised a record £678 with more than fifty people at the garden party . Fri 23 Sept public meeting on Amnesty’s report Israeli Apartheid 7pm Friends Meeting Ho, West Park
  1. any other business – potential of SWCLP Cost of Living crisis event in autumn with Wolves TUC
  2. at 8pm Enslavement links project, discussion on way forward, led by Di Weaver
  • options for research – exploitation of enslaved people and of black countr6y working class
  • delivery schools/unions can be emotive subject to teach so need care – seek advice from NEU
  • funding – for delivery and for further research. Need decision re future research before any grant applications
  • Human chains were also exported locally to India.
  • Grace & Penny to complete draft editing by September
  • set up dedicated website – cost around £15/month