July 2004

WB&D TUC Delegate Meeting MINUTES Thursday 15th July 04

Attendance: Brothers: A Turner, G Baynham, W Juss, N Kelleher, B Deacon, C Smith, G Dodd Sisters: M Taylor, S Sagoo
1. Welcome to new delegates/visitors & Apologies: Brothers: J Grant, K Purchase, R Marris, D Cole, D Ash, P Kalinauekas

2. Minutes of June delegate meeting agreed correct, matters arising: all items actioned by Secretary. Guantanamo Human Rights Commission not available to speak – invite to future meeting if prisoners not released.
2.3.21 PSC model letter for MEPs needs redrafting before WRITE TO NEW MEPs. Bro.Deacon to supply Secretary with correspondence from Michael Cashman MEP.
2.3.22 Birmingham TUC no news of new club although they have been looking at premises. Operating from their Unemployed Workers’ Centre in Sparkbrook.
2.4c Bro.Baynham (Amicus) updated on threatened redundancies at Alvis-Vickers, Telford 375 workforce, 262 redundancies were announced for January, prior to expected take-over bids for company. 100 have taken redundancy but now the company has halted further redundancies and there will be a take-over on August 9th.

3. EC was canceled, Correspondence:
3.1) TUC – Trades union councils directory (passed to Bro.Deacon) & 04/05 Programme of Work (to be put on website)
3.2) Rob Marris MP signed EDM 1316 – protection for workers of bankrupt companies also EDM 1265 – support for firefighters
3.3) Ken Purchase MP Dept.W&P letter re assistance for workers whose pension schemes are wound up by employers. Secretary to write enquiring where rest of money is coming from.
3.4) Birmingham TUC mailing – FETE De l’HUMANITE trip 9-13 Sept £170 tel:0121 643 8668 now
3.5) Coventry TUC mailing
3.6) W’ton Cuba Solidarity Quiz Sat 2 October 7.30pm Newhampton
3.7) CSC Unions for Cuba conference London 6 Nov. – take to September meeting
3.8) Bro. Deacon LGBT conference report – expenses to be paid still
3.9) W’ton City Council City Centre action plan – Bro.Baynham to look at and comment if appropriate by 6 Aug.
3.10) ISTC Hall Palm – only response to Secretary’s letter re PSC group – passed to group
3.11) RMT lobby Parliament 20 July – for a publicly owned railway – put info on website, write to MPs then contact RMT, TSSA & ASLEF branches to see what can be done next.
3.12) TUC regional shop stewards courses Sept-Dec – details available from Secretary.
3.13) Newsletters (available at meeting): Cuba Solidarity, Walsall WEA H&S, Searchlight, Voice of the Unions, Abortion Rights
3.14) WB&D TUC History sold @£2
3.15) WBC invoice for Glastonbury £890
3.16) Unite Against Fascism £105 invoice for unsent merchandise
3.17) Liberty re-affiliation £21 & questionnaire
3.18) Voice of the Unions re-affiliation £7.60
3.19) Birmingham TUC printing bill £22.32
3.20) Midlands TUC Directory – re address listed wrongly

4. Reports:
a) Secretary – written report circulated. Call for branches to attempt to recruit workers for music festivals for our teams.
b) Treasurer – not present
c) Fire Brigades Union – no delegates present
d) Other reports – Bro.Juss reported a GMB coach to Tolpuddle as well as possible Coventry coach.
e) Palestine group – poor attendances lately. Public meeting planned for late September. PSC/CSC garden party went well but low attendance and bad weather meant not much money raised.
f) TUC LGB&T conference report – Bro.Deacon circulated written report. He spoke to the report highlighting pensions issues and training courses on new sexual orientation and religion legislation that are available via Midlands TUC. He had been only Trades Union Council observer at conference again.
g) Institutional Racism in Wolverhampton Council – report not circulated as not been checked legally yet. Put on September agenda. Brief discussion ensued, it was argued that new equality regulations were being ignored by the council already. There seemed little real seriousness to the council’s actions and recruitment was now a problem for the council. It was agreed to hold a meeting of the anti-racist sub-Committee to discuss post-election follow-up work.

5. Resolutions – none received

6. Speaker/discussion: Bro.Turner, Branch Secretary UNISON General spoke on The future of council housing in Wolverhampton. Defend Council Housing & Council newspapers were distributed.
Main points arising:
• two days after a Parliamentary lobby Feb 03, New Labour took no notice and announced 3 options:
1. sell off all council houses
2. use PFI to “raise” money
3. transfer council housing workforce to an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) – 700-900 workers in Wolverhampton UNISON & UCATT – the preferred option of Wolverhampton Council.
• A fourth option of direct council investment is being campaigned for.
• A ballot for tenants has been won but timing and wording unknown.
• Council newspaper headline stated £287million available. Paper gave no mention or reference to it. It is unknown whether any cash whatsoever will be forthcoming if an ALMO is forced through. MPs TO BE ASKED.
• Terms and conditions would be attacked.
• Council would technically own but in effect have no control over the housing stock.
• ALMO management committees will have only a third councillors but they will not represent the council only themselves and would legally have to operate “in the best interests of the company”.
• Trade unions will not have financial backing for a campaign similar to that the council is already running.
• WB&D TUC will assist with any local trade union campaigns organised to defend council housing.

7. Any Other Business – none


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply