March 2021

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Delegate Minutes

Thursday 18th March 2021

  1. Welcome & introductions to delegates & visitors

    Present: Sisters Taylor Unite, Welch UCU Univ, C.Simm PCS, Dixon & Whyte UNISON City, D.Weaver UNITE Ret & SWCLP TULO, Halfpenny NEU, Aujla UCU, G.Bains IWA

    Brothers Kelleher, Marris, Oakley Unite WM6150, Deacon UNISON City, Vaughan UNISON Staffs, Juss GMBx13, Martin MU, Childs CWU, Simm PCS(Assoc), Rahimi Unite Community, Grant & Scroop UCU, Stoll Unison Dudley, Bains, & Singh IWA

    Apologies Sis Millar UCU Univ

  2. Minutes of last Delegate Meeting (Feb) & Matters Arising

  3. EC Report

  1. FBU 2021 branch affiliation received.

  2. Sandwell Leisure Trust – UNISON won consultative ballot for action GMB did not.

  3. Our 100 Great Black Britons in each Wolverhampton school and library Campaign arising from our AGM – the £1,457.50 cost to buy 110 books & poster, after discount was negotiated. Believe Wolverhampton City Council will pay. UNITE WM6150 has agreed to pay £457.50 if needed. Media release agreed with WCCouncil has been sent out; Patrick Vernon and Yvonne Davis have offered to help council’s further publicity.

  4. Our Website update – GM to convert from Joomla to WordPress [in next week].

  5. Workers’ Memorial Day 28 April – request to branches/delegates for 2min videos. Showcasing difference unions have made in last year. This year’s theme is ‘Health and Safety is a fundamental right at work’.

  6. research into Wolverhampton links to slave owners paid state compensation at abolition. Further donations received: UNISON S.Staffs £50 and UNITE Black Country Area Activists’ Committee £200 (with request that research be expanded to Black Country). [GM has drawn up an advert for the researcher. £2,150 raised.

  7. Wapping the Workers Story DVD received from publishers, which we sponsored and feature in the credits. private screening for delegates on Thurs 25 +Fri 26 March – not public as rights protected

  8. 6 May elections – postal vote campaign – Postal ballot forms have now been sent out by council to all.

  9. Body worn video – BLM campaign – response from PCC David Jamieson.

  10. WM CATUC AGM – no nominations were made to Regional TUC Executive

  11. Guide to Claiming Benefits and Credits following Redundancy – Worcester TUC produced with union labour; A5copies. £35 ordered

  12. Midlands TUC Women in Leadership course full with waiting list

  13. £25.58 spent (NK) on heart unions week facebook advertising

  14. EC members agreed to devise quiz questions Wolverhampton/TU based for a trades council quiz

  15. Wodenstock 2021 agreed to postpone to 2022. Could arrange online version to keep name going if links with Wednesfield community groups/councillors could be remade.

  16. Mumia Abu Jamal – still imprisoned after almost 40 years, with heart and liver disease, Covid; shackled to hospital bed – agreed send letters to Governor etc call for release

  17. Our Public Liability Insurance has lapsed

  1. Reports and discussion:

  • delegate reports: UNITE Gen Sec elections upcoming. No vaccine priority for key workers at Wolverhampton Homes

  • LP – prohibition of nuclear weapons motion from CND being progressed. Request posters from LP for visual display before election. Door knocking will be limited.

  • Secretary’s report circulated

  • Midlands TUC EC – Bro Kelleher

  • TUC Pensioners Network – 37 attendees, increased male participation online. Bro Deacon elected as Vice-chair. Bus campaign evolving to save bus services. Court cases – FBU: over 50s transitional arrangements due to change. NEU: widowers of female spouses

5. any other business none

at 8pmpublic meeting, Harsev Bains, National Vice President of Indian Workers’ Association Great Britain addressed the meeting on the Indian Farmers’ Struggle against changes to Farming Laws.

  • 40% of population involved in agriculture

  • 315,000 registered Indian farming suicides since 1995

  • Minimum Support Price, though not in all states and not all crops works but threatened to end by Modi right-wing BJP party and fascist RSS colleagues. They want multinationals to take over from small farms and start hoarding – why the MSP was brought in.

  • Farmers would be beholden to buyers and tenants to landowners.

  • 500 farmer unions, workers joined with farmers unified working class in November General strike. Joint action from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for first time overcoming religious barriers.

  • Farmers routes to Delhi blocked by government with ditches, spikes, armed police, water turned off, attacks by organised thugs. Jan 26th 96,000 tractors and vehicles protested in largest world mobilisation. Press concentrated on breakaway groups at Red Fort.

  • Shocking treatment of protesters by authorities 254 have died/been killed. BJP made threats to farmers’ supporters including Claudia Webb Derby MP, Greta Thunburg and her re-tweeters, pop stars etc. Pat McFaddden made supportive speech in Parliament 8/3/21. Tory MPs support BJP including Priti Patel – care more about trade links with multinationals.

  • 26 March next all-India strike. Modi will be here in July at G7

  • Messages of support can be sent to Dr Ashok Dhawle National President All India Kisan Sabha (All India Farmers Union )

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