November 2010

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Minutes – Thursday 18th November 2010

1) ATTENDANCE – BROTHERS: Thomas (Community), Grant (UCU), Grant (NUT), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Barnsley, Fraser, Marriott, Turner, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Purchase, Dodd , Marris, Brookfield (UNITE), Childs (CWU)
SISTERS: Elson (PCS), Taylor, Petford & Sebastian (UNITE), Sharkey & Ceresa (UNISON Gen)
APOLOGIES: BRO. Cole (NUT), Bechler (ATL), Brackenridge (FBU), Juss (GMB) SIS. Kelsey (CWU), Brealey & Burth (UNISON) Halfpenny (NUT)
Introductions to delegates & visitors, new & old, & apologies. Bro.Bostock chaired meeting.

2) Minutes of October meeting – agreed correct & matters arising
3) Executive Committee Report & correspondence
Urgent matters arising from October minutes – actioned:
i) ABCD Phoenix festival £25 donation
ii) Venezuela Solidarity campaign affiliation £30
iii) Campaign Against Euro-Federalism re Mode 4 attack on trade unions letter agreed to send to all local MEPs
iv) National Palestine solidarity campaign affiliation renewal £25
v) £50 donation to local PSC – costs of workshop covered but will use for future events
vi) Letter to Chilean President re miners – Spanish translation being checked, before sending
vii) Letters to President Venezeula & National Shop Stewards Network response to be sent
Correspondence actioned:
viii) £10 white poppies bought for Remembrance day leafleters
ix) Working Class Movement Library annual appeal £25 agreed
x) Abortion Rights re-affiliation £40 agreed
xi) County Assoc of TUCs re-affiliation £37.50 agreed, delegate nomination forms. AGM 4th Dec – apologies from Sis Taylor – no volunteers as replacement delegate
xii) Pat McFadden – the only response from MPs re our public sector pensions letter.
xiii) UNISON General, further £384.28 donation for May Day 2010
xiv) WB&DTUC re-affiliations from ATL, Community 17000, NUT, UNISON University
xv) Express & Star 1979 picture of our delegates, recently reprinted
xvi) Hazards 2011 agreed sponsorship £25
xvii) public liability insurance enquired about – awaiting response
xviii) speaker AGM agreed invite Len Aldis British Vietnam Assoc? Book hotel if agrees
xix) May Day 2011 – Pegasus booked, organising meeting to be called on a Thursday

4) Reports/discussion:
a) Secretary’s report attended Wolverhampton Archives re Tin plate union – added info to website. Possibly more info in national archives?
Merchandise – some internet sales after email to all trades union councils
Xmas party booked at Revolution 22 Dec tickets available
Lawful Industrial Action Minor Errors bill 2nd reading – no W’ton MPs attended – Bill was talked out – not enough Labour MPs to force vote. Will be on agenda next June but bottom of list so won’t be debated.
b) Anti-fascist campaign – Questionnaire to be designed to attract HnH supporters from their website. HnH organiser to spend week in Wolverhampton postponed due to illness. Leafleting of Bushbury, Oxley, Coseley, Bilston and Ashmore Park with HnH Remembrance Day leaflet. Local anti-cuts leaflet was distributed t same time.
c) W’ton Public Service Union Alliance – Agreed stall on December 4th use letters to MPs as focus – make postbox.
Lobby 8th Dec 4pm will be followed by next meeting of WPSUA. Lobby 15th Dec 4.30pm. Unlike all other local campaigns we are very restrictive in inviting branch secretaries only – need to involve public and community organisations. Change in constitution would be required. 250 at recent Sandwell lobby, 50 at Dudley public meeting, though lacked focus. 5 coaches of students locally went to London demo.
Discussion of strategy for group – any public meeting would need focus – what, why, who to attract; and afterwards? Continue local activity in run up to TUC national demo 26 March 2011 – agreed to book a coach.
Could produce a newspaper for local distribution pre-March.
Challenge Paul Uppal MP to public debate re public concern of affevt on jobs and services – offer dates in next 3 months.

d) delegates' workplace reports – Bro.Turner reported 500 jobs in council lost in last 6 months though not by compulsory redundancy will impact on local private sector spending. 103 redundancies in Home Support – new service will not be on national conditions, resulting in up to 25% pay cut on already low wages.
Planned cut of all non-statutory services and council to only commission services from private sector. Wolverhampton has second highest claimant count.
Labour motion to council to cut the increase on Meals on Wheels was defeated due to absence of several Labour councillors at meeting.

e) Palestine Solidarity campaign – 23 at workshop on boycott – all unions signed up. Illegal settlers denying access to Palestinian olive groves 51 weeks per year, diverting slurry onto groves. Zionist complaints received after leafleting of civic centre. Supermarket leafleting 26th and 27th Nov ASDA

5) Speaker: Tony Barnsley on the Chainmakers’ centenary. 90% chain was made in Cradley at half national wage and 54 hour week. Won minimum wage at double rate after 10 week strike. Solidarity and publicity helped secure victory. He also be signed copies of his new book.

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