November 2023

Delegate Minutes Thursday 16th November 2023

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

  1. Present (delegates registered from affiliated branches in bold): Penny Welch, Metka Potocnik UCU University, Warinder Juss GMBx13; Graham Childs CWU; Paulette Whyte & Simon Cardy UNISON City of Wolverhampton, Michael Vaughan UNISON Staffordshire; Marie Taylor UNITE LE/372; Nick Kelleher, John Oakley, Paul Fletcher UNITE WM/6150; Carol Hyatt, Ali Rahimi Unite Community, Clare Simm PCS Apologies Bob Deacon, Di Weaver, Kay Cresswell-Green, Adrian Turner,Tim Martin Dane Cross, Rob Marris, Kieren Bott
  2. Minutes of last Delegate Meeting (October) agreed – Matters Arising: arms fair went ahead in Telford despite protests and announced will do so again there. UNISON will no longer use Telford Convention Centre.
  3. EC Report and urgent correspondence
  • UNITE Community request help offered by us but local branch is supporting Birmingham event, not organised anything locally.
  • Our Dec 21st delegate meeting/social will be @ Lych Gates. Invite Lee Barron and Rob Johnson and Unite strikers.
  • Enslavement links project – Thurs 23 Nov 7-15pm zoom meeting to plan next steps; Sec still to write to branches to seek additional funds. Website domain name to be decided.
  • Workers’ Memorial Day plaque restoration/replacement – Sec still to contact council officer
  • Additional passive speaker was purchased to match existing PA which has doubled output, with stand, cover and lead cost £172, works well in big crowd. Parts to repair broken gazebo £11, now works. Also 100 Palestine hand flags @£12; zoom renewal paid £101 up to 7 Nov 2024.
  • Wolverhampton TUC affiliations 2024 to be sent to branches. Thanks to UCU University who are first to affiliate and pay for 2024.
  • Special Congress of TUC on 9 Dec on fighting new Tory anti-union law
  1. Reports, strike updates and discussion:
    • RMT – campaign to save ticket offices has won after government backed down.
    • ASLEF – picket 3 Dec in Wolverhampton during 8 days of regional strikes
    • GMB – Amazon rally Coventry 6-30am 24 Nov
    • PCS – national leadership elections ongoing until mid Dec
    • UCU – the third extension of industrial action ballot was won but did not reach the 50% threshold so there is no pay strike mandate now and the claim has settled.
    • UNISON – some joint work with UNITE and GMB in local government has resolved pay claim. Employers had been trying to divide unions due to lack of unity.
    • UNITE – Paul Fletcher shop steward at ArcelorMittal, Wolverhampton spoke on progress of strike, increasing to 3 days per week, no new negotiations. Workers at site in group near Manchester have joined UNITE. Good morale. Pickets 6-30am to 12noon Strawberry Lane, off Neachells La. WV13 3SE on:
      November 17th, 20th, 23rd, 24th, 28th, 29th December 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th TUCJCC Bulletin and Midlands EC report circulated– Nick Kelleher
  2. Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Simon Cardy gave update on local and national activities, including this Saturday’s rally by Palestine Solidarity 18 November 11-30am Peace Green (next to Francis St Whitmore Reans) – speakers and PA requested from us, agreed.
    • Four national demos in London 800,000 turnout was biggest ever for Palestine. Eleven coaches had gone from Wolverhampton the most ever for an anti-war demo. Quarter of a million on their mailing list.
    • Six councillors in Walsall resigned from Labour party including the Labour group leader. Dudley Labour Group voted for a ceasefire call.
    • Three Labour councillors from St Peters signed an open letter to Sir Kier. 25% of Labour MPs revolted and voted to call for a ceasefire. Many letters going to councillors and MPs being ignored.
    • Warinder Juss (candidate Wolverhampton West) made statement to Labour members which Express and Star quoted as a call for a ceasefire.
    • Lobby of council being planned. No local politicians now welcome at any Wolverhampton mosques.
  3. any other business – Carol Hyatt raised about a Cycle Heritage trail project locally. There were over 200, often cottage-industry manufacturers based in Wolverhampton during the times of local manufacture. Offer to put up details on our website. Contact Sec if you want to get involved.