Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Minutes of Delegates’ Meeting 18 October 2018
Delegates welcomed & introductions made by delegates & visitors.
1.Present: Sis Taylor (Unite), Millar (UCU), Simm (PCS), Ceresa, Whyte and Dixon (City W’ton Unison), Bro Kelleher and Marris (Unite WM6150), Pugh (City W’ton Unison), Simm (PCS), Rahimi and Ali (Unite Community), Childs (CWU) M.Foxhall and J.Foxhall (Unite WM7085), Brackenridge (FBU), Cross, Shah and Baker(Unite) + one UNITE observer
Apologies Bro Grant (UCU), Juss (GMB), Smith (RMT), Deacon and Sis Weaver(City W’ton Unison)
2. Minutes of September Delegate Meeting agreed. Matters Arising: message was sent to Frances O’Grady following the TUC Brexit Video. No response as yet. Attendance include Sis Millar (UCU) apologies Bro Pugh and Brackenridge
3.Nick read out Exec report from 10 October 2018, Correspondence of note
1. Response from SrtRC & RM: There is no suitable leaflet to be used for wear red day. Exec decided to postpone action until leaflet available to hand out at Wolves FC. Meeting Agreed to take picture of all present to post on campaigns Facebook page and social media.
2. Invited to speak at WSW CLP 11/10/18. It was the first time WB&D TUC have been invited. Four new people signed up to emailing list and response was good.
3. Stuart Baker arranged speaker from Unite re Uber Taxis and Wolverhampton Council private hire licences. Wolverhampton Councillors invited.
4. Arena theatre have been contacted re Chainmakers Play, Too expensive. Paulette confirmed Bob Jones Centre would charge £25 per hour for event.
5. TUC Midlands Equality conference is inviting delegates to register, Warinder will be attending.
6. Detailed policies from the Labour Party regarding the Labour Manifesto released by the Institute of Employment rights Paulette has a copy and will share insights with people.
7. Tim Martin produced new video ‘Magic Money Tree’ and CD with dedication to WB&D TUC for support to over the years. Meeting Agreed to invite him as entertainment for December meeting and give away CDs to attendees. Plus seasonal refreshments.
8. Sent another offer to BFAWU to help with campaigning but still no reply. Bob S mentioned that he and some staff from RMC leafleted outside Mcdonalds on day of strike. Marie said she would contact BFU for more activism Grace said she would also contact them.
9. Midlands TUC workshop on using video for unions. Nick attended last year and said it was worth doing.
10. Wolverhampton Women’s Parliament event, if anyone is going then it would be good to go on behalf of Trades Council.
11. Councillor Hibbert’s Event 10/11/18 Women Empowerment in partnership with counter terrorism police. Unsure who the organisation is.
12. TUC H&S forum. Marie suggested Chris speak on behalf of Hazards.
4. A. Delegate reports: UNITE, PCS , UNISON, LP etc
PCS: Clare Simm reported on victory in winning compensation for government attacks on ability to use the check off system for fee payments. £3 Million in damages awarded.
FBU: Greg Brackenridge reported. All contracts for fall response have been taken back. 8 FBU Reps have been suspended during full review of service. 3 Major points of the dispute have been won.
Labour: Councillor Brackenridge reported. Wolverhampton Homes wage cuts are being branded as job evaluations. More budget cuts are coming as council is ‘cut to the bone’, some of the proposed cuts are unacceptable as we need to support the most vulnerable. Theresa May has said Austerity is over but not even close. Cuts are not savings. Leaflets will be produced explain the reasons for these cuts, high street petition’s. Council must avoid being sent into special measures. Clare Simm added Roger Lawrence has set up a council petition. She will forward details.
4.B. Midlands TUC Regional Council -Sharon Dixon reported. Strong meeting with 6 good speakers set out in report prepared for meeting. 1, a home-care worker mentioned that her colleagues were looking to food banks to survive. Sharon says that she was informed that many big chain restaurants responsible for not sharing tips are American owned. She also mentioned that recruiting young members recognised as something that needs to be worked on, A written report was also submitted and shared to branch members. Marie thanked her for her contribution.
4..C. WB&D TUC Secretary’s Report. – Nick Kelleher Reported. Leafleting sessions outside Wolverhampton Train Station and Birmingham anti Austerity March at Tory Conference. 4/11/18 there will be protest at Telford A&E about night time closures. Trades council have been asked to support. Contact Nick for transport. Rob Marris commented we need to get more input from medical staff on best interest for patients. Telford Labour and Council are backing the campaign. General discussion followed about waiting times and impact on New Cross Hospital.
4.D. Midlands TUC Pensioners Network – Apologies
4. E. Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity – Bob Deacon not present but information sent about HSBC Protests and Film Night.
speaker at 8pm
Unite Full Time Officer came from Coventry to give talk on damaging actions by Wolverhampton Council on handing out cheap and numerous licenses to Taxi Drivers across the country. In particular how Uber were taking advantage of the situation.
General discussion of the talk followed It was agreed that Trades Council would forward a motion to Midlands TUC to boycott Uber:
Wolverhampton Bilston and District Trades Union Council condemns City of Wolverhampton Council for utilising Tory deregulation legislation in a way which harms the taxi industry; for example City of Wolverhampton Council has issued thousands of licences to drivers for use outside Wolverhampton in particular for Uber which apparently uses Wolverhampton due to its lower thresholds for operators and vehicles and lower licence prices, and which is contributing to the undermining of earnings of taxi drivers and threatens the future of the wheelchair accessible hackney carriages and private hire cabs bearing in mind that taxis are an integral part of our public transport system particularly late at night when other services shutdown.
Moreover Uber appears to be challenging safety due to its apparent lack of vehicle age restriction and its apparent disregard for the total hours per week its drivers work (for Uber and at another job), thereby potentially breaching the weekly limit set in the Working Time Regulations.
Uber is running its business as a loss, apparently in order to drive out competition via a race to the bottom for standards.
We therefore call on all trade unionists and others to defend our taxi services and not to use Uber.
We call on City of Wolverhampton Council to work with other West Midlands local authorities to:
- agree high quality standards for taxi operators and drivers and fair licence prices across the West Midlands for taxi operators.
- lobby national politicians to reverse the Tory legislation that:
(a) allows drivers to get licences from Local Authorities where they do not work
(b) allows operators to get licences from Local Authorities where they seldom operate
(c) prevents Local Authorities from setting a cap on the number of hackney carriage and private hire licences issued and operating in their area