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The 'Live' CWU Q&A Facebook Session That Never Left It's Own Parallel Universe

The much lauded and advertised live CWU Q&A session on FaceBook last night, turned out to be nothing more than a conversation between the Head of Communications, the General Secretary and a Guardian journalist and campaigner.

Pic: Webeditor, Chris IngramMore interestingly was the fact that the Q&A session had a parallel conversation and debate going on between contributors made up of CWU activists and Branch officials, all asking questions intended for the ‘panel’ that were 99% ignored; leaving them to have their own debate.

Unionsafety editor Chris Ingram, gives his personal take on the event:

Amongst the many relevant questions being asked via the comments box to the right of the ‘conversation’ taking place were those about the lack of T&FS interaction by the Union, the situation over Royal Mail 25 hours contracts, why the Union’s membership is decreasing, the effects of Brexit on the NHS; and how the Union will respond to the attacks on Health & Safety at work and worker’s rights which will continue at some greater pace after Brexit.

None of these questions were put to the ‘panel’ or indeed referred to by any of the two members of that panel as they merely continued their own conversation with the odd prompting by the ‘monitor’ of the session.

Amongst the questions asked, were several Health & Safety related questions which, unsurprisingly, were totally ignored. Among them, this one from Derek Maylor:

“Today the HSE released latest figures for workplace fatalities as well those died from the mesothelioma, there is an increase from last year. The most common cause of fatal injuries continues to be due to falling from height and the CWU should be pushing BT for more use of MEWP and less use of ladders. 

The new figures also highlight the risks to older workers; 40 per cent of fatal injuries in 2017/18 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10 per cent of the workforce. In companies like BT we see an increase in the mean age of workers we need to look at specific needs and age related risk assessments.......

Do Owen and Dave agree that the figures serve as a reminder of why health and safety is so important and that we must not become complacent but put it at the top of the organising agenda?”

Whilst this is further proof that Health & Safety is being ignored by CWU HQ (just look at the lack of coverage on the CWU website) and the fears that RE-Design will be used to end any formal H&S organisation within the Union continue to grow, it is worth noting that if this so-called Q&A FB session last night is anything to go by, leading figures within the CWU H&S Community are not going to be silenced any day soon.

In the final analysis though, many will have been disappointed because the advertised Q&A session never lived up to it’s promise and produced nothing new in terms of ideas and suggestions even around the limited questions referred to by the session ‘moderator’.

Furthermore, following this non-event, many will have the distinct impression that in the parallel universe of CWU HQ no one is listening and that the ‘plan’ or indeed the ‘new order’ within the CWU is not up for discussion as the bandwagon of the cult of the personality trundles on.

Here is a montage of questions put to the ‘panel’ on health & safety which were totally relevant to the agenda of the session’s questions announced by the Head of Comms at the beginning of the event, but totally ignored:

Source: CWU FB / C Ingram

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