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Re-Design Meeting Ignores Health & Safety Within The CWU

"......there are some excellent H & S agreements already in place & if we do not protect them the company will look to erode them as they have with others in the past."

John Southwel, H&S Co-ord member from CWU L & C Branch reports on the Redesign Meeting held in the Midland Hotel in Manchester:

Myself & Tony Pollard (assist Branch Sec) attended the redesign meeting Manchester on the 13th March 2018 at eleven am.

The meeting was very well attended with delegates from all over the UK. Dave Ward GS took to the rostrum first, it is good to see him back after his illness. He spoke about the challenges that the whole TU movement are facing, in the work we do including H & S. He also spoke about the TUC & how they could help. How Labour could also help & that the CWU had added to its manifesto. The use of social media, not for debate but to motivate people to do things & be more of an activist.

Although being in a little financial difficulty due to the falling number of members the NEC chose not to raise membership subscriptions. In 1979 there were thirteen million people in the TU movement & today in 2018 there are only six million, and this is even with the fact that there is a much larger workforce now than back in 1979!

Dave said that waiting for a political solution was not the answer & that action was needed now & urged the TU movement to do so! Not just for members but to also make the TU movement stronger in doing so. A merger was not out of the question but was not in any way the proffered option. Taking the example of UCAT & UNITE who merged, Dave said, for financial reasons only. To help the CWU to continue to provide a service to its members the possibility of selling CWU HQ in Wimbledon would not be ruled out. It was an asset & it is now too large, HQ are looking to rent out a couple of floors to help generate some income.

Unionline may have to change/expand, the NEC look at the way it makes its money!

Tony Kearns then took to the rostrum & spoke about the fact the TU’s who had not addressed their problem’s & issues have been struggling to survive. The CWU was asset rich & cash poor because the CWU has lost forty thousand members! Once again Alvescot & the Elstead Hotel were in focus to be radically restructured or sold off.

There was then a Q & A session.

Trish Lavelle then took to the rostrum & spoke about the fact that any changes would be prolonged & challenging, that the redesign document was a consultation document & nothing was set in stone. There will be a special conference in November 2018 to deal with any issues that have been raised from the consultation.

An online questionnaire was to be sent out via an LTB straight after today’s meeting. Each Branch only gets one response & that must be set out on a word document & sent in before 11/05/18. There was another Q & A session.

The TUC’s four-point plan was mentioned & the fact that there was to be a demonstration In London on the 1212th May & that we need a good attendance & a show of strength. It is hoped that all other TU’s will also have an excellent attendance at this event. All TU’s need to sign up to help sort out the same issues such as low pay & zero-hour contracts.

For me I was very disappointed that H & S was hardly mentioned throughout the day, a lot was said about agreements & securing them for members, well colleagues there are some excellent H & S agreements already in place & if we do not protect them the company will look to erode them as they have with others in the past.

As has been said we need to hold on to the members we have & encourage more members to join & a good H & S structure will help to achieve this! If you look at reasons why people join a TU H & S is usually in the top FIVE reasons given!


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