Wednesday 6 February 2008

Amicus NEC meeting, 6th Feb 2008

N.B.This is not an official Unite/Amicus Report; it is based on my notes of the NEC meeting. I believe it to be a fair account of the key decisions taken (rather than my views about them), and I will willingly correct any errors upon receipt of official notification from Unite/Amicus.

1. The decision at the previous meeting to remove some MPs from the Amicus parliamentary group had been popular with members. As well as saying who is on the list the union will publish a list of who has been removed.

2. Vacancies on the National Women’s Committee and the equality committees can be filled.

3. The pay deal for full time officers was endorsed.

4. £50K will be donated to Ken Livingstone’s mayoral election campaign.

5. Amicus played a part in government decisions to build more nuclear and coal fired power stations. It was agreed to send congratulations to the miners who kept Tower Colliery open for 13 years after taking it over. Most had moved to other mining jobs now. It was agreed that the energy policy should be covered in the campaign, but this should also cover the importance of tackling climate change, renewables, insulation etc.

6. A national meeting of all UNITE officers had taken place. Feedback was positive. It had set out the union strategy of organising (including 100% infill), political change (e.g. trade union freedom) and international work (including mergers)

7. Work with the Union Learning Fund is ongoing. We had 26 staff working and had £2.6m for a 2 year bid. The last round had led to 40 learning agreements. A DVD was being produced.

8. The returning officer (Derek Simpson) reported on progress in the elections for the 40 Amicus seats on the UNITE Executive Council (NEC).

a. Valid nominations are listed on the union web site

b. The UNITE JEC had endorsed a decision of the Amicus NEC in December that the Amicus rule on former employees standing applied. Nominations for Des Heemskirk were therefore invalid.

c. A candidate had received sufficient nominations to contest the GPM sector seats, but was in the General Industries sector, so his nomination is not valid.

d. Complaints had been made by a candidate for the North East and Yorkshire seat that her nominations had been rejected and had therefore been unable to stand. None of her nominations had been disallowed.

e. Eight candidates were unopposed, which I have included in the table below showing all the candidates who have accepted nomination.


No. of seats


North East, Yorkshire & Humberside


Steve Davison

John McEwan

East Midlands


Simon Hemmings

Steve Hibbert

Eastern & London


Paul Brewster

Leonie Cooper

Raymond Morell

South East


Chris Stringer

Mark Wood

South West


Ray Bazeley (unopposed)

West Midlands


Dave Dutton

Mick Millichamp

North West


Patrick Coyne

Alex McCahon



Andy Johnston (unopposed)



Jim Donaghy

Jimmy Neill



Rob Benjamin (unopposed)



Paula Bartle

Louise Cousins

Elizabeth Donnelly

June Hitchen

Ester Marriott

Dawn McAlister

Terri Miller

Philomena Muggins

Jane Stewart

Aerospace; Shipbuilding


Alistair Fraser

Tam Mitchell

Neil Sheehan

Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals; Process including offshore oil & gas


John Storey (unopposed)

Civil Air Transport; Railways Buses & Ferries


Paul Maybin

Mickey Stewart

Community and Not For Profit


John Barr

Jackie McLeod

Construction and Contracting


David Smeeton

Billy Spiers

Meurig Thomas

Education; MoD & government departments; CMA


Andy Hanks

Sue Sharp

Electrical Engineering, Electronics & IT


Ian Allinson (unopposed)



Stuart McGhee (unopposed)

Finance; Business Services


Russell Greig

Graham Hunt

Jim Kendall

Jane Lewis

Nathalie Mullen

Peter Simpson

Agnes Tolmie

Food, drink & tobacco


Dave Nestor (unopposed)

Foundry; Metals


David Bowyer

Bill Gray

David Oldfield

Gary Phoenix

General Industries; Servicing


Alan Mercer

Pat Russell

Peter Taylor

Howard Turner

Graphical, Paper & Media


Stewart Eaves

Glenn Jackson

Dave Lovelidge

Mark Pang

Health service


Gill George

Liz McInnes

Joyce Still

Frank Wood

Tracey Young

Local Authorities


Davie Brockett (unopposed)

Motor Components


Peter Russell (unopposed)

Motor Vehicles


Michael Sherrif (unopposed)

f. Unlike in the previous Amicus NEC elections, head office are not centrally sending out letters to members of branches which made nominations.

g. The union will not write to all members to advise them of the uncontested seats because of the cost, but will try to make it widely known in various other ways. Retired members are only entitled to vote for regional seats, so those in South West, Scotland and Wales will not get a vote at all.

9. The Amicus NEC accepted an invitation to join May Day celebrations in Cuba.

10. Talks on merger with the USW in North America were progressing and a team would be going to Torronto for an ultimate meeting. It was hoped to produce a statement to put to the USW convention in June.

11. A union-wide campaign will be launched highlighting the shortcomings of individual Performance Related Pay and offering positive alternatives with a view to strengthening collective bargaining.

12. The union will spend £50K to be the main sponsor of the Rock Against Racism event in London on 27th April, which is expected to attract 100,000 people. All the mayoral candidates will be speaking at it, apart from the BNP.

13. A little over £800K has been budgeted for the Voluntary Redundancy programme.

14. The Agency & Temporary Workers bill from Andrew Miller MP was launched that day in parliament, with heavy Amicus involvement which will continue. Over 100 MPs have now pledged to be there on 22nd February.

15. The success in increasing the compensation (FAS) for people who lost pensions to 90% was noted and thanks recorded to all who played a part. This is a big win making a real difference to well over 100,000 workers due to union campaigning.

16. The demonstration in Liverpool against the closure of Rolls Royce Bootle is going ahead on Saturday, with Tony Woodley speaking (Derek Simpson is at a craft conference). The company had now made the decision to move production to the USA.

17. A coach had gone that day to London to lobby Electra (private equity) shareholders about the pensions issue for Lil-lets workers. A film to explain the issues was being produced.

18. Remploy workers at Aintree had overwhelmingly voted for action and the first series of strikes was starting today. Another six sites had been identified to ballot in the next week or so. The government attitude appeared to be hardening and work had started to dismantle some factories. A Labour minister had not even been willing to speak to demonstrators.

19. A document for discussion and consultation setting out a draft sector structure for the UNITE rulebook had not been intended for general circulation within Amicus. After it had been seen by the Joint Executive Council (JEC) on 10th January it had been circulated to National Officers asking them for feedback and to raise any issues with their National Sector Committees. The NEC decided that it should not be circulated to NEC members.


Anonymous said...

In the interests of accuracy, since the last NEC meeting Bro George Hickman (west Mids GPM) has now been accepted as an official candidate in the GPM sector.
He is by far, the most left credentials, experienced and long time activist within the GPM election.

Anonymous said...

Yes, i fully agree.

George is not one of the "johnny comes lately".
He is not afraid to fight the members corner and he's a stalwart and committed activist/lay member rep at all levels of the print unions and labour movement over many years.
He is also the candidate the heirarcy tried to block and deny representing the GPM grassroots.

Anonymous said...

yes Georrge Hickman is the candidate for the real GPM left. not one of the GPM (left phonies) being pushed by the machine.

He is the only one supported by the official GPM Broad Left and an independent body NOT of the union.


Anonymous said...

regarding the GPM election to Unite NEC.
Stew Eve is a nice lad but has an habit of not speaking up at meeting other than the planted question.
As for this Glyn/Glenn fellow I've never heard of him or seen him on any demos over the last 20 odd years.
Its rumoured he's very new labour but not political, no baggage, very compliant ambitious to quickly get on.
If he's a good lad and votes the right way that may well happen?

As for George Hickman I agree with all the comments so far - hes been a tireless servant of our members over all his working life and not afraid of speaking out and awkward questions.

Anonymous said...

the number of anonymous hits on this and other websites shows the climate of fear and bullying within amicus particular at the centre.

as for Hickman he is not a stooge and flunky of burke, daviesen and team.
the others are mostly camp followers of the union machine

Anonymous said...

well done George.
hope the GPM members turn out and vote for you.

we don't need yess men on NEC

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Glen Jackson is not and has never been a members of the labour party he is some distace to the left of labour he has been about for over 20 years with regards to george a great man but not the brightest button