Wednesday 27 May 2009

Reinstate Rob Williams - the fight is on!

I've just heard the wonderful news that UNITE members at Linamar (formerly Ford, then Visteon) in Swansea have voted by 88% for strike action to oppose the sacking of their convenor, Rob Williams. This vote comes despite a concerted campaign of threats and "promises" from management.

Now the members have shown their determination not to sell their terms and conditions or to allow their union organisation to be beheaded, it is up to all of us in the trade union movement to match their courage with our support and solidarity.

I previously posted the details of where to send messages and donations. Please make them pour in.

Thursday 21 May 2009

Fujitsu pensions fight - a wider significance

UNITE members at Fujitsu are campaigning to protect their (ICL Defined Benefit) pension scheme, following the announcement by the company of its proposal to close it.

You might have the impression that this sort of thing is going on all the time - but you would be wrong. Fujitsu is the first of a new wave of companies trying to cut pensions. It's not likely to be good news when your employer makes the front page of either the FT or Professional Pensions - never mind both.

This comes after we were hit by Nortel going into administration, as they ran the pension scheme for our older pensioners.

The outcome of our efforts to defend our pensions (and to overturn a pay freeze) against a profitable company could shape the fate of pensions for employees far beyond Fujitsu.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Reinstate Rob Williams

All trade unionists should be supporting the campaign for the reinstatement of Rob Williams, the UNITE convenor at Linamar (formerly Ford, then Visteon) in South Wales.

Linamar sacked Rob in the most disgraceful circumstances - blatant victimisation of a well known figure in the trade union movement. Usually in these circumstances, employers try to hide their intention to slash terms and conditions for the workforce once they have beheaded the union. This time it's out in the open.

Rob played an important part in raising solidarity for his former colleagues at Visteon, and is also vice-chair of the National Shop Stewards Network.

For more information, see or on Facebook or call Rob on 07816134690.

Continue to phone protests to:
Head of Swansea Linamar Brian Wade 01792 656339
Personnel Manager 01792 656238

Messages of protest to
Messages of support to Rob Williams:

Unite members in the Swansea Plant are balloting for strike action to force management to reinstate Rob. They are appealing to the trade union movement to contribute to their hardship fund. Make cheques payable to "TGWU branch 4/1" – c/o 31, Waun Wen Terrace, Swansea SA1 1DX or pay into Unity Trust Bank - sort code 086001 account number 20055051.

Monday 18 May 2009

EEE & ITC lay member structures

Following the EC meeting last week, I now have copies of most of the proposals for the Regional Industrial Sector Committees for the Electrical Engineering and Electronics sector and the IT & Communications sector of UNITE.

These are likely to see a few changes, then go back to a special EC meeting in a week or so.

Why should you care? Well if you are an activist in either sector, you should get involved to make your sector as vibrant and relevant as possible. The proposals set out the numbers of seats and constituencies proposed for each sector in each region. These are supposed to reflect the industrial mix - and it is important that they do so that there as many as possible of our reps and activists can have a say in the sector.

I'm circulating the proposals to the reps who were on the old EEE&IT National Sector Committee for comment. If you are a rep in the sector and want a look, please just get in touch.