Wednesday 19 December 2012

UNITE Branch Standards and Standing Orders

The recent Executive Council (EC) meeting approved two documents that will be useful for branches.

  1. Branch Standards
  2. Model Standing Orders for branches
I think the branch standards document is a massive improvement on previous versions, and I was also pleased that the EC has made clear that the Standing Orders are just a "model" that branches can adapt to suit their own circumstances.  I think this is a huge step forward from a position we used to have where the EC imposed Standing Orders which even dictated the order of agenda items, putting significant barriers in the way of branches that wanted the flexibility to make their meetings more interesting, accessible and relevant for members.

Government attack on redundancy rights

Yesterday the government announced its plans to cut the minimum period for employers consulting their employees before making large scale redundancies from 90 days to 45 days.  It's already easier to cut jobs in the UK than in many other countries, but the Tories and Lib Dems want to make it easier still.

The 90 day period only applies where an employer plans to dismiss 100 or more staff through redundancy in one establishment, so this change only affects bigger employers.

I was pleased to see that UNITE promptly put out a press release attacking the move.  This is an issue we should take into the workplaces too.  Many employees, whether union members or not, know from bitter experience how important the consultation period is for protecting jobs.  We need to mobilise them against this threat.

The consultation period is supposed to allow employees, usually through their unions, to get information from the employer and put forward ideas for avoiding the redundancies, reducing the numbers of redundancies, and mitigating the consequences of the redundancies if they go ahead.  This process often does save jobs.  Cutting the time available means fewer jobs will be saved.

The consultation period is also useful for individuals.  It gives them time to consider their options, to seek redeployment within the company and to look for work outside.  In my own workplace we have negotiated time periods better than the existing legal minimum and this has been a major factor in securing redeployment within the company for many staff.  Shorter consultation periods mean fewer redeployments, more lives wrecked and employers wasting more money making staff redundant and then hiring new ones.

There's another factor in this which unions need to take very seriously indeed.  The change would, when combined with the anti-union laws, make it extremely difficult for members to take lawful industrial action in defence of jobs.  The anti-union laws require the union to provide the employer with an accurate breakdown of the numbers and categories of members to be balloted 7 days before a ballot opens.  Preparing this can take weeks.  Ballots rarely run for less than two weeks, after which the union has to give another 7 days notice to the employer before lawful industrial action can begin.  So even if the union is perfectly prepared and can issue the notice of ballot instantly, without any checking of membership records (pigs might fly) you still need a minimum of about 4 weeks before action can begin.  If the government goes ahead with this I foresee more and more workers feeling that the anti-union laws give them no way of defending their jobs lawfully and deciding to take unofficial action instead.

I heard one government spokes-idiot referring to the proposed change as getting a better balance between employers and workers.  The employer-employee relationship is an inherently unequal one and rarely more so than in a redundancy situation.  Can workers decide to make their bosses redundant?  Yet the Tories and Liberal Democrats obviously think that the feeble employment protection workers currently enjoy gives workers too much power in the relationship and it needs to be reduced!  Is it too much to ask that Labour's front bench vigorously oppose this?

The proposals are fully in tune with the overall government approach, which sees working tax credits and other benefits being cut for the poorest, while corporation tax is cut for their city mates.

Solidarity with Steve Acheson

I joined a protest today at Fiddlers Ferry power station marking five years that Steve Acheson has been protesting there.

Steve is one of many activists in the construction in industry who have been sacked and blacklisted by employers - despite this being illegal.  Steve has played a crucial role in exposing blacklisting, a campaign that has made real headway recently.  The electricians' successful campaign against the attempt by major contractors to impose the BESNA deal increased the visibility of the issue, particularly because of the key role blacklisted workers played in the campaign.  Steve's tenacity in protesting for five years has been matched by relentless efforts by Steve and others to use legal action to obtain vital information about this shady world.
The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee has been investigating blacklisting, and took evidence from Ian Kerr, one of the people involved in running a blacklisting outfit called the Consulting Association which has been exposed.  Kerr gave evidence a few weeks ago:

Kerr declined to give evidence publicly about certain topics relating to the security services, and was due to give evidence on that in private, but he died before he did.

Friday 14 December 2012

West Midlands workers stand up to 2 Sisters Food Group

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Support the Tesco / Eddie Stobart strikers

The all-out strike by UNITE members against mass sackings at Tesco / Eddie Stobart in Doncaster continues.  The photo below is from a Unite the Resistance meeting in Manchester which decided to organise a solidarity protest outside a store and to invite strikers to visit workplaces in Manchester to raise support.

Send cheques payable to "TGWU 8-9/490 Branch Tesco Contract" to Harriet Eisner, Unite, Sovereign Court, 300 Barrow Road, Sheffield S9 1JQ.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

More information on the UNITE General Secretary election

A page has been set up on the new UNITE web site for details of the UNITE General Secretary election 2013.

Thursday 6 December 2012

Report from UNITE Executive Council meeting, December 2012

The report below is incomplete - I will update it to add more, but I thought it worth posting now as I'm getting so many questions.  As well as the points marked where incomplete, there are whole sections still to put in.

N.B. This is not an official Unite Report; it is based on my notes of the Executive Council (EC) meeting. I believe it to be a fair account of some of the key points and decisions taken (where I give my views about them I make this clear), and I will willingly correct any errors upon receipt of official notification from Unite.

Ian Allinson
UNITE EC member, IT & Communications

General Secretary Election
The main excitement in this meeting surrounded a statement from Len McCluskey and decisions of the Executive Council to call an early General Secretary election.  The official press release is online.  Due to concerns about the election process I voted against this decision.  The timetable is:

  • December 2012: notice of election and nomination forms sent to branches and Regional Secretaries
  • 1st January – 15th February 2013: branch and workplace nomination meetings (which must be convened in accordance with the election rules)
  • 31st January 2013: date upon which eligibility to vote is based
  • 22nd February 2013 (noon): deadline for receipt of nominations by the Independent Scrutineer
  • 1st March 2013 (noon): deadline for receipt of candidates’ acceptance of nomination by the Returning Officer, along with their election statement
  • 3rd April 2013: Ballot enquiry service for members opens
  • 18th March – 12th April 2013: Ballot period
  • 13th – 14th April 2013: Count
  • 15th April 2013: Declaration

There is a ten page set of rules and guidelines for the election here (subject to the correction of a date on page 7 which has December 2013 instead of 2012).

Nomination forms will be sent to branches.  Workplaces may also nominate unless they have a workplace branch, which would mean duplicate nominations, but workplace reps have to request nomination forms from their Regional Secretary.

Following advice from the Director of Legal Services the Executive agreed a change to rule 16.2 to reduce the qualifying period of membership to be a candidate for General Secretary from 10 years to 5 years, because a 10 year requirement was likely to be discriminatory on grounds of age and sex.

General Strike
There was an extensive debate about motion 5 at the TUC Congress about considering the practicalities of the General Strike.  UNITE has had to fight to ensure this wasn’t dropped from the agenda and to avoid a defeatist consultation document being circulated to unions.

The work of John Hendy and Keith Ewing on the legalities of a General Strike was welcomed, but it was recognised that this did not overcome the problem of the law being used against workers or their unions.  Historically, effective action by working people has often had to be in defiance of laws intended to prevent them organising and winning.

Some unions oppose the idea of a General Strike outright, while others support it rhetorically while doing little practically.  Some want to wait for a general election in the hope that Labour will undo the destruction of our services, the welfare state and the economy.

At the EC there was consensus that a General Strike should be one of the tools in our armoury against cuts and austerity, but that serious campaigning was required to ensure that members supported this and it was effective.  We need to avoid this being counterposed to other action, such as coordinated action in the public sector over pay.

Ideas discussed included:

  • Focussing action around a particular issue, such as defence of the NHS, or coordinating action over industrial issues across sectors
  • Ensuring that key powerful sectors were on board
  • Using speakers from countries that have already had mass action for speaking tours
  • Ensuring the issues and barriers are discussed at RISCs etc
  • Submitting our own paper to the TUC to shape the consultation with other unions
  • Using marches, rallies, civil disobedience and smaller industrial action to build confidence and consciousness
  • UNITE is working on a number of plans to build resistance including a demonstration linking up major cities culminating in a Rock Against Poverty concert.
  • More to add

Branches & Sectors

  • Someone from the Research Department will be identified to be seconded to ensure queries about branch financing are dealt with promptly
  • A report on elections to the Regional Industrial Sector Committees (RISCs) showed significant gaps across most of the union, with certain sectors (including IT & Comms) and regions faring particularly badly.  The EC agreed some initial actions (including remits from the IT & Comms National Industrial Sector Committee) to address this and to consult sectors on further proposals.

Organising, Campaigning and Communication

  • Over 50,000 new members have been recruited as part of the “100% campaign” over the last twelve months.  The rate is expected to drop a little as organisers are gradually withdrawn from supporting officers to return to more strategic organising.  The organising department has begun looking at targets for strategic organising, and is looking at key industries with potential power.
  • UNITE has produced a new booklet explaining our “leverage” strategy.  The strategy is worrying employers – UNITE has obtained copies of a report by a QC commissioned to try to find ways to stop it - unsuccessfully.  Leverage should be used to complement rather than replace collective strength.  Companies which dismiss or blacklist reps or withdraw from union agreements will be priority targets for leverage.  It will also be used to support members fighting to save jobs (rather than to improve redundancy terms).
  • A new guide to industrial action for officers and activists is in final draft.  More to add.
  • Members face massive attacks on the welfare state, including working tax credits and Disability Living Allowance.  Many don’t yet realise the impact this will have next year and we need to involve everyone in campaigning against the attacks.
  • There was discussion about the need to defend the NHS which faces cuts, privatisation and even hospitals going bankrupt.  This included how to mobilise our wider membership and the community with our members in health.  The recent campaigns in Bristol and Lewisham were highlighted as examples.
  • The new web site is live at and is intended to be far more interactive and to link better with social media and campaigning.  Some glitches are being ironed out.  The old site has been archived at
  • Many industrial issues were discussed including the threat to manufacturing of black cabs at Manganese Bronze, the threats to Ford Southampton and Dagenham, the all-out strike against job losses at Eddie Stobart Doncaster after outsourcing by Tesco, opposing attacks on Agenda for Change in the NHS, blacklisting (get your MP to sign EDM609), the disputes at Amnesty and Crossrail, more to add
  • The pensions bill is going through parliament – Labour is abstaining.  There are also problems getting the government to stick to the agreement in Local Authorities.
  • The EC was appalled to hear the decision to close all the remaining Remploy factories.  Of those already made redundant, only around 2% have found alternative employment.


Youth and Community

  • The EC welcomed Bryan Simpson, the new young members’ EC observer.
  • Six UNITE regions now have Community Coordinators appointed on a 12 month basis to stimulate the community membership initiative.  Other regions are being consulted about when to start theirs.


  • 14th November saw an unprecedented level of coordinated industrial action and protests across Europe, though northern Europe had been much less involved
  • There was a presentation from Union Solidarity International (USI) which is providing resources to help branches and workplaces raise awareness amongst members about international issues
  • There was a welcome for the result of the US Presidential election.
  • EC members were pleased that the union had issued a statement about the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza and felt that UNITE had played its part in preventing a ground invasion.  There were lots of volunteers for a delegation to Palestine – names had been selected randomly.
  • The question was raised of whether UNITE’s statement about the massacre of miners at Marikana in South Africa was still appropriate as more information had come out and this will be reviewed.  A delegation from the South African NUM is coming to the UK early next year.
  • UNITE is the main union in Gibraltar and the General Secretary had visited and taken part in commemorations of the 40th anniversary of a General Strike which won equal rights for Gibraltarians.  UNITE has been campaigning for equal rights for Moroccan workers in Gibraltar, many of whom have lived and worked there for years.  The new Chief Minister is progressing their naturalisation.
  • Tony Woodley reported on the ongoing efforts on behalf of the Miami 5.


  • A large survey of the individual cases being handled by full time officers showed that 43% were from workplaces without union recognition, the rest from recognised workplaces.  Cases should generally be dealt with by workplace reps so that officers can focus on their other functions.  We need to ensure we have as many well-trained, confident reps as possible.
  • The General Secretary reported that a number of senior officers have left or taken Voluntary Redundancy and informed the EC of his plans to reshuffle their responsibilities.  The new roles will be communicated shortly.  The General Secretary made clear that the process is not complete and he expects to make further changes.
  • The March EC is expected to consider whether to appoint a Regional Secretary in the North-West or continue using an “acting” one
  • It was agreed that using “acting” positions, particularly for long periods, tended to give an advantage to that individual in subsequent appointments and could therefore undermine the efforts we are making to promote diversity in appointments.  We will try to minimise the use of acting roles.
  • UNITE is introducing new employment policies including Capability, Absence and Equality.
  • Howard Beckett, the head of Legal Services, is also taking over responsibility for membership

Wednesday 5 December 2012

All-out strike at Tesco / Eddie Stobart

UNITE members at Eddie Stobart in Doncaster start an all-out strike tonight against plans to get rid of them straight after they were outsourced byTesco.

They will be protesting at Tesco stores and are holding a demonstration in Doncaster on Saturday.

For more information, see the UNITE press release.

Many workers across all sectors are affected by outsourcing and the weak protection offered by the TUPE regulations.  We should all get behind the members at Eddie Stobart and put as much pressure on Tesco to sort this out as possible.

New UNITE web site and broken links

UNITE has launched a new web site at the same address -

Unfortunately this means links to pages on the old site no longer work - and the error page doesn't suggest a solution (hopefully this will be fixed soon).

In broken web addresses (URLs) replacing "www" with "archive" should take you to the old page - for example the new rulebook is now via

I will go through this site and try to update all the links when I get the time.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

UNITE General Secretary election

Following a statement from the General Secretary, the majority of the UNITE Executive Council (EC) today agreed the following statement:

The Executive Council welcomes the progress made towards creating a common Unite constitution, structure and culture over the last two years, and believes that the benefits of this are starting to be felt throughout the union and the wider labour movement.
With a devastating economic crisis unfolding, the need throughout the movement for clear and purposeful leadership will be of continuing importance.  Unite's own further integration and development would also be enhanced by clarity and stability regarding the union's leadership over the next period.
The Executive Council also notes that rule 15.2 mandates that the next General Secretary election will take place in 2015, at the same time as the General Election itself is scheduled.  Any outcome of the General Election will certainly raise important issues for Unite and its membership, in particular in relation to our political strategy and our links with the Labour Party, requiring strong leadership at that time.  It will be no time for a vacuum such as would inevitably be the consequence of a General Secretary election campaign at the same time.
In the light of these considerations, the Executive Council resolves to hold an election for the post of Unite General Secretary as soon as practicable, and directs the Chief of Staff to bring forward proposals to this end.
I expect the Chief of Staff to bring forward the proposals for the timetable and conduct of the election so that they can be decided at the Executive Council meeting which continues this week.

Monday 3 December 2012

Updated version of UNITE Rulebook

An updated version of the UNITE Rulebook is now available via here.

This includes recent amendments to the rules as well as the Executive Council's guidance on interpretation of rules.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Short video explaining unions and what we've achieved

Well done to Jamie-Max Caldwell who has produced this short video for Unite into Schools explaining what unions are and what we've achieved.  It's easy for older union activists to take for granted that people understand what unions are and how they work - doing so can be a real barrier to organising young people.

Impressive Unite the Resistance conference

A couple of weeks ago I was part of a delegation to the national conference of Unite the Resistance, which attracted around 1000 debating how we build the fightback.

There's a report on the Unite the Resistance web site, videos here and here along with the statement agreed by conference.  Here's Gill George's speech on the attacks on our NHS and the fight-back against them:

Monday 19 November 2012

Free communication over the internet under threat?

The TUC's "Going To Work" web site is promoting a campaign to pressure governments attending the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) conference in Dubai this December to reject proposals for a new treaty that would restrict the freedom of internet users by giving governments and corporations the power to:

  • Restrict access to the internet to approved uses
  • Monitor everything you do online
  • Change the way we pay for the internet, potentially marginalising civil society and developing countries
The ITU is a United Nations (UN) Agency, and comprises both governments as members and big corporations.  Take a look at the list of corporate members of the ITU and if you work for a major IT or telecomms company there's a fair chance you'll see your own employer there.

As well as a number of free-speech and human rights groups, the International TUC is campaigning to prevent an alliance of governments such as China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, alongside big corporations, pushing through the new treaty.

What I find most disgraceful is the lack of publicity around a potential treaty with such implications.  Has there been any consultation with citizens or employees about what stance governments or corporations should take at the conference?  As in so much else, powerful people are trying to make important decisions far away from the public eye and with no accountability.

You can sign the online petition on the Going To Work web site, which also has further information.

In the video below Vint Cerf 'Father of the Internet', Paul Twomey Former Head of ICANN and Sharan Burrow General Secretary of the ITUC launch 'Stop The Net Grab' at the Foreign Press Association in London Monday 12 November 2012.

HP European Alliance

I posted back in August about HP workers terminating their European Works Council (EWC) agreement in response to the failure to consult properly over massive job cuts.

industriALL, a major union federation which covers IT & Communications, and to which UNITE is affiliated, has built on this by announcing an "HP European Alliance" to coordinate the work of unions, works councils and representatives from the European Works Council - to try to give employees a more effective voice.

It will be interesting to see how this initiative develops.  It's common practice for employers to try to play workers in different countries or different unions off against each other, or to try to create conflict between unions and works councils which are each trying to pursue the interests of employees in different ways.  Cultural, political, legal and organisational barriers often get in the way of the unity employees need to have an effective voice and it is good to see an attempt to overcome this.  Will it help deliver real action to challenge job losses or to curb management by dictat?

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Temporary and Agency Worker Resources

Many employers use (and abuse) agency workers - not just to cover short-term fluctuations in workload or to cover absences, but to provide a proportion of the workforce who can be more cheaply dismissed, who have fewer rights and, until recently, who could often be paid less.

The Agency Worker Regulations (AWR), which came into force last year, were intended to partially address this by giving temporary and agency workers some legal protection against unfair treatment.

But as with all legislation, it's not much help if there's no effective enforcement.  Whether a law works often comes down to whether individuals know their rights and whether they have the support of union organisation to advise and support them in asserting their rights.  And of course where there is good union organisation we should be treating the legislation as a bare minimum and seeking to negotiate standards which are considerably higher wherever possible.

There are now quite a few useful publications to help union members and reps take advantage of the AWR, including:

Monday 12 November 2012

Virgin Media union busting

The CWU and BECTU unions are reporting an initiative by Virgin Media to try to deny staff union recognition.

With no warning, the employer has used a company it has engaged, rather than anyone independent, to run a "ballot" of staff in its Access Division over the company's plan to derecognise the unions.  The company has sent staff material explaining its position, not including any material from the unions, and has included in the ballot people who aren't covered by union recognition anyway.

If any union ran an industrial action ballot like this the law would be down on us like a ton of bricks.

This kind of employer action brings back memories for me.  I first joined the union at work when my own employer tried to derecognise it.  Many others joined at the same time.  At the time the union in my workplace wasn't well organised and wasn't very effective for us, but we felt that we, not the company, should choose who represented us.  We understood that getting rid of the union was likely to be a precursor to worsening pay, terms and conditions.  Our campaign was successful in defending union recognition and the union today is a lot more active and effective than it was then.

I hope staff at Virgin Media are successful in defending their union recognition and come out of the campaign with their organisation reinvigorated.

Saturday 10 November 2012

Officer accountability

Executive Council (EC) members have now been sent a list of UNITE officers and which lay committees they are accountable to, in line with the new rule introduced at the 2011 Rules Conference, which gave the EC the power to:

14.8.5 Determine one or more constitutional committees of lay members to which
each officer employed by the Union shall report and be accountable and
ensure that the list of these allocation sis available to members.

I'll happily send the full list to UNITE members on request, but here are the ones for the IT & Comms sector Regional Industrial Sector Committees (RISCs):

  1. East Midlands: Nigel Hadfield
  2. Ireland: G Scott (Northern Ireland), D Mahon (Republic of Ireland)
  3. London & Eastern: Mike Eatwell
  4. North East, Yorkshire & Humberside: Christian Ratcliffe
  5. North West: Phil Allman
  6. Scotland: Gillian McKay
  7. South East: Colin Rose
  8. South West: C Starling
  9. Wales: Bryan Apsley
  10. West Midlands: R Storry

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Glossary and Jargon Buster

I've created a new page on this site as a Glossary & Jargon Buster - I hope you find it useful.

You can help by commenting on that page with suggestions for words and acronyms I should add.  If you know the answers, you can help even more by suggesting explanations for them!

Monday 5 November 2012

Help for UNITE Branch Officers

I hear from lots of UNITE branch officers who are struggling to do their job under the new arrangements for branches - largely because of a lack of information.

The North-West region has produced a helpful branch officers' pack which includes:

  1. Branch finances
  2. Example rules and Standing Orders for branches
  3. Trades Council affiliations
  4. Accessing the branch secretaries' portal (or membership portal)
  5. Education
  6. Community membership
  7. Legal & affiliated services
  8. UNITE merchandise
  9. Applying for a UNITE email address
Most of the information would be equally applicable for branch officers in other regions.

Wednesday 31 October 2012

UNITE members at Coventry taxi manufacturing plant occupy

There's an ITV news report here and the local Express & Star covers it here. UNITE press release here.

Saturday 20 October 2012

Len McCluskey's speech at the October 20th demo

Wednesday 10 October 2012

General Secretary's report from UNITE EC September 2012

The General Secretary's report from the September 2012 UNITE Executive Council (EC) meeting is now out.  I will send it to UNITE members on request.

Sunday 9 September 2012

How to shape UNITE policy

The various UNITE conferences going on at the moment are leading many activists who have previously concerned themselves only with issues within their own workplace to try to get their heads round UNITE's structure.

One of the questions I am being asked is where an activist would send a remit (the term now used for a motion or resolution) if they wanted it to become UNITE policy and I'll try to answer this question below.

Don't forget that you don't always need to send a remit "all the way" to the Executive Council (EC) - send it as far as is needed to get the action you want.  For example sectors have autonomy over sectoral matters so a National Industrial Sector Committee (NISC) should be able to deal with most things without needing to wait for approval from the EC.

Policy Conference
Under Rule 12, UNITE holds a Policy Conference every two years, most recently in June 2012.  Each branch and constitutional committee (which means things like Regional Industrial Sector Committees [RISCs], Area Activist Committees [AACs], Regional Committees, Equality Committees but not workplace committees, combines or industrial committees which aren't defined in rule) can submit a motion to Policy Conference, but delegates overwhelmingly come via the industrial sector committees.

Between Policy Conferences
A branch or an individual rep can send remits up through the structure via several routes:

1) To your Area Activists Committee, who can send it on to the Regional Committee, who can send it on to the Executive Council.  This route is best for general issues.

2) To your Regional Industrial Sector Committee, who can send it to the Regional Committee, who can send it on to the Executive Council.

3) To your Regional Industrial Sector Committee, who can send it to your National Industrial Sector Committee (NISC) who can send it on to the Executive Council.  This is best for issues which are of significant concern to your industrial sector.

4) To one of the Regional Equality Committees, who can send it to the National Equality Committee, who can send it on to the Executive Council.  This is best for issues which mainly relate to one strand of equality (i.e. women, disability, LGBT, BAEM, young members, retired members).

5) To one of the Regional Equality Committees, who can send it to the Regional Committee, who can send it to the Executive Council.

More Information
I've gathered a lot of information about UNITE's structures on a separate page.

One effect of the many layers remits have to navigate is that it takes a long time, so it's worth checking the schedule of meetings.  The current system makes remits very vulnerable to a cancelled or inquorate meeting anywhere on its route, which can add significant delays too.  Personally I preferred the system in Amicus where any branch could send a motion directly to the EC.  This, along with the greater frequency of EC meetings meant that there was the potential for the union to be much more responsive.  Of course we didn't get a lot of benefit from this as the Amicus EC often voted down potentially useful motions.

UNITE victory against offshoring at Capita IT Services

Many employers in the IT industry and beyond use the threat of moving work offshore to countries with low wages and few employment rights to try to persuade workers that it would be pointless or counter-productive to defend terms and conditions or fight for decent pay.

UNITE members at Capita IT Services, by voting to strike and calling action, have not only stopped the immediate threat of redundancies and jobs being moved offshore, but also secured a commitment to negotiate a new job security agreement.

This victory contains important lessons for workers in many industries - globalisation does not make workers powerless, if they get organised and are prepared to use the strength they have.

Friday 31 August 2012

Performance Appraisals, Forced Ranking, Stacked Ranking

When UNITE reps in the IT Services industry were creating our Charter for Fair Pay, one of the issues identified was "forced ranking" - the practice of some companies and managers of pre-determining the proportions of people to receive each score in a performance appraisal system.

There is a mass of evidence about how unfair, discriminatory and counter-productive forced ranking systems are.  There's an interesting article by a management consultant here blaming a variant of this system for Microsoft's poor culture and declining financial performance.  Useful ammunition for union members seeking to oppose the introduction of forced ranking or throw it out where it's already used.

UNITE schedule of meetings 2013

Regional Industrial Sector; Area Activists;
Regional Equalities &
Regional Political Committees

National Industrial Sector Committees &
National Political Committee


National Equalities

December 2012

Jan 2nd – 21st

Jan 22nd – 30th

31st Jan – 8th Feb

March 2013

April 2nd – 19th

April 22nd – 26th

29th April – 10th May

June 2013

July 1st – 12th

July 22nd – 26th

July 15th – 19th

September 2013

Oct 7th – 25th

Oct 28th – 1st Nov

Nov 4th – 8th

Executive Council Meetings:                                              Bank Holidays:

            11th – 15th March 2013                                               1st January 2013
            10th – 14th June 2013                                                  29th March – 1st April 2013
            16th – 20th September 2013                                        6th May 2013
             9th – 13th December 2013                                         27th May 2013
                                                                                                26th August 2013
Finance & General Purposes Committee:                         25th & 26th December 2013

            24th January 2013                                                                  
            21st February 2013
            25th April 2013
            23rd May 2013
            18th July 2013
             4th Sepember 2013
            24th October 2013
            21st November 2013  

Annual Trades Union Congress:

            8th – 11th September 2013

Annual Labour Party Conference:

            22nd – 26th September 2013