Sunday 22 September 2013

UNITE Executive Council elections 2014

This week's UNITE Executive Council (EC) meeting decided the timetable and constituencies for the next EC elections, which are due in 2014, with the new EC taking office on 1 May 2014.

The timetable is:

  • Despatch of nomination forms: w/c 6 Jan 2014
  • Nomination meetings: Mon 13 Jan - Tue 11 Feb 2014
  • Last date for receipt of nominations: Tue 18 Feb 2014
  • Last date for acceptance and receipt of election address: Tue 25 Feb 2014
  • Voting papers despatched: 26-28 Mar 2014
  • Last date for receipt of votes: Wed 23 Apr 2014 (NB: this is just after the Easter bank holiday weeked)
  • Count: Thu 24 and Fri 25 Apr 2014
Nominations for industrial sector seats are by branches including members in the sector.  Where there is no workplace branch, workplaces including members in the sector can also make nominations.

The seats are allocated based on the number of paying members, making a total of 59.

23 regional seats:
  • East Midlands: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • London & Eastern: 4 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • NEYH: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • Ireland: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • North-West: 3 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • Scotland: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • South-West: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • Wales: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • West Midlands: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
4 national equalities seats, one each for women, BAEM, LGBT and Disabled members.

32 industrial sector seats:
  • Food, Drink & Tobacco: 2 (including at least 1 woman)
  • Rural, Agricultural and Allied Workers: 1 seat
  • Motors: 2 seats
  • Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Process and Textiles: 2 seats
  • General Engineering, Manufacturing & Services (GEMS): 2 seats
  • Energy/Utilities: 1 seat
  • Metals: 1 seat
  • Aerospace & Shipbuilding: 2 seats
  • Road Transport Commercial, Logistics & Retail Distribution: 2 seats
  • Docks / Rail: 1 seat
  • Passenger: 2 seats
  • Civil Air Transport: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • Finance / Legal: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • Community Youth and Not For Profit: 1 seat
  • Construction: 1 seat
  • Graphical Print & Media and IT: 2 seats
  • Local Authorities: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • Health: 2 seats (including at least 1 woman)
  • MoD / government departments: 1 seat
  • Education: 1 seat
The December EC will address the question of how the election will ensure at least minimum proportionality for BAEM members in this election (which means ensuring at least 6 seats are filled by BAEM members).

Community and Retired Member Plus members cannot currently vote in EC elections, something that the EC expects to be debated at the next Rules Conference, but this would not be until after this round of EC elections.

UNITE constitutional conferences and elections timetable

This is the current timetable, as presented to the September 2013 Executive Council meeting:

  • EC Elections - every 3 years (next elections 2014)
  • Workplace & Branch Rep Elections – every 3 years (next elections 2015)
  • Policy Conferences - every 2 years (next conference 2014)
  • Rules Conference - every 4 years (next conference 2015)
  • National Sector Conferences - every 2 years (next conferences 2013)
  • National Equalities Conferences - every 2 years* (next conferences 2014 & 2015*)
  • National Retired Members Conference - every 2 years (next conference 2013)
  • Regional Industrial Sector Conferences/Elections - every 3 years (next conferences
  • 2015)
  • Regional Equality Conferences/Elections – every 3 years (next conferences 2015)
  • Area Activists Meetings/Elections – every 3 years (next conference 2015)
  • Regional Retired Conferences/Elections – every 3 years (next conference2015)
  • Regional Political Conferences/Elections - every 3 years (next conferences 2014)

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Executive decision on future of IT & Comms in UNITE

Today the UNITE Executive took the decisions on the review of industrial sectors.

In relation to IT & Comms, the decision was broadly in line with the response to the consultation from the IT & Comms National Industrial Sector Committee (NISC).

The IT & Comms sector will be combined with the Graphical, Paper & Media (GPM) sector as the GPM & IT Sector with immediate effect.  An IT & Communications Advisory Committee will be established, subject to review at the end of the current 3-year cycle (2012-2015).

The GPM & IT NISC and Regional Industrial Sector Committees (RISCs) will be formed from all the existing members of the current committees for the remainder of the current term of office, rather than holding fresh elections.  The new combined RISCs will meet from December 2013 and the new NISC from January 2014.

The national sector conference in November 2013 will be a combined GPM & IT one, made up of the delegates elected from the previous sectors.

Work will commence in late 2014/early 2015 on devising new constituencies, including occupational proportionality, for the NISCs and RISCs for electoral period 2015/18.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Schedule of UNITE meetings 2014

UNITE's schedule of meetings 2014 is now out, showing the windows in which the various meetings are supposed to take place to avoid clashes:

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

National Industrial
Sector Committees &
National Political


National Equalities

December 2013

Jan 2nd – 17th

Jan 20th – 31st 

3rd Feb – 12th Feb

March 2014

April 1st – 17th

April 22nd – 30th

May 1st – 13th May

June 2014

July 7th – 17th

July 24th – 30th

July 18th – 23rd July

September 2014

Oct 6th – 23rd

Oct. 24th – 30th

Nov 3rd – 7th Nov

Executive Council meetings:
  • 3-7 March 2014
  • 9-13 June 2014
  • 15-19 September 2014
  • 8-12 December 2014
Policy Conference: 30 June - 4 July 2014

TUC Congress: 7-10 September 2014

Labour Party conference: 21-25 September 2014

Strikes at Hovis and Kuehne+Nagel

It's a busy week for strikes in Greater Manchester.

This morning I visited the bakers' union (BFAWU) picket lines at Hovis in Wigan.  They are starting their second week of strike action against zero hour contracts and the abuse of agency workers.

There's a report here and a collection sheet here.  The union is talking about balloting the sites in Bradford, Leicester and Belfast next.  On Saturday 14th there will be a solidarity march from the Moon Under the Water in Market Square, Wigan to a public meeting at 2:30pm at Whelley Labour Club with Lisa Nandy MP; Ronnie Draper General Secretary BFAWU; Ameen Hadi  UTR; Neil Turner  Ex Wigan MP; Terry Abbott  Wigan Trades council; Ian Hodson BFAWU National President.

Much closer to my own workplace is a Kuehne + Nagel Drinks Logistics depot where I visited UNITE picket lines at dinner time and after work.  The strike affects sites all round the country, and apparently the others were as solidly out as the Manchester one, where nothing went in or out all day.  Pickets continue till 10am tomorrow (Thursday) when an overtime ban and work to rule kicks in.