Thursday 26 July 2018

GPM&IT NISC June 2018

This is my personal report, not an official one. It omits most of the industrial business, as this is often confidential. Other than that, if you are aware of any errors please let me know.

This was the first meeting of the new National Industrial Sector Committee (NISC) elected by the Regional Industrial Sector Committees (RISCs) for the 2018-20 term of office.

  1. Steve Garroway was re-elected as chair.
  2. It was agreed that as there were a number of new delegates, the election of deputy chair would be postponed until the next meeting, and for now Charlie Shieber would continue as deputy.
  3. A number of corrections were agreed to the previous minutes
  4. There is now a template for NISC minutes with an action plan as a spreadsheet at the end
  5. Louisa Bull, the National Officer, has been working on a charter setting out where we are as a sector, subsectors, key areas of future work etc. The future work will include a full audit / mapping exercise of the sector, identifying membership density, areas of growth, combines, European Works Councils and experts etc. One of the aims will be to use the Work Voice Pay data to identify projects we want to do and extend collective bargaining, enhance subsectors and combines.
  6. A draft of a booklet on apprenticeships was circulated for comments by 1 July.
  7. The NISC's Organising Strategy Subcommittee was elected: Charlie Shieber, Gareth Lowe, Ronan Turley, Ian Allinson, Steve Garroway, Claire Lees
  8. The joiners and leavers data provided to NISC members had gone from too much detail, not showing trends and changes, to not enough detail to be useful. Louisa explained that things like this were in flux following the GDPR data protection legislation. Louisa will produce a new template and email it out.
  9. There was discussion about the fact that there are 170 different officers covering workplaces in the sector, most of them with only a small piece of GPM&IT in their allocation, and how this prevents focus or expertise. There are examples of different officers covering sites belonging to competing companies right near each other.
  10. The issue of the Labour Party and even parts of Unite using non-unionised printers was discussed yet again. Louisa reported that she had raised it with Jennie Formby, now the Labour Party General Secretary. Louisa will forward to the NISC an email from Jennie confirming the policy on this set by the Labour NEC. Louisa has asked Regional Officers to produce a list of half a dozen small print shops they would happily recommend. It was agreed that this list should include what types of work the printers can do and that it should be circulated to RISC chairs and branch secretaries and Unite Political Officers as well as the NISC.
  11. A team to work on content for the sector's web site and social media profile was elected: Helen Kerr, John Stuttle, Ian Allinson and Jamie Messent. Louisa reported that the web site was being revamped and she ws unable to get it updated. The NISC can still consider what it wants in terms of structure, sector and company pages, toolkits etc ready for when the site is usable again. Unite recommends that all RISC and NISC members have email addresses, which can be put up on the web site too.
  12. The Unite briefing on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) had been sent to all reps. A 5-day course covering this in Eastbourne is coming up, with the deadline soon. Delegates felt this was an important issue to raise, recruit around, and use as leverage to tackle the issue, even when there is no pay bargaining or transparency. A tool is being developed to show the GPG for every employer in the sector. There was also discussion about a successful equal pay case and the need to publicise such wins. Louisa will circulate a template grievance questionnaire for discrimination cases developed after the government scrapped the statutory questionnaire.
  13. One area for potential growth is into the white collar staff and technical workers in workplaces where there is already shopfloor bargaining. In many workplaces the proportion of shopfloor workers is shrinking.
  14. All activists should have received the activist briefing on the new GDPR data protection legislation and the document explaining how to report data breaches. The Executive Council have had training and all branch secretaries and chairs will get training via their regions in the next couple of months. Legal have been invited to do this at the November NISC as well. Some amendments had been made by the EC to the Unite Rulebook in response to GDPR. There was discussion about the fact that some officers and staff are refusing to share information with RISC members on grounds of the GDPR, unless specific consent is obtained each time. I pointed out that the Unite GDPR Guidelines make clear that reps and branch officers can have access to membership information for legitimate union activity and that the officers and staff were breaking rule 18.7 which requires RISC members to be given the identity, constituency and contact details of reps covered by their RISC. A situation where committee members can't even communicate with each other is absurd. Update: this still doesn't seem to have been resolved, with Unite legal advising officers and staff to break union rules on the pretext of GDPR. In the meantime, NISC members agreed to share their contact information with each other, and those absent would be asked to consent to this too. There was a discussion about how to ensure our use of data is GDPR compliant at branch and workplace level, and the risks of communicating or keeping information on employers' systems.
  15. Barckley Sumner from the Unite Campaigns & Communications department gave a presentation about best practice for media content, producing content, use of photos etc.
  16. Gareth Lowe was elected as editor of the GPM&IT quarterly newsletter which goes to all activists in the sector. Each RISC is asked to elect someone to liaise with him, to help ensure a good mix of content from round the UK and Ireland.
  17. The NISC discussed ideas for content for the next newsletter, for which the deadline is 31 July. The newsletter will be shorter and more industrially focused, with the hope that activists will circulate copies in workplaces.
  18. Work on the idea of piloting the "industrial hub" approach to organising in the corrugated subsector continues. Communication is being improved, and coordination around bargaining. The international union federations (IndustriALL and UNI) can help with research, and AGS Steve Turner has resources for the hubs strategy, which may be helpful as the sector isn't getting resources from the organising department.
  19. Work to update the Stratum membership system records for GPM&IT workplaces to include subsector, national agreements, and which bits of workplaces are covered by agreements continues. Some Regional Officers are working on it, and some RISCs. Some NISC members volunteered to help too. Where possible, government codes for subsectors are being used. Louisa has a short description for each subsector which she will circulate. If the population isn't finished, the spreadsheets will be sent to RISCs to complete.
  20. Louisa had attended 6 of the Regional Industrial Sector Conferences. She hadn't been invited to one (which clashed with another anyway), two were not quorate, and Wales is still not working. Reps from Wales who wanted to be on the RISC and NISC have been invited to the NISC as observers while this is sorted out. Most of the meetings were good in terms of attendance and participation.
  21. Information wasn't cascading from the National Officer through the officers who act as secretaries to the RISCs to all the reps, so Louisa is now sending stuff directly to all officers who cover GPM&IT.
  22. Louisa wants the NISC to produce a sector plan, then RISCs to work from that and identify how they can pick up those areas of work in their region, what actions they can take.
  23. We hope to get NISC minutes finalised quickly so they can get to RISC members in time for the following RISC meetings. Louisa is emailing the RISC officers to ask them to put the NISC minutes onto their agendas.
  24. There was discussion about the latest developments in the ongoing Fujitsu dispute.
  25. The Print Futures award has been widened to include paper and packaging.
  26. Ronan Turley, Steve Garroway and Claire Lees were elected as 2 delegates and a substitute to the Unite Manufacturing Combine.
  27. Delegates were reminded that if they can't attend a NISC meeting, they should ask the RISC to send a substitute.
  28. There was discussion about the push to "paperless meetings" in some organisations (e.g. UNI World Congress) and the fact that not everyone has the facilities or skills to engage effectively without printed material. Unite's policy is that individuals should be provided with printed copies of documents for meetings if they prefer that. For the NISC, documents will be emailed out, with printed copies posted to delegates who request it. Printed copies of the agenda, minutes and anything being debated rather than provided for background information will be provided on the day.
  29. An emergency motion on Gaza for Policy Conference was agreed.
  30. Louisa undertook to provide GPM&IT policy conference delegates with a list so they could communicate with each other.
  31. Louisa will circulate a report from an IT delegation to a recent conference in Mumbai.
  32. The NISC needs more women and BAEM members to join it, and there was a discussion about how to achieve this. Louisa will go back to the regions who have not sent a proportionate delegation.
  33. The EC was asking the NISC to remit its motion on allocation of officers to sectors and it was agreed how this would be handled at conference.
  34. The experiment with holding the NISC over one long day had caused problems for a number of shift workers. It was agreed to move back to a meeting split over two days.
  35. Jonathan Hayward from the Unite International Department gave an update around European Works Councils (EWCs) and UK Information & Consultation (I&C) bodies. He said the main issue for EWCs at the moment was Brexit, which also has implications for the I&C regulations. The recasting of the EWC directive in 2011 has improved EWC functioning, particularly after Unite did a lot of training for reps and officers. There was still a need to push for more consultation and engagement, EWCs represent an opportunity to hold companies to account, e.g. they had delivered safeguards in the GKN/Melrose takeover battle. The European Commission says that from 29 March 2019 UK employee numbers won't count towards the thresholds for EWCs. Unite is advising reps to push for amendments to agreements now to ensure continued representation post Brexit irrespective of what happens - and has a document with suggested clauses. Employer responses are varying, often based on HQ country.
  36. Jonathan explained that the UK government faces a dilemma over EWCs. They have promised that no employment legislation will be diluted by Brexit, at least in the short term. On the other hand they don't want the ECJ to have jurisdiction, so EWCs operating under UK law wouldn't be fully enforceable, even for EU citizens. Unite has proposed that the UK repeals most of the legislation that allows EWCs to be covered by UK legislation, but retain the right of UK employees to participate in EWCs based elsewhere. This would require some agreement with the EU, and EWCs currently based in the UK would have to move. German and French are best, while Irish is worst. Some EWC agreements have clauses saying it is under the law of the country with most employees, but companies usually want to choose. Sometimes the agreement allows the employer to choose from the top three countries by employer number. An update on all this will go in the sector newsletter, and Louisa will send something to our EWC chairs and NISC members.
  37. Most companies are making contingency plans for various Brexit scenarios, and EWCs should be part of that debate. EWC reps should raise this now - though you don't always get good news. There is a document with questions you can raise.
  38. The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) made a useful recent ruling against Oracle over a failure to consult about a transfer of work. Oracle had held a phone conference with the EWC and then answered some later questions, and claimed that was adequate consultation. The CAC ruled that information and consultation is a process with more than one stage, and that the EWC had been unable to consider the information, discuss it with management and submit an opinion. They also ruled against the blanket confidentiality imposed by Oracle on the grounds that the information might damage the business by upsetting people. Since the wording of the I&C regulations on information and consultation is the same as the EWC regulations, the same arguments can be used there. This is potentially very useful for countering the talking-shop / focus group way of working that some employers favour.
  39. NISC members discussed the idea of trying to incorporate the protections in the EU Social Chapter into collective agreements now, to retain them even if the Tories worsen the legislation.
  40. The Unite materials were (again) criticised for not addressing the rights of non-UK citizens, many of whom are members and feel the union hasnt' focussed on them. My own branch had submitted Motion 13 to Policy Conference and another GPM&IT branch had submitted a supportive amendment. Jonathan explained that the International Department had picked up much of the work around Brexit, but the Equalities department had said they would deal with the issues raised. NISC members felt Unite needed to be more joined up to avoid such problems. Louisa agreed to write to Simon Dubbins (head of international department) to ask for a European migrant workers to have a focus group or their own committee.
  41. There will be an update on European Works Councils and Information & Consultation bodies on Friday 5 June.
  42. It was agreed to submit a second Emergency Motion to Policy Conference highlighting the demonstration against Trump on 13 July, the Unity demonstration against the far right on 14 July, and the need to do more to stop the FLA/DFLA using football links to build a racist movement.
  43. We agreed to mobilise for the NHS demonstration on 30 June
  44. The next meeting will be 4-5 October at Moreland Street, London

Monday 23 July 2018

Report: Unite Policy Conference 2018

This isn't an official report, but is accurate to the best of my knowledge. If you spot any errors or omissions, please let me know. I have also uploaded the official "progress of business".

You can refer to the conference agenda (the pack of motions prior to compositing (merging motions), emergency motions and most Executive Statements). EC statements on Brexit and Gender Identity are available on the conference page of the Unite web site. UniteLive carried reports on several debates, though some (including on an Emergency Motion I moved) appear to have been well hidden.

Crowd at conference holding NHS 70 placards

The mood of conference was positive. In particular, the involvement of young members continues to grow. We've had young member observers for several conferences now. It was striking that we appeared to have more young member delegates this time. Certainly they played a more significant part in debates. Many had been involved in or leading campaigns and disputes, and young members significantly influenced debate on several questions, succeeding in getting the top table to respond.

Less positive was the continuing excessive use of Executive Statements. The Executive Council (EC) can issue statements at any time, for insertion into any debate. Votes on EC statements are taken first, and if one is passed all the motions on the same topics fall. They have a legitimate role - effectively enabling the EC to put forward an alternative motion on a topic where they would otherwise have to oppose motions and leave us with big gaps in policy. But they are now prolific, and rarely used for this purpose, instead enabling fudge and preventing clear debate and decisions. They often help create a mood of unity in conference, but this is illusory if it is unity around a fudge which hinders coherent action in workplaces and communities.


  • M: Motion
  • ES: Executive Statement
  • C: Composite (merged motions)
  • EM: Emergency Motion
  • Carried: Agreed by conference
  • Fell: Not voted on by conference, e.g. because it conflicted with an ES or M that had already been passed, or nobody moved it
  • Withdrawn: the movers agreed to withdraw the motion, which was not debated. In many cases motions are withdrawn in favour of Composites that include most/all of their points.
  • Remitted: not voted on, but sent to the EC for consideration
  • Lost: put to a vote and rejected
  • Substantive: a motion including one or more amendments
  • A: Amendment
See also my Glossary & Jargon Buster.

The Economy

C6, Industrial Strategy (M 26, 27, 28 & 29) - Carried
M30 UK steel and manufacturing post Brexit - Carried
C7 Public ownership (M31, 33, 34, 35) - Carried
M32 nationalisation - Carried
M36 public ownership - Carried
M40 Change in UK law for companies ceasing trading - Carried
M41 Mergers and acquisitions legislation - unwanted & hostile takeovers - Carried
Speaker: Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary
C8 Public transport (M37, 38) - Carried
M39 East Cost Rail bailout - Carried

Defence Diversification

ES1 Defence Diversification - Carried
Comment: though this remains a fudge, it represents a step forward for Unite in trying to implement our longstanding commitment to diversification
M21 Defence Diversification Strategy - Remitted
M22 Defence Diversification - Fell
M23 Defence Jobs - Fell
M24 Opposition to Trident Nuclear Missile System - Fell
M25 Nuclear disarmament - Fell

Political & Labour Party

M102: Against the Football Lads' Alliance - Withdrawn in favour of EM2
EM2: Opposing Racism, The Football Lads Alliance and the Democratic Football Lads Alliance
Note: this was actually a (rather mangled) Composite of two Emergency Motions and M102. I moved it on behalf of the GPM&IT NISC. The text was:
Conference notes the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) is attempting to organise football supporters in demonstrations against 'extremism'. It is taking legitimate concerns around terrorism and then using Islamophobia to stir up fear, division and racism. It represents a dangerous development on the right of British politics.
Whilst claming to be against racism, within their ranks they seem happy to harbour known and organised racists and fascists many who have previously or still are active in groups such as EDL, BNP and the likes. On one demonstration Diane Abbott MP was picked out as a target by one of their leaders where they disgracefully said "Diane Abbott we are coming for you".
Some from within the FLA marches have abused and threatened anti-racists from Stand Up To Racism campaign (SUTR) who were leafletting their demonstration. The FLA Facebook group moderators tolerate hate speech from their supporters against women; against Muslims; against Black and ethnic minorities.
It would be wrong to identify all those who are attracted to FLA or who have marched with the FLA as racists and Islamophobes, however there is a danger that if the group goes unchallenged that those elements within it who are pushing a racist agenda are able to mobilise a new far right street movement.
This conference notes that:
1) The racist march of about 15,000 in London on 9 June, was the largest mobilisation of the far right in the UK since the 1930s and the counter-demonstration called by Stand Up To Racism was small.
2) That it followed large racist demonstrations in several cities in previous weeks, which were followed by racist attacks.
3) The rise in mainstream Islamophobia from politicians and the press and the scapegoating of migrants for problems in employment, housing and public services.
Conference resolves to instruct our Executive to:
  • Support, publicise and mobilise attendance at the demonstration called by Stand Up To Racism on Saturday 14 July against the next major far-right mobilisation in London, and any future far-right marches in our towns and cities and that trade unions should provide stewarding instead of relying on the police to keep people safe.
  • Educate our members about the rise of Islamophobia and the racism of the FLA and DFLA and other similar groups, and by distributing information to all our branches and members.
  • Run a campaign to encourage all football clubs, football fans and supporters' clubs to take a stance against groups such as the FLA and the DFLA and encourage and provide resources to Kick Racism Out of Football and Show Racism the Red Card.
  • Redouble our work with all appropriate anti-racist organisations to build strong local organisation capable of opposing racist mobilisations in our communities
  • Write to the TUC to demand it launch a 'jobs, homes not racism' campaign to unite the wider trade union movement and to campaign effectively against the far right. This should include workers taking all legal steps (up to and including strike action) to disrupt all attempts to organise for hte purposes of extending the rhetoric of the FLA and DFLA or any similar organisation.
Note: the importance of it became even clearer on 14 July when RMT and Unite trade unionists were physically attacked after a demonstration in support of "Tommy Robinson" (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) and Donald Trump.

M104 Restore clause 4 in the Labour Party - Lost
M105 Extension fo the franchise - Carried

Improving Health & Safety

C15 Mental Health - a union matter (M76, 77, 78, 79) - Carried
Comment: This was a very moving debate with delegates recounting their own experiences
M72+A Workplace health & wellbeing representatives - Carried
M73 Shift working and its impact on our members - Withdrawn
M74 Classifying stress as a reportable occupational disease - Carried
M75 Occupational health in the workplace - Carried

Global Solidarity

M68 Yemen - humanitarian aid and ceasefire - Carried
EM3: Latin America - Carried
M70 Mexico - Carried (Amendment withdrawn)
EM5 Brazil - Carried
EM4 Turkey / Kurds and progressive forces - Carried
M71 Israel / Palestine - Carried
EM6 Gaza - Carried
Note: this was from the GPM&IT NISC


ES2: Brexit - Carried
C1: Brexit and working people (M2, 3, 10 & 11) - Fell
C2 Brexit - a vote on the final deal (M4 & 5) - Fell
C3 The Future of Brexit (M6 & 7) - Fell
C4 Brexit and Free Movement (M12 & 14) - Fell
M8 Brexit - Fell
M9 Leaving the EU - Fell
M13 Workers' rights to move freely and be treated equally - Fell
Comment: I moved M13, from my own branch, and was disappointed that the EC knocked out what was primarily an equalities motion using its Brexit statement, which failed to clearly defend the rights of  workers and members who may have travelled or decide to travel. When Unite materials talk about workers' rights under Brexit, the rights of current and future members who aren't UK citizens barely get a mention.
M1 Brexit and Ireland - Carried
EM1 Brexit and Gibraltar - Carried

Pensions & Retirement

M96 the future of state pension - Carried
M97 How do we improve the quality of life for our ageing population - Carried
M100 Challenging the mass media portrayal of older people - Carried
Speaker: Jeremy Corbyn
M98 Fuel Poverty - Carried
M99 Funeral Poverty - Carried
M101 Carers' Allowance - Carried


C16 Automation (M80, 81, 82) - Carried
C17 Shorter Working Time (M83, 84) - Carried
M85: 4 day, 28 hour working week - Remitted
C18 Dignity At Work (M88 & 89) - Carried
M86 setting an agenda for excellent apprenticeships - Carried
M87 Future skills - Carried
M90 organising young workers - Carried
M91 worker cooperatives as opposed to workplace closures - Carried
M92 challenging increased workloads - Carried
M93 + A direct labour organisations - Carried
M94 collective bargaining and solidarity action in workplaces, industries and services - Carried
Speaker: Ken Neumann, USW


C13 sexual harassment and sexual abuse (M60 & 61) - Carried
C14 women's health (M63 & 64) - Carried
M62 menopause at work - Carried

Speaker: Lauren Townsend, TGI Fridays

Membership at TGI Fridays has rocketed in response to the (highly profitable) company wanting to take a huge chunk of tips off waiting staff to subsidise low pay for kitchen staff. Members at several restaurants were on strike during the conference. Delegates joined a protest at the Brighton restaurant and engaged in a bit of direct action, with Len McCluskey addressing diners to explain the dispute. For more information see #AllEyesOnTGIs.

EM8: Irish repeal the 8th - women's choice - Carried
C10: Brexit and equalities (M66 & 67) - Carried
C11 Rights for people with disabilities (M52 & 53) - Carried
M47 improving the face of our union by increasing employee diversity - Carried
M48 union representation at constitutional committees - Remitted
M49 equality impact assessments - Carried
M50 unconscious bias - Carried
M51 black and asian ethnic minroity activity based budgeting - Remitted
M54 asylum seekers - Carried
M55 migrant workers - Remitted (Amendment fell)

ES3 Gender identification - Carried
C12 gender identification (M56, 57, 58) - Remitted
M59 Gender recognition act - Withdrawn
Comment: this was a significant debate, which unfortunately I missed due to industrial business. I am told that young members made a key contribution, particularly in criticising the decision of leading figures in Unite signing a one-sided letter to the Morning Star with notorious transphobes. Len responded with a clarification. Many others signed responses such as this and this from delegates at the TUC LGBT conference. Thankfully, despite the distraction of the letter, Unite now has policy supporting the rights of trans people.

M65 International Women's Day 2019 - Remitted (with assurances that the EC would act on it)

Campaigning against austerity

C5 Universal Credit (M17, 18, 19, 20) - Carried
Speaker: Sharon Graham - Work Voice Pay

NHS 70th birthday

Conference marked the 70th birthday of the NHS and recognised the importance of defending and improving it.

Social Action

C24 NHS (M127, 128, 130) - Carried
C25 - NHS 70th anniversary (M131, 132, 133, 134) - Carried
M126 NHS pay parity - Carried
M129 NHS car parking costs - carried
M155 Health & social care - Carried
C23 Housing (M124 & 125) - Carried
M122 homelessness and rough sleepers - Carried
M123 Grenfell Tower - Carried
M121 Community Rights - Carried
M135 Public scrutiny over public money - Carried
M136 Justice in crisis - Carried
EC report and 2017 accounts - Received by conference
Speakers: John McDonnell and Ann Pettifor
ES4 local government funding - Carried
M15 local government cuts - a Unite strategy - Fell
Comment: M15 from the London & Eastern Local Authorities RISC was calling on Labour councils to take a firmer stance against cuts and privatisation than the EC statement
M16 tackling the impact of austerity - Carried

Rights for workers and their unions

C19 Trade union freedom (M107, 108, 109) - Carried
M106 Campaign for trade union rights - Carried
M111 banning of subcontracting of work during industrial action - Carried
C20 precarious employment (M112, 113) - Carried
C21 precarious employment (M115, 116) - Carried
M114 Gig economy - Carried
C22 age and the National Living Wage (M119 & 120) - Carried
M110 strengthening TUPE legislation - Carried
M117 Direct Action - Carried
Comment: this is a significant motion to train activists in direct action techniques to support our campaigns
M118 amendment to the Equality Act 2010 - Remitted

Energy and Environment

C9 atmospheric pollution (M42, 43) Carried
M44+A clean energy - Carried
M45 Backing of UK coal industry - Carried
EM10 Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon - Carried
EM7 National Grid dispute - USA - Carried
Comment: the US subsidiary of National Grid has locked out over 1000 USW members

Union Administration and Membership services

C26 Union Learning Fund (M142, 143, 145) - Lost
M144 Sustainable learning opportunities for all Unite members - Carried
M153 Paperless meetings - Remitted
Note: this was from the GPM&IT South East RISC
M154 environment - Carried
M137 Regional Officer Allocations - Remitted
Comment: this important motion from the GPM&IT NISC aimed to address a situation where sectors are scattered across the allocations of dozens (hundreds in many cases) of Regional Officers. It was remitted after assurances that the issue would be addressed.
M140 Servicing our membership - Remitted
M138 Unite branches - access to Unite resources and support - Carried
M139 Helping Unite activists communication with members - Carried
Comment: conference overturned the EC, who were hiding behind bogus GDPR data protection arguments, on this motion, which is vital for effectiveness at workplace and branch level.
M147 bank charges for small branches - Withdrawn
M151 administration - Carried
Comment: again conference overturned the EC. The motion was to stop members being moved between branches and regions without branch officers being kept informed.
M141 strike funds - Carried
Comment: I moved this motion to help more members benefit from their own strike funds
M146 review of Unite carers' policy - Carried
M148 Lack of respect towards the retired members section - Remitted
M149 Protecting Unite's reputation online - Remitted
M150 safeguarding the union's heritage - Carried
M152 lond worker policy - Carried
EM9 Marc Wadsworth - Lost


The following were elected as the Standing Orders Committee for the 6th Policy Conference: Stephen Frogatt, Frances Hourihane, Pat Davies, Dave Allen, Martin McMulkin, Siobhan McCready, Sam Webster-Moore, Agnes Hilditch, Lisa Higgins, Barry Hartshorn

The following were elected as the Appeals Committee for 2018-20: Lorraine Mannion, Jeff Robinson, Jim Kelly, Ian King, Lisa Colquhoun, John Gillespie, Gaynor Worrell, Tracey Blythe, Ivan Monckton, Melanie Sutton


Though it wasn't discussed at conference, delegates were given copies of an updated Unite Rulebook. The changes are a response to the new GDPR Data Protection legislation.


Delegates were provided with copies of a new Unite Anti-Fracking Toolkit. This should be going on the Unite web site soon. For now I've uploaded a copy myself.


As ever, much of the value of attending conference is the informal discussions with other attendees, from which you learn as much as the debates, and can get things done. I spent a fair amount of conference discussing the unresolved dispute at Fujitsu, particularly given that the company sent proposals shortly before conference began. I was dismissed in January (see the "reinstate Ian Allinson" statement) but am still actively involved in the dispute and, as a victimised worker under Rule 6, was still able to attend conference. Reps in Fujitsu post updates on their web site from time to time: