Jerry Hicks For General Secretary

Jerry Hicks Campaign Blog

Please go to grassrootsleft.org for all future blogs: Thanks.

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 27, 2012

I am now blogging on a new site, so please click on link grassrootsleft.org

 

 

 

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‘All hands to the pump’. Support the Tanker drivers!

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 26, 2012

‘All hands to the pump’. BREAKING: Tanker drivers urged to reject proposals!

Support and Solidarity to Tanker drivers’

Follow Jerry Hicks on Twitter #@JerryHicksUnite

Email Jerry Hicks on jerryhicks4gs2010@yahoo.co.uk

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Construction employers offer 1.5% & try to pick Union negotiating team

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 25, 2012

Sparks pay talks suspended as employers refuse to talk to Rank & File.

By Pete Murray Union News – 25th April 2012, 7.00 BST

Unite and activists at the centre of the 7-month dispute had insisted rank and file reps would be part of negotiating team to meet employers in detailed talks on future of UK construction industry.

UnionNews has learned that the first in-depth talks since the end of the so-called BESNA dispute last February have been suspended after the employers refused to negotiate with elected rank and file sparks representatives.

It is understood employers objected to the participation of a long-standing union activist who is known to have been blacklisted.

Unite targeted BESNA clients such as supermarkets in the campaign against pay cuts

It comes as Unite officials have been attempting to negotiate an improvement on what is described as a ‘paltry’ 1.5% pay increase offered to construction electricians and other trades by one of the industry organisations.

Negotiators have so far rejected the offer, saying it would amount to a 15-month pay freeze for members.

Following the success of the seven month campaign against proposed cuts to pay, skills and safety levels by seven major construction industry employers, activists and Unite’s leadership insisted that rank-and-file reps should be part of the formal negotiating team in wide-ranging talks aimed at setting long-term agreements across the construction sector.

A frequent demand during the course of the dispute was that issues such as blacklisting, ‘bogus self-employment’ and the increasing use of agency workers and sub-contracting should be at the forefront of negotiations about the future of the construction industry.

In the face of forecasts of a fall in production of up to 3% across the sector this year, employers have continued to press for changes to working practices as well as cost-cutting.

The sector continues to account for some 7% of the UK’s overall economy, but has contracted by more than £20bn since the recession hit in 2008, according to industry figures.

Sources say talks on pay and other changes had reached a ‘crucial stage’ when the employers raised objections to the composition of the Unite delegation.
A further meeting is scheduled for early next week between Unite officials and executives from the construction companies.

Unite is insisting it will not accept any attempt by the employers to decide who makes up the delegation.

“These are elected branch officers and reps,” one official told UnionNews.

“They [the employers] have never objected before and we will not allow them to break up our team now.”

Jerry Hicks, elected Rank and File national committee member said         “The [rogue] employers have thrown down the gauntlet, Unite needs to pick it up a shove it down their throats, by balloting for National strike action!”

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Tories 8 points behind Labour: Is it because they are crap?

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 24, 2012

Tories 8 points behind Labour: Is it because they are crap?

Or because Ed Miliband hasn’t be seen nor heard for ages?

Probably both!

Go on treat yourself follow Jerry Hicks on Twitter #@JerryHicksUnite

This week’s tweets…………………………………

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite Tories 8 points behind Lab http://gu.com/p/3744j/tw via @guardian I’m chuffed but is it cos they R crap + Ed Milly’s not been seen/heard 4 ages

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite MP says Get back to work! I say what work 3m are already looking! Thousands across Bristol to lose incapacity benefits http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/work-Thousands-Bristol-lose-incapacity-benefits/story-15889827-detail/story.html

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite Lansley backs lower pay for NHS staff in poorer areas http://gu.com/p/373bq/tw via @guardian Did Guardian rec vote Lib Dem? Now in Lansleys Gov!

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite I hear in America people think David Cameron was the director of Titanic…..When over here everyone knows he is the captain of the Titanic

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite Cameron family fortune made in tax havens http://gu.com/p/3737n/tw via @guardian : No surprise but it still makes me feel sick in the gut.

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite A day in the life of Bristol Labour MP @KerryMP Saw Con Dems destroying the country & decided to have a go at postal workers. Tough choices!

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite @KerryMP @Bristolcwu Bristol Labour MP chooses to have a go at postal workers, if she saw them as squeezed middle she’d kiss there butts!

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite Ken Livingstone refuses to share a platform with BNP on BBC debate ‘No platform for fascists’! http://uaf.org.uk/2012/04/livingstone-pulls-out-of-bbc-mayoral-debate-in-protest-at-bnp-invite/

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite Wildcat action wins reinstatement of colleague: BBC News – Metro bus drivers go back to work in Belfast http://bbc.in/JjGN5W

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite Us & them used to be workers & bosses Brendan retiring at 62 & his pension? Next TUC Gen Sec to be elected by us & why not aveage wage

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite Ever found yourself wondering what day it is? Well there is no point asking Theresa May or the Home Office!

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite The sTory so far Granny tax-Pasty tax-Rich tax cut-Job cuts-Benefit cuts-Petrol panic-Tuition fees up-Pension age up- All with Lib Dem help

Jerry Hicks‏@JerryHicksUnite‘The truck stops here’: Unite tanker drivers reject ACAS plans http://union-news.co.uk/?p=11563 Support the tanker drivers.

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The truck stops here. Tanker drivers reject ACAS deal.

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 18, 2012

The truck stops here.
Tanker drivers reject ACAS deal.

Unite tanker drivers have overwhelmingly rejected the Acas plans. The deal has failed to secure acceptable guarantees on maintaining minimum standards, job security and pay.

 Support and solidarity to the tanker drivers.

 Click on link for more information http://union-news.co.uk/?p=11563

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Who becomes the next TUC General Secretary ‘Let all the union members decide’.

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 18, 2012

Press Release: Press Release: Press Release: Immediate 18/04/2012


 Who becomes the next TUC General Secretary

‘Let all the union members decide’.

On the day that the TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has announced that he is retiring at the end of 2012. Jerry Hicks is urging people to join him in his call for all 6 million TUC union members to directly elect the next one.

Jerry Hicks commented “The person who becomes the next TUC General Secretary has the potential to effect the lives of not just the Trade Union members of the TUC, but the lives of everyone for the better. But that depends on who it is, what they will prioritise and what they will fight for”.

However, the TUC and its constituent unions have a history of selecting ‘from within there own ranks’ which far from guarantees someone with the sort of workplace background, who would understand the everyday stresses and pressures as an ordinary member.

Indeed Brendan Barber’s own press release states that he’s worked for the TUC since 1975, most of his working life.

Jerry Hicks said “I’m sure that the vast majority of workers would like to know that one of their leaders had the same experience as themselves, and why not even be on the same sort of wages. It might give them a better reality check, particularly when leading on disputes such as the public sector pensions struggle”.

With workers facing unprecedented cuts to their pay, pensions and conditions from the Con-Dem Government and employers, with 3 million people registered unemployed, 1 million of which are under the age of 25, with the pension age rising ever higher and pensions values falling. The position of TUC General Secretary has never in its history been more important.

Jerry Hicks, who came runner up in the last election for the Unite Union General Secretary on an uncompromising platform said ” Trade Unionists deserve more from the TUC and stronger leadership, but above all we the members should decide who gets the job”.

The employed and unemployed, pensioners and students, we are at a watershed moment. If we were to inspire a fraction of these millions to organise and fight, we would be unbeatable.

ENDS:
Notes to editors:
1. Unite are the biggest union in the TUC and the country with 1.4 million members.
2. Jerry Hicks is thought of by many as being the alternative voice within Unite the Union
Contact Jerry Hicks on Tel: 07817827912 or email jerryhicks4gs2010@yahoo.co.uk

Twitter #@JerryHicksUnite

 

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Construction Rank & File ‘Combined strength’? Time will tell.

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 15, 2012

‘Combined’ strength? Time will tell.

A report of the first combine meeting from a Rank and File delegate.

The following is a report from a Rank and File attendee at the combine meeting 5th April Unite’s Holborn office London:

“The meeting was attended by Unite shop stewards, Unite unemployed members, Unite blacklisted members, all Rank and File mechanical & electrical workers in construction who want to bring to the table the anger and disgust on how in the 21st century construction workers are treated right across Britain.

Also present were Unite Assistant General Sec Gail Cartmail, whose remit covers construction, along with construction National Officer Bernard McAulay and also the 2 Unite Executive Council construction members.

The Assist Gen Sec started the meeting saying that the employers & their associations still had not met with Unite as they had promised, due you could say to possible power struggles & disarray within their organisations, which are sending out different messages.

It seems some are even saying now that Besna is a failed model, we could have told them that last August. It looks like a new date of 30th April has now been set for informal talks with the bosses, with the Unite officers reporting back to the Unite combine shortly after maybe 2 weeks at the latest.

There then commenced a serious debate about a Unite meeting the previous Monday in Leeds at the request of the National Officer for the pay claims for the JIB (electrical) and the HVACR, with a lot of the attendees unaware that a joint M&E meeting was taking place, with also a lot of Unite Rank and File members not there due to being unaware that the meeting was taking place!

The Assistant Gen. Sec. diplomatically said that we needed to break for a cup of tea, where she needed to speak to the National Officer about the Leeds meeting, reassuring our meeting that we would come back to this very important issue.

After a break Tony Burke, another Unite AGS, spoke about how a new national agreement for the print and paper sector was born out of the old agreements, Unite shop stewards and the employer associations were chaired by an independent Professor who dealt in industrial relations.

It took over a year to get a new agreement which then went out to the Unite membership in the sector for their approval, with agency workers getting the same rates of pay, etc. Is this a possible way forward for the Unite membership in construction?

The construction Unite AGS, then returned the thorny issue of the Leeds meeting on the 2nd April, after her talk with the national officer and said it shouldn’t have happened, the oversight of not having all the Rank and File combine activists invited and re-assured the meeting that in the future the Rank and File combine committee would be invited.

A strong debate then took place on whether to now elect from our meeting a Unite electrical Rank and File member to liaise between this combine committee meeting and the JIB pay claim, it was agreed we should, with then JIB electrician Steve Achesion being proposed, seconded and elected to be that link. It was then also agreed that the JIB and HVACR pay claims should be sent out to all the combine members.

As the meeting due to a close, the Unite officials gave a commitment to have an answer from the Unite legal department regarding claims from numerous JIB electricians that the JIB National Working Rules are in fact a legally binding agreement. We eagerly await the answer, watch this space.”

The weekly protests continue in London & areas around the country.

In London it’s at the shard ‘The great agency rip off’ which must be stopped. Next protest is the 18th April, the Shard at 6.45am.

From Jerry Hicks: Calling on ‘Blacklisted Construction Workers’ in the Bristol/West Country area.

Great news, after discussion with BBC West News they are very interested in doing an interview with Jerry and any blacklisted construction workers from the Bristol / Bath / Swindon area. Note/ The BBC have guaranteed complete confidence if necessary.

If that applies to you or you know any blacklisted workers from that region - please get in touch ASAP Contact Jerry on 07817827912  email jerryhicks4gs2010@yahoo.co.uk

Also do any of you know and have contact details for: Chris Carrington or Brian Babij

In the Dock with a ‘Progressive Pipey’

Hundreds of agency workers, such as sparks, plumbers, pipe-fitters, welders etc, who normally work in construction, but due to a lack of construction work, find themselves working on the new aircraft carriers and the Oman ships in Pompey Dockyard, are know living on a knifes’ edge.

These workers are not just from the Portsmouth and Southampton areas, but also from the North-East, the North-West, Scotland and Wales, two of the main aircraft carrier module sections will both be gone from Portsmouth to be taken to Scotland by the middle of May 2012, with Oman 1 ship also leaving Pompey by the end of May and Oman 2 not long after that.

With BAE having about a 500 direct labour force in the Dockyard, among them being sparks, pipe-workers, welders etc, some of them even normally working in construction, but jumped in there to escape the lack of work in the construction sector.

The writing does seem on the wall for the Dockyard agency workers, who have got to look forward to a basic hourly rate wage freeze offer from employers in NAECI and the post Besna HVACR & JIB mechanical and JIB electrical issues that are still rumbling on and could explode at any time. In saying that though things could be dodgy for the direct labour force, with it seems no more ships in the pipeline to be built in Pompey Dockyard and rumours of closure.
“Get unionised, get organised and fight back.”

For more info please visit….. Electricians Against The World http ://www . jibelectrician . blogspot . com/

Get in touch with us by Email siteworkers@virginmedia.com

 

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Job losses at Bristol Evening Post Newspaper

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 15, 2012

JOB LOSSES AT THE BRISTOL EVENING POST

We have just heard [14th April] that the Evening Post will be losing 19 of its 56 editorial workforce.

All 8 photographers are being sacked and will only be engaged in future on a freelance basis.

The Evening Post will no longer be printed on Saturday and the listings magazine Venue will only be available on the internet.

The publications are owned by Lord Rothermere’s Northcliffe Media group which made a 7% profit of £17 million last financial year after sacking 530 of the workforce.

The Post itself still makes money, but not enough to satisfy the greedy owners who have no qualms about putting workers on the scrapheap.

I love a party with an atmosphere! 

Come and demonstrate at the function being held to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the Evening Post.

Meet Tuesday 17th April 6.30pm at the Bristol Galleries Shopping Centre, Broadmead.

This is not just about saving jobs but ensuring that we keep a local paper which can deal with the issues that are of concern to Bristol people.

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Have you heard the one about the Chancellor, the former Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 13, 2012

You couldn’t make it up!

This week I was shocked to learn that: George Osborne didn’t know that lots of rich people actually avoid paying tax…..Yea right!

This week I was shocked to learn that: Tony Blair had no recollection of any rendition flights to Libya in 2004. Blimey what is he like eh!

This week I was shocked to learn that: Ed Miliband has skilfully avoided any lessons from Bradford west humiliation. Get the message, you lost an ultra safe seat to a party that actively ‘opposes’ Austerity, War and Privatisation. Unite should stop funding him [Miliband] and all the other Labour MP’s and councils that refuse to support our policies!

 And the ‘lame stream’ parties wonder why people don’t believe them!

Join the growing number of people who want to get the union/s back.
Be part of the Grassroots Left
Fighting for: Bottom up, member led, member controlled Unions.

Follow Jerry Hicks on Twitter #@JerryHicksUnite

 Email jerryhicks4gs2010@yahoo.co.uk Tel 07817827912 www.unitegrassrootsleft.wordpress.com

 www.grassrootsleft.org

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Grass Roots left Motion of support and congratulations to Construction Rank and File

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on April 3, 2012

Grass Roots Left Motion of Support to Construction Rank and File

[Passed unanimously at GRL NC 31st March 2012]

This National Committee meeting of the Grass Roots Left [GRL] sends its warmest congratulations to the Construction ‘Rank and File’ who won the BESNA battle.

We are delighted that this grass roots mobilisation has defeated this first phase of the employers attack and are pleased to note that the electricians are preparing for the second stage of the battle.

In particular we note the very powerful sentiments expressed against the agency employers and that:

“A priority must be given to rooting them [agencies] out of our industry.”

“Agencies are the scourge of the industry, exploiting workers.” 

“These agencies pay under the rate, no holiday pay, no sick pay and they fire us at will.”

“Let’s send the message out loud and clear ‘No agencies wanted’ ‘Direct employment only!”

In that way the struggles of the London cleaners is an allied struggle and an inspiration to the building workers, as they operate in a trade that is also notoriously difficult to organise and requires the most militant of tactics and the sharpest of struggles against the TU bureaucracies, ever anxious to cut a deal with employers which gives them members subs but sells out the rights and conditions of the workers.

These sentiments, of course, apply not only to the sparks and allied trades but also to all trades and to the building labourers in the building sites.

This gives the Sparks, on the back an all too rare industrial victory, a unique opportunity to take up the fight begun by Des Warren and the building worker strikers in 1972.

In that regard the struggle against the Blacklist and the struggle for Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets is inseparable from the struggle to organise the sites today.

It has to involve the sharpest struggle against the trade union bureaucracy in Unite, UCATT, the GMB and others whose practice of imposing convenors in collaboration with the construction companies, as in the Olympics sites, has led to such terrible results.

For this reason we give out full support to Mick Dooley in his struggle against the UCATT bureaucracy and the disgraceful action in expelling his from the union to prevent him winning the General Secretary’s election.

The failure to organise the Olympics sites properly is the sharpest of warnings to us all that the time for a proper rank and file movement covering all the sites trades and labourers is long overdue. Direct employment must be at the heart of that struggle, as it was in 1972.

Grass Roots Left is proud that it and its Chair, Jerry Hicks, was able to assist in building this movement to this point and we look forward to yet closer collaboration between our two rank and file movements in the future.

Passed unanimously at GRL NC 31st March 2012

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