HAS THE ELECTION STARTING PISTOL BEEN FIRED?
Posted by jerryhicks4gs on October 1, 2008
PRESS RELEASE 1st October 2008
EMERGENCY UNITE EXECUTIVE MEETING CALLED
OVER LEGAL CHALLENGE TO DEREK SIMPSON
A special emergency meeting of the National Executive of Britain’s biggest trade union Unite has been called for October 9th in order to discuss the legal challenge to Derek Simpson launched by former Rolls Royce Convenor and Amicus Executive member Jerry Hicks.The legal challenge to Unite Joint General Secretary Derek Simpson questioned his right to remain in office beyond 65 without an election, and is still under investigation by the government appointed Certification Officer.
The challenge was first said by Derek Simpson and others to have had no chance of success. But in a swift about face meetings have been organised for Unite Officers and supporters this weekend by Derek Simpson, in advance of the National Executive meeting next week, in anticipation of a ruling against him.
Jerry Hicks who filed the complaint has always held the view and argued strongly that his challenge was correct legally. He said today “This cobbled together scheme sold as a package with the devil hidden in the detail that was financially beneficial to some and very costly to our members has been exposed”. It was ill conceived, ill thought out, probably ill advised and most importantly illegal. He says this because why else would Derek Simpson break cover so dramatically as he appears to have done, in a way that continues to be the mirror image of the Sir Ken Jackson fiasco.
It is thought that Derek Simpson will seek authorisation from the Executive to suspend the rulebook that was voted in by 95.3% of all members of Unite in a ballot held two months ago, in the hope that this would allow him to stand for election in the Amicus section of Unite for a period of office until 2010. But such a move to suspend the rulebook, or deny all members a vote in an election, could spark additional legal challenges from members of Unite. The new rulebook is due to come into force on the 1st November and would abolish the separate sections of the union and with a successful challenge from Jerry Hicks force an election for a new General Secretary for the whole of Unite next year.
Mr Hicks has announced that if there is to be an election either as a result of his legal challenge or by way of the latest developments then he will stand as a candidate for a new General Secretary.
Mr Hicks a former union convenor, was sacked from his job in Rolls Royce in 2005 where he had worked for 30 years and won an Industrial Tribunal decision of ‘victimisation’ following the attack on trade union rights in the Bristol factory. Though there was several weeks of strike action at the time, Mr Simpson’s decision not to show a personal presence was considered deeply damaging to the campaign for Mr Hick’s re-instatement.
Unite is not only the country’s biggest Trade Union it’s also the biggest single donator to the Labour Party having given £millions of members’ money over the last few years. Last year Derek Simpson gave his backing to Gordon Brown and also helped to ensure he was unopposed in his challenge for the Labour leadership. Mr Simpson has also been criticised for abandoning his election pledges, including support for the principle of election of officers as well as over the role he played in the construction workers’ dispute at Wembley Stadium.