Trade Union Bill major threat to workers’ rights

Motion to Council 2 November 2015.

Trade Union Bill

Cllr Tony Randerson will be moving the following motion to Scarborough Borough Councils Meeting 2 November 2015.

As a major employer in the local area, this council welcomes the positive benefits that arise from the relationship that we have with recognised trade unions and believes that the relationship between employers and their employees through their collective representatives would be damaged by reducing facility time for elected representatives and by removing the ability of union members to pay union dues direct from wages. More

Employee rights at NYCC protected by Labour Councillors

Tony RandersonIt is with a degree of satisfaction and indeed pride that I can pen this article on behalf of the Labour Group of County Councillors regarding employee rights at NYCC.

There was a proposal from the Executive this morning on the agenda for the Full Council Meeting at County Hall to change the procedure for Employee Dismissal Appeals.

In March this year this policy/procedure was put to the Members’ Workforce Planning Group on which I am the Labour Group representative. The proposal put to us in March moved away from a Members-only Appeal panel to an appeal panel that mirrored the Absence Disciplinary Panel with one member and one officer hearing and making a judgement on these appeals with HR advice (but HR not participating in the decision making process). With the chair being an officer rather than the councillor.

I reluctantly agreed to this move but only after attaining the support for such a move from the Unison Trade Union Official who represents the employees at NYCC. More

Workers Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day is held on 28 April every year, all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day.
I intend to seek support from both North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council to commemorate The Workers Memorial Day which is Officially recognised by our Government and indeed Internationally throughout the World. The whole purpose of this day has always been to ‘remember the dead’. More

Bob Crow 1961-2014

Bob CrowI had the pleasure of meeting Bob Crow very fleetingly on a couple of occasions during my period of office as a Trade Union Official. I was actually a member of the old National Union of Seaman that eventually merged into the RMT. This was during my time as a Marine Engineer with BP Tankers in the late ’60s and ’70s.

Bob Crow was a very influential General Secretary with his members the top of his priorities. He always spoke from the heart irrespective of the views of those that disagreed with his policies. He increased the membership of his union from around 60,000 to 80,000 members so clearly the members were agreed that he was doing the job he was elected to undertake. More

Motion on companies blacklisting individuals

My motion regarding the appalling scenario of companies blacklisting individuals for no other reason that they are “activists” either as Shop Stewards or Safety Representatives of various unions goes before County Council on the 19 February. See my earlier post for the full motion.
I fully expect this motion will be deferred until the May County Council Meeting that basically is asking the County Council to double and triple check any organisation before they award contracts for work required.
If any bidders are unscrupulous employers who have in the past blacklisted people they will take this into consideration during the bidding process. Clearly my view, which I will make abundantly clear, is that under no circumstances should the County Council award contracts to this type of immoral employer.
The Leader of the Council has assured me that he will take this motion back to the Executive and will call on me to address the Executive before the Meeting in May.
Because this motion is going to be deferred until the Executive have looked into it, I will be formally moving it at the February Meeting, but speaking at length on it at the May Meeting. Eric Broadbent is to second this motion.
The Labour Group pulling its weight and proving a force to be reckoned with at County Hall.
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There is a question that many of us refer to either in quizzes or in day to day life conversations ! “What came first the Chicken or the Egg” ? Probably in most people’s minds still unresolved.

However there is also another question that political activists and indeed even politicians have not grasped the answer to, and yes there is a clear cut definitive answer to this question namely :

“What came first the Labour Party or the Trade Unions” ? Still not too sure ? Well I will enlighten you all “The Trade Union Movement”.  More

Labour and the trade union movement

The Labour Party was set up by the trade union movement to provide a political voice for working people but it is now much more than that. It aims to speak for EVERYONE who shares our values. But that trade union connection is important in keeping us grounded and in touch with what working people think is important. It also provides a real link – important at a time when all political parties have a small individual membership. We should remember that more than 6.5 million people belong to trade unions.
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the particular selection in Falkirk, the principle of Unions trying to get more union members into the House of Commons is important. Our MPs are now increasingly professional and middle class with too little shared experience with those millions of people who are not these things.
For many years I was Political Officer for the Shop Workers’ union, Usdaw, and in my day our Rules only allowed us to sponsor our members who had worked in our trades. Sadly, this is no longer the case for my union and for most unions. But this is partly the result of our better educational chances. Labour’s abolition of the eleven plus and the near universality of comprehensive schools mean that many, many more working class boys and girls get the educational opportunities that allow them to progress into professional and managerial jobs. Because of this, unions have an even bigger responsibility to look among its members to find people who will represent from their own practical experience a section of society increasingly absent in political decision making. Turning to the current controversy . Paying someone’s Labour Party membership fees for them is clearly wrong – but trying hard to encourage union members to join individual Labour parties is clearly right. We should never forget this!
When I hear the Tories baying for blood, their hypocrisy makes me sick.
All union members have a choice as to whether they pay into Unions’ political funds. If they don’t want any part of their subscription to be used for political work, they can opt out.
So unlike the Conservatives. Look at the companies that give money to the Conservative party! Can shareholders opt their share holding out? No Way! And do the CBI and the Employers’ Federations lobby the Conservative Party? Of course they do! And what about all those companies? We KNOW that they do their best to influence the Conservative Party. The difference is it’s all behind closed doors.
But that’s the Conservative Party for you! One law for them and another for everyone else. Such double standards.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Sponsored by The RMT, Wales TUC, Unite, GMB, NASUWT, TUC, PCS UCATT & ACCORD
Townshend Productions presents
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Directed by Louise Townsend
From L-R Neil Gore and Richard Stone_PressStephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, May 8 at 7.45pm and May 9, 1.45pm and 7.45pm, 01723 370541 or
A new powerful two-handed version of the classic book by Robert Tressell. Townsend Productions have produced a gem of Edwardian humorous theatre with songs and music of the time.
This hugely successful production tells the story of a group of painter-decorators who are joined by artist Owen, whose spirited attacks on the dishonesty of Capitalism, along with his socialist vision, highlight exploitation in the workplace and inequality in society. Relevant still, this tale is told with vigour and passion.
**** “ …. tremendous…. delivered with brio, humour and some great songs” Times Review (Libby Purves)
“A strong and robust show that brings the characters, humour and inspirational ideas of this great book to life. It is needed now more than ever. You’ll leave the theatre and join the struggle!” – Ken Loach
10/10 ‘Sensational’ Liverpool Echo (Marc Waddington)
***** ‘…quite literally awesome ’ Love Owen Lewis