Manchester: Branch Report & Next Meeting

The last meeting of UNITE’s Greater Manchester IT branch took place on Thursday 5th February. As well as workplace matters, discussion included:

  • Ian Allinson gave a report from the recent UNITE Executive Council (EC) meeting, highlighting some welcome decisions for our industrial sector.
    The EC had approved a statement on the situation in Gaza. In the light of this, the branch decided to affiliate to the Stop the War Coalition, to make a donation of £100 to Medical Aid for Palestinians and to encourage members to contribute too.

  • There was a discussion about the election for the UNITE Joint General Secretary from the Amicus section. Laurence Faircloth, the candidate nominated by our branch, has withdrawn from the election, leaving four candidates – Kevin Coyne, Jerry Hicks, Paul Reuter and Derek Simpson. Ballot papers will be issued by Electoral Reform Services to arrive week commencing 16 February and members are encouraged to use their vote.
  • The branch agreed to send a delegation to the trade union conference on climate change, which is taking place in London on 7th March. If you are interested in being part of this delegation, please get in touch as soon as possible. John Garvani and Ian Allinson from Fujitsu attended this event last year, and you can read Ian’s reports online. There will also be a delegation from our industrial sector of UNITE, with delegates from Ericsson and Panasonic.
  • The Employment Tribunal hearing for Karen Reissmann, the local nurse and UNISON activist who had been sacked for speaking out in defence of the NHS, was stopped when the two parties reached a settlement, the details of which are confidential. People present at the tribunal report that the chair of the tribunal had made a number of statements that were extremely unhelpful to Karen and to other people in her situation in future. As Karen was having to raise the legal costs herself (UNISON having withdrawn legal support), she could not have afforded to take the case to a higher court to challenge the outcome. The out of court settlement, which both parties say they are happy with, means that the tribunal has made no ruling.
  • The branch decided to donate £50 to Unite Against Fascism (UAF) to assist with their campaign against the BNP, whose policies threaten every trade unionist. UAF is holding a national conference on 21st February and it was agreed to publicise this to members to see who is interested in attending. UAF is organising lots of local activities in response to the threat that the BNP could win a seat to represent the north-west in the forthcoming Euro-elections.
  • There was a discussion about the recent wildcat strikes in construction, the genuine issues which had led to them and the need to ensure that campaigns were clearly directed against employers and the government rather than at groups of workers from other countries.

    The next meeting of the Greater Manchester IT branch will be:
    5:30-7pm, Thursday 5th March
    MAN34 GCR2

    All branch members are encouraged to attend.

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Sign the petition – defend the union

Unite members working for Fujitsu Services Limited in the Manchester bargaining unit are balloting for industrial action over compulsory redundancies, victimisation of reps and breaches of agreements. This follows 27 previous days of strike action.

Further information is available here including a downloadable appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to our strike fund.

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