Monday, 28 July 2008

Appeal to Warehouse and Distribution Workers

What type of General Secretary do you want?

Have there been redundancies in your depot. Have you had your terms and conditions reduced? Are you working in a new depot where the terms and conditions are not the same as the established sites?

These attacks have been going on for years and the Usdaw leaders have done nothing to challenge them. Warehouse and distribution workers are among the most powerful in this country. We control the distribution of food in Britain. Why have we not used this power?

The problem rises from the acceptance of John Hannett of the Partnership strategy. To maintain the support of the Bosses, Usdaw’s leaders must deliver a passive workforce. Is this why there is no national coordinated resistance to the bosses’ attacks against us? As a union we must prepare to fight these attacks on our wages and conditions.

In his appeal for you to vote for him, John Hannett claims:

‘I’ve recently introduced a new Conference which was held for the first in June. This will now become an annual event and I will also work hard to ensure the Union meets the many challenges in the logistics sector.’

It was over 14 months after the proposition calling for a Conference was raised at the ADM. The Conference was at least three years too late. So why does he claim ‘I’ve recently introduced a new conference’. It was not his idea as he claims.

The proposition calling for the Distribution Conference stated:

This ADM calls upon the Executive Council to organise an Annual Distribution Conference.

This is in recognition of the need for a united defence of terms and conditions of employment in the distribution sector. These have already been seriously attacked in many areas. New distribution centres are being opened, for example with far worse terms and conditions than existing sites. Companies are even calling for us to accept new starters at existing depots on worse terms and conditions. Agreements which have been negotiated over many years are being torn up and redundancies are taking place. The list is endless.

Conference believes we need a National Distribution Conference so we can organise nationally and not be left to be picked off one by one by unscrupulous greedy employers in search of ever greater profits at the expense of our members’ living standards.

So we should ask John Hannett, ‘why did you take so long to organise the Conference?’ Could it be that it is being used as part of his general secretary election campaign.

We` also learn ‘it will now become an annual event’. Is an annual meeting enough to face the challenge in the logistics sector? What about the attacks and how do we organise a national fight back. These issues must be addressed urgently.

The above statement shows what type of general secretary you will get if you vote for John Hannett.

I believe that the Conference was a first step in organising the fight back. Usdaw needs to be a union based on the democratic participation of its membership. It is not just a question of listening but fighting on behalf of its members.

Distribution and Warehouse sites are now an important part of our Union. I believe that the present Area Organiser arrangements need changing. Over the last few years, there has been a reduction in the number of officials working in the Divisions. I will restore the numbers and in the Divisions with large numbers of warehouse and distribution members I will appoint a dedicated Area Organiser.

If you want to join the fight to change Usdaw then email me at: , visit my website

1 comment:

Albina N muro said...

It takes aim at NFI, a subsidiary of New Jersey-based National Distribution Centers. ... The effort is being coordinated by Warehouse Workers United, ... in Chino. NFI and Tri-Staff are appealing the citations and $256,445 in proposed penalties. l4d survival warehouse glitch