Friday, 11 July 2008

Protest at abuse of democracy in Usdaw general secretary election

Press statement – July 2008 Robbie Segal, a candidate in the election for Usdaw’s general secretary protests at the unfair and undemocratic nature of the running of the branch nomination process for Usdaw’s general secretary election.

The circular informing branches of the general secretary election contained an inaccurate endorsement for the incumbent General Secretary any other candidates in the nomination process had no method of informing the branches they were standing.Robbie states ‘With this blatantly unfair and undemocratic abuse of the election process, how can one candidate have their name circulated to the branches while all other candidates have no way of obtaining the branch secretary’s name or address? Furthermore, the union refuses to circulate any details of other candidates to union branches.

This shows how John Hannett is frightened of an open and inclusive debate on his reign as general secretary. I call on Usdaw members to support the reform of the election process and help strengthen democracy in Usdaw.’Robbie Segal protests at the use of Usdaw’s resources to support John Hannett’s bid for re-election as general secretary.

The deputy general secretary is coordinating the campaign nationally.
In the seven Usdaw Divisions the campaign is being coordinated by senior officials.
In one of the Divisions, the Divisional Officer wrote to all Area Organisers stating that they had to report to him every Friday on the progress of John Hannett’s campaign.
Area Organisers are being used as campaigners for John Hannett and have dropped off John Hannett leaflets to branches and at workplaces.
At one London branch meeting held on Tuesday 9 July, it was attended by three Area Organisers, including an Eastern Division Area Organiser who represents the North East of England division on Usdaw’s Executive Council.
Robbie asks, ‘Is this a sensible use of Usdaw official’s time? Especially since the number of Full Time Officials working in the divisions has declined while the membership has increased’According to the 2003 Annual Report, there were 331,972 industrial members and they were serviced by 118 officers. In the last Annual Report 2007, there were 356,046 industrial members and they were serviced by 114 officials.Robbie Segal said “I challenge John Hannett to disclose the number of visits he has made to workplaces in June and intends to make in July this year compared to his visits last year (2007).”Robbie states, ‘The visits that have been arranged up and down the country are part of his electioneering campaign. I ask John Hannett to tell me how many visits he has made. I believe that Usdaw members have the right to know how their general secretary spends his time and our money.’

For information on Robbie’s campaign visit or ring 07776 195 563.

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