Employees Representatives ER started off just over a year ago September 1st 2011 when the bank account opened @ GHIB.
Here is a provisional annual report to members.
A more substantial report to members will be issued post June 2013 by which time our accounts should have been approved by the Certification Officer, the Government official responsible for regulating trade unions.
Very little membership growth was recorded in the first three months September to December 2011 largely because there was no printed material.
With the production & printing of the first – and so far only piece of publicity, a leaflet entitled MORE FOR LESS – growth accelerated in our core constituency of public service workers within the M25.
We now feel the need to update our promotional material so a new leaflet – a simple hand bill – will be produced shortly, explaining why an independent union for London bus workers is so essential.
The main function of our union is to assist members facing problems @ work.
To put it another way – the question we have for those in another union is this: does your union pass the deep shit test?
Will they help you if you’re in deep shit @ work? If not you’re in the wrong union!!
If your union fades out if you are facing a work related problem then cash in your policy & look for alternative cover.
Being in a union is a form of insurance but if the policy doesn’t pay out when there’s a claim you should switch.
We can assure members we are available 24/7.
But one specific company Sovereign prevents us from entering the Harrow and Edgware yards to discuss general issues with the work force.
We enter for disciplinaries etc of course, no company can stop that, but people need continued accessible service, and we think it intolerable for one favoured union to have an office in the yard while in our case access to members is limited.
We believe this problem has been caused by Unite.
We believe Unite pressured on Sovereign to stop us entering the 2 yards in question.
Consequently we have put in a complaint v the behaviour of Unite @ Sovereign Harrow to the Certification Officer
But we need a Unite member to volunteer to press the button to start up this process.
Please call us if you can help: we are appalled by the disgraceful underhanded uncomradely behaviour of Unite @ Sovereign Harrow, their making common cause with management to try and shut us out of the yard. Where is the solidarity in this?
In addition to the Sovereign-Unite Harrow problem there have been other difficulties for us in the last year also impeding growth and development:
We had difficulty in getting our web site www.employeesrepresentatives.com up and running on account of an opposing claim to ownership. This was finally resolved through our lawyer Radhanika Baddevithana of rbs solicitors – see www.rbssolicitors.com But time was lost on this problem. We are busy updating the web site & you can also follow us on Twitter @ employees_reps
The Strike: this put us into problems as we were not a party to the dispute and did not want to see members fired or disciplined on account of somebody else’s argument. We know some members joined the strike, which was their right, but they did so against our advice. However Unite, although putting pressure on drivers not in Unite to strike, using the catchphrase “solidarity” were not so anxious to pay out strike pay to non Unite members who joined the strike, in the same cause “solidarity”!!
Solidarity is a one way street with Unite!
Our feeling about the strike is that it was a pre arranged set up: there was something abnormal about it.
First Boris said there was no more money, then when the strike approached he brought some money out of the hat – not enough, but enough to take away the basis of the strike, as the remaining issues could have been bridged by negotiation without anyone losing a day’s pay. Unite rejected the offer and went ahead with the strike but then Boris came up with an even better offer for some drivers, more than even Unite had demanded!
What a strange way of running a transport system or a negotiating process! Wouldn’t it have saved drivers and the public a lot of inconvenience if Boris had simply agreed with the original demand? A GLA enquiry should be conducted by the GLA Transport Committee as to why the strike happened when Boris already had the cash in contingency funds to head it off.
Another problem is lack of personnel.
At the moment Barry Blakesley and I do the representations but both of us are golden oldies, so we need younger members to emerge to take over the reins of the union for the next stage of our consolidation and to provide effective representation whenever the co- Directors aren’t available.
Business: we are always busy with representations, @ company level or @ ETs, the EAT, the Court of Appeal or before the Strasbourg Court. In addition we represent members in criminal cases!!
This variety of case work reflects the variety of our membership across London.
Publicity: we haven’t put out a single advert so far, although we are thinking of advertising on Radio Focus, but we do get occasional bits of free publicity by sending out news stories!
Press TV gave us coverage over our discovery that Nat West bank (the clearing bank for GHIB) was discriminating against Muslim drivers and sitting on their funds and not transmitting them on to us!!
To see the clip go to our web site.
After that I had a fairly disastrous interview on LBC. They called me to talk about the strike but zeroed in immediately into a demand to know how many members we had!!
If we have as many members as Unite we’ll tell you and in any case we provide membership details to the Certification Officer, along with our accounts by June 2013.
Our objective is to provide a personalised and efficient representational service to members, and we are available 24/7.
Also to act as a pressure group pushing for more humane conditions in the London bus industry.
Report written by William J Spring Executive Director
Endorsed by Barry Blakesley Co-Executive Director