Category Archives: News

A letter to Michael Gove

To the Lord Chancellor
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Dear Lord Chancellor

Let me introduce myself. I am General Secretary of an independent trade union Employees Representatives. You can find this in Appendix One of the Certification Officers Annual Report. We have been trading for less than five years, our accounts run continuously from September 2011 until now.

All of us who set up ER were and are working class, and as such aware of the deficiency in union representation in the various industries and trades represented by our membership. Our main concern was legal representation. A big union like Unite promises full scale representation, but whether or not the member receives it depends on the assessment of the union legal team. We knew of too many cases where someone had been e.g. dismissed but their case was not taken up because the union lawyers did not think there was a sufficient chance of winning. By contrast we as a union are working on the basis of lay representatives. If we think the case is arguable we will fight it @ the ET. Although like you we are not legally qualified we recall comments of your learned colleague Lord Wallace of Tankerness (H of L, 24/01/2012, col 957) “Employment tribunals were designed at least initially to be simple. Their purpose is to enable parties to make or respond to a claim without the need for legal representation.”

This is public policy but such policy continually frustrated by the obscurantism and the vested interests of an unreformed legal profession here in UK.
I refer to two very recent cases, both of which I have firsthand knowledge:
1. Re Shiju Varghese. He was employed as a care team manager by Angel Care PLC. He signed a work contract in India but when he arrived here the firm unilaterally abrogated it. Eventually he was fired, but all the time he maintained a photographic record of his pay, and it was a relatively simple matter to relate those pay slips against the pay as promised under the contract. The overall deficiency between what he was promised in India and what he actually got was about £35,000. Consequently when he was fired he brought a claim for that amount.

Eventually the case reached the County Court at Swindon. Judge Cronin struck out his claim, on the grounds he had not “particularised” it sufficiently. Shiju renewed his claim in a full hearing before His Honour Judge Iain Hughes QC sitting at the County Court at Winchester on 2nd June 2016.

On his behalf I pointed out the effect of the Court’s decision is to condone fraudulent behaviour, by Angel Care, also to condone people trafficking, as there is no doubt he was trafficked into the UK using a fraudulent prospectus. That the whole exercise constituted a vicious attack on Shiju‘s family life.

Judge Hughes said there was no compelling reason to overturn the original order.

I pointed out three: his first child (Aina Shiju), his second child Elna Shiju, and his third child, as yet unborn.

The first two children have been out of school since December 2015. The trauma inflicted on these children cannot be quantified, yet the Court in Winchester took absolutely no notice, instead rewarding a corporate miscreant and fraudsman.

I move on to the second case, heard @ the Central London County Court this week. This was not an employment matter but a straightforward case for damages v the London Borough of Haringey (LBH).. On my arrival @ the Court LBH counsel came up and threatened that I would be destroyed by costs. She pushed into my hands a draft costs order. We then went into the Court, but the Judge showed not the slightest inclination to listen, either to me, or to my lay representative, my union colleague Barry Blakesley.
Indeed the judge at one point threatened to debar me as a vexatious litigant!!! This was my first and so far only experience of the Central London County Court!!!

He only took the most cursory glance at the grounds for my action before dismissing the case and his whole manner was sneering and aggressive.

But what was interesting was the unreconstructed nature of both judgments, in the Shiju case and my own.

On the basis of this recent experience, including the inadequacies of the Legal Aid system, I have no hesitation in concluding that the judiciary are ethically obtuse, the enemies of human rights, and what used to be the working class.. Our union will not accept that the only persons qualified to comment on a legal issue are those legally trained. As far as I can establish you are not!
Yours Sincerely

William J Spring

Small Update & the EU Referendum

TO ER MEMBERS & SUPPORTERS

Apologies for my long delay in contacting people. We have now settled the ER accounts for the year ending 2015 which will be posted up on the Certification Officers web site shortly & our AGM will follow. Meanwhile here are my thoughts on the EU Referendum.

Recently it was revealed that if Bob Crow had lived it was his plan in the event of an EU Referendum to go a national tour with colleagues & political opponents to campaign for a LEAVE vote.

ER came directly out of the RMT. And I personally had immense respect for Bob Crow. But the RMT successes on the Underground were not paralleled in the bus industry. Too many companies have meant it is impossible to properly organise a strike. But Bob Crow also knew the effect of the EU was having on the UK working class. He described it as “the race to the bottom.”

The Labour Party used to be a national party for the UK working class.

Now Jeremy Corbyn, on whom I had high hopes when he first took over the leadership of the Labour Party seems to have sold out, taking the same side in the EU non debate as Jamie Dimon, head of Goldman Sachs, whose earned 8.5 million $ salary last year + a 5 million $ cash bonus, & also Will Straw, (son of the well known war criminal, Jack Straw, who promoted the Iraq War, which resulted in at least one million avoidable deaths, an ongoing tragedy for which Jack Straw and Tony Blair with George Bush were entirely responsible.)
Recently I got a leaflet through my door composed by Will Straw advocating a REMAIN vote, jointly authored by Professor Cathy Warwick OBE.

We know about Will Straw, but what do we know about Cathy Warwick?

She is Chair of the Trustees of the UK’s biggest abortion provider, the BPAS.

The BPAS started off as the Birmingham Pregnancy Advisory Service.

One of its founders was plant geneticist Martin Cole, who, as well as helping found BPAS, ran a brothel, the Institute of Sex Education and Research, whose finances were mysteriously linked in with the BPAS, now headed up by Cathy Warwick.

BPAS specialises in late abortions (up to 24 weeks gestation) but if the UK legal limit is passed BPAS sends its clients off to other jurisdictions where the limit doesn’t apply.

Next thing: Cathy Warwick has now become Chairperson of the Royal College of Midwives!!

Think about this for a moment.

If a woman has a TFL badge, “Baby on Board”, she shouldn’t get into a carriage with Professor Warwick, who spends most of her time killing babies.

That is until recently… she now has two jobs, the second job is as Chair of the Royal College of Midwives.

There is a bit of an incongruity here, a conflict of interest perhaps?

David Cameron in a SKY News debate quoted the RCM opinion on the EU Referendum.

Without consulting members, Cathy Warwick backs the REMAIN side but also changed RCM policy, which now supports abortion up to birth!!

These then are the experts then we must rely on, according to Cameron, Jamie Dimon, Cathy Warwick, & Will Straw.

VOTE LEAVE

A Sense of Loss.

The above is a phrase the media trots out regularly, but unless you know someone you can’t feel it, and I didn’t know Bob Crow.Bob Crow

I had met him though and his decisions were very crucial in the formation of our union.

I had become aware in my public service employment of the failures of the Transport & General Workers Union – now known as Unite.

Unite took my money for about five or six years.

In protest I joined RMT, Bob Crow’s union.

Many London bus drivers joined @ the same time as I did.

However we ran into a problem: the Unite General Secretary objected to Bob Crow “poaching” his members, claiming there was a trade union convention for RMT not to recruit bus drivers inside the M25.

So Bob sent us a letter, telling us all to go back to Unite.

That is the genesis of Employees Representatives – our refusal to take Bob Crow’s advice!!

Bob Crow, the tough guy, the take on all comers union boss… had feet of clay when it came to falling out with Unite or the TUC.

But in no way did that difference of view diminish our respect for him.

His walking out of a meeting @ the Labour Party Conference when Tony Blair was due to speak – his eventual decision to disassociate his union from the Labour Party altogether, all this I applauded.

He saw the malevolent streak of fascism in Tony Blair’s eyes, the skull cap, heard the screams of the dying, Blair’s oration (still to be given) to the butcher of Sabra & Shatilla.

So I too feel a sense of loss.

RIP Comrade Bob

London Sovereign – Your policy is not acceptable!

A demonstration organised by Employees Representatives is planned outside London Sovereign Harrow Garage
er-harrow-protest_sm
331A Pinner Road
Harrow
Middlesex
HA1 4HH

on Friday 18th October @ 1430 -1500

The demonstration may then move on to London Sovereign Head Office @ Edgware later in the afternoon.

WHAT IT IS NOT

It is not a strike!!

ER is not asking any of its members to strike or in any way to risk their jobs.

Any ER members who are NOT on duty or on a break are of course welcome to join us outside the Harrow garage.

It is not the object of ER in any way to impede London Sovereign in their commercial operations.

Purpose of the demonstration is to highlight in the local area the villainous staff policies of London Sovereign.

More information will be posted shortly.

William Spring

General Secretary Employees Representatives (ER)

Tel 07988874778

02083761454