|Unite Executive Council – 2020 – 2023|
|East Midlands||Steve Hibbert & June Shepherd *|
|Ireland||Marie Casey & Noel Gibson|
|London and Eastern||David Agbley, Richard Allday, Zimeon Jones & Monica Sorice*|
|North East, Yorkshire and Humberside||Michelle Smith*** ; Andrew Dyer|
|North West||Mary Callaghan & Tony Woodhouse*|
|Scotland||Eddie Cassidy & Helen McFarlane|
|South East||Hayley Garner*** & Dominic Rothwell|
|South West||Jayne Taylor & Chris Young*|
|Wales||Wendy Gilligan *** & Kerry Owens|
|West Midlands||Julian Allam**, Maggie Ryan *** & Nick Wareing|
|Industrial sector constituencies|
|Automotive Industries||John Cooper & Ken Smith*|
|Aerospace & Shipbuilding||Mick Darlington & Tam Mitchell*|
|Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Process and Textiles||Cliff Bowen*|
|Civil Air Transport||Jas Gill, Trudi Lanigan & Nigel Stott*|
|Community Youth workers and not for profit||Ruth Hayes*|
|Docks, Rail, Ferries & Waterways||Andy Green*|
|Energy and Utilities||Tim Davison*|
|Engineering, Manufacturing and Steel||Gary Buchan & Tony Pearson|
|Finance and Legal||Jacob Goddard & Fiona Tatem|
|Food Drink and Agriculture||Debi Bell and Matt Gould|
|Government, Defence, Prisons & Contractors||Chris Cadman*|
|Graphical Paper and Media & Information Technology||Tom Murphy*|
|Health||Suzanne Abachor**, Lesley Mansell & Steve Thompson|
|Local Authorities||Lisa Colquhoun & Kathy Smith|
|Passenger Transport||Nigel Atkinson, Patricia Davies & Simon Rosenthal|
|Road Transport Commercial, Logistics and Retail Distribution||Mick Casey & Dave Williams|
|Service Industries||Howard Percival|
|Unite Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians||Frank Morris & Tony Seaman|
|National Black and Asian ethnic minority seat||Susan Matthews|
|National women’s’ seat||Jane Stewart *|
|National disabled members seat||vacant – by-election required|
|National LGBT+ members seat||Jenny Douglas *|
|National Retired members seat||Phil Wiseman|
|National Young members seat||James Mason*|
|* Constituency elected unopposed|
|** BAEM designated seat elected unopposed|
|*** Women designated seat elected unopposed|
In the recent EC Elections held on the 18th June I wanted to comment on the very low turnout in most of the sectors and analyse briefly why this happened. The URF has always campaigned for a real democratic union but at the moment it still remains in the hands of a bureaucratic elite.
In the regions there were contests in the following regions : Ireland, Scotland, North East Yorkshire and Humberside, South East, Wales and West Midlands. Of course voting in territorial elections is restricted to working members only.
In the regions there was an average of a 6.2% turnout. It was better in the Industrial sectors where there were contests in 9 of the sectors again with an average turnout of 6.2%. At the last Rules Conference it was resolved to have equality representatives elected onto the EC. There were only contests in BAEM and Retired Members. LGBT, Women and Young Members were uncontested as well 10 Industrial sectors and 4 Regions without a contest.
Of course if you are a Community Member, Unemployed or a student you do not have a vote in these Elections at all. The Retired Members sector where I stood had the highest poll 19% which shows that Retired Members are very active.
The reason for the low poll in the Industrial sectors is that in a union like Unite which has strong bureaucratic apparatus, members feel that they have no say in most decisions.
All Officers, National Officers and assistant General Secretaries are appointed either on the recommendation of the Executive Council or the General Secretary. They are not accountable to the membership because they have not been elected. Members therefore consider these elections an irrelevancy and it has nothing to do with apathy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Unite enormously with the threat of layoffs redundancies and sackings. BA Workers are threatened with sackings and or redundancies. In Passenger Transport, 44 Bus drivers have died from coronavirus showing that this so called collaboration with management has meant inadequate PPE and protection from the virus.
It is necessary for the URF to campaign for democracy, accountability and a perspective that all members of the union irrespective of whether they work or not to have a proper democratic structure in the union and be able to participate like working members.
When the pandemic is over we need to have a perspective to fight redundancies and sackings through strike action if necessary.