We have been sent this report from an activist in Birmingham.
Earlier this year a Jaguar management proposal, born of secret negotiations between themselves & the full time officers of UNITE, was put to its workforce that in order to ‘save’ the Castle Bromwich plant & guarantee the investment for future generations a series of changed conditions in a document that included compulsory overtime was put to the plants workforce at Castle Bromwich who were apprehensive of the content of the document & in a ballot gave these proposals a 68% rejection.
* The compulsory overtime was for 12 Saturdays a year of which no more than 2 Saturdays in a month could be called for by the management.
Shocked by the huge rejection the trade union (UNITE) went into further secret negotiations with the management to retrieve what they could from this document and came to a reduced document which stated the12 Saturdays per year will still be called for but volunteers are expected to cover the jobs required BUT, if not enough volunteers could be forthcoming, other employees will be chosen by the management to cover the Saturday overtime request, their failure to turn up will be subject to disciplinary procedures.
This was put to the Castle Bromwich workforce in a second ballot, prior to which the Full time officers via the local Press, radio, TV & MP ( Jack Dromey) all assisted in putting pressure to the workforce to return a ‘yes’ vote which resulted in massive swing from 68% rejection to a 72% acceptance, the result of which still continues to raise eyebrows.
Ominously from the Jaguar deal other smaller companies, particularly those in the supply chain to larger corporate companies, will them selves be eager to line up & introduce similar reductions in terms & conditions to their workforces.
Similarly, after years of fighting for a shorter working week, UNITE’s FTO’s are now negotiating for a longer working week, the situation a Vauxhalls plant at Ellesmere port is a case in point.
UNITE, through the EU inspired practice of ‘social partnership’ is fast becoming a corporate trade union whilst listening to managements & not their members can only distance the trade unions from the shop floor is in itself a warning to all other trade unionists who should seek to expose & put a stop to these unethical practices which unchecked will erode all our terms & conditions.