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Posts Tagged ‘Amy Murphy’

Activist 92: Debenhams special

June 10, 2020 3 comments

Debenhams special. Includes articles on how we can fight job cuts and closures in Debenhams in the UK & Ireland, what sort of public ownership should we talk about in retail and a solidarity message to Irish Debenhams workers from Usdaw President Amy Murphy
There is a slightly updated issue 92a of this bulletin for further campaigning in support of Debenhams workers – please e-mail us for copies at usdawactivist@gmail.com

Usdaw Activist 86: Coronavirus Special 4

Coronavirus special 4, April 2020. Includes articles on the threat to relax Sunday trading legislation, Starmer’s victory in the Labour Party, Usdaw activists meet via Zoom and more reports from the shopfloor on how workplaces in retail and distribution are dealing with Coronavirus.

Give members a vote on pay deals in Tesco

Usdaw members in Tesco have not had a vote on pay for over two decades since the union and the company entered into a partnership agreement in 1998. Over time Tesco members have seen an erosion of terms and conditions, cuts to premiums, redundancies, low hour contracts, flexi contracts and staff shortages. As well as a decline in Usdaw membership in Tesco.

We believe every member should have the right to an individual vote on their pay. We call for a return of the ballot on pay to replace the current ‘forum’ process. And we have an opportunity to strike a blow now as a first step towards this.

At the 2019 Usdaw annual delegate meeting in Blackpool in May a proposition was moved forward by North Sussex calling for a ‘one member, one vote’ in Tesco pay negotiations. The proposition called for the Tesco membership to have the individual right to vote on their pay by an in-store ballot run by reps in a similar way as distribution sites, and in companies such as Morrisons.

The pay deal would still be negotiated by the national forum but the final say would ultimately sit with the Usdaw membership in Tesco. The proposition was vigorously debated and culminated in a card vote – For 235,577 (68.85%) and Against 106,600 (31.15%).

Usdaw’s executive committee has decided to refer the terms of the proposition to the national officer with responsibility for Tesco for action as appropriate. To help deliver the sentiment behind this proposition, if individual members of Tesco wish to gain the right to vote on their pay it is imperative that they raise it on their staff forums for escalation to the Store Director Forum (SD Forum).

I encourage all Usdaw members in Tesco, submit this issue to be discussed in your store forum to go the SD Forums and make sure your voices are heard!

Amy Murphy, Usdaw President (personal capacity)

Categories: Updates Tags: , , , ,

Reject anti-semitism smears, defend union policy & democracy

August 14, 2018 Leave a comment

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Usdaw members will have been very disappointed to see that in his first major intervention on the Labour Party since becoming Usdaw General Secretary, Paddy Lillis has emulated Usdaw’s outgoing General Secretary John Hannett in joining in the attacks of the Blairites against Jeremy Corbyn around anti-semitism.

When Hannett stepped down as General Secretary this year, many Usdaw members wanted to see a different approach, most visibly demonstrated by the election of Socialist Party member Amy Murphy as Usdaw’s president defeating Hannett’s preferred candidate.

Yet on this issue, Lillis has waded in with a big splash in the media attempting to throw Usdaw’s weight behind the smears against Corbyn, with no consultation with the union’s ruling Executive Council. Members will worry that this is the first step of a move to run the union in a manner similarly to Hannett, bypassing it’s democratic structures to aid the right wing of the Labour Party.

In this case, demanding the implementation of all the guidance to accompany the IHRA definition of anti-semitism, there are widespread concerns that this seeks to not just tackle anti-semitism but block legitimate criticism of the policies and actions of the Israeli government. This would then be used to trap the left because the main motive is to use the issue to build the campaign to bring down Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership in league with the Blairites, the Tories and the capitalist Establishment.

But it is doubling concerning, given that this would undermine Usdaw’s policy around the question of Israel/Palestine adopted at Usdaw’s 2016 Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM) in solidarity with the Palestinian people against the repressive actions of the Israeli government.

Usdaw members will be expecting that their EC rebukes the intervention of Lillis in this fashion and re-commits the union to implementing policies as democratically decided by our ADM.

Stormy final ADM for outgoing USDAW leadership

The left is making steps forward while the right-wing bureaucracy continues trying to hold back struggle at Usdaw’s annual delegate meeting (ADM). The 22-25 April national conference of the retail and distribution union is still underway at the time of writing.

Ryan Aldred (ADM delegate – personal capacity)

The union leadership opposed affiliation to the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) – a rank-and-file body established by transport union RMT and supported by nine national unions.

Every contribution to the debate supported the motion. The leadership admitted its opposition was because Socialist Party members play a leading role in the NSSN.

The vote was clearly 50/50 on a show of hands. But outgoing president Jeff Broome refused a card vote – despite numerous calls and general uproar. About 50 delegates walked out to complain about blatant breaking of the rules.

The protests made to standing orders forced a re-run of the vote. The final result was declared as 42% for, 58% against – a close defeat at the hands of a hostile and cavalier leadership, and clearly justifying the card vote.

The ADM did pass an emergency motion calling on the union’s executive council to support workers at Shop Direct. Three distribution sites in Greater Manchester face relocation to an automated site – which could result in the loss of over 2,000 jobs.

The members are preparing for industrial action and were emboldened by the level of support. Socialist Party members called for no relocation, and a shorter working week with no loss of pay.

Usdaw has committed to a campaign to ban zero-hour contracts in favour of minimum 16-hour contracts, except for those who specifically request less. Socialist Party members pressed the importance of not just committing in words but seriously preparing a campaign.

I spoke in support of reintroducing the original, socialist ‘Clause IV’ into Labour’s constitution, which the leadership opposed and defeated. But the ADM did pass a maximum income policy, on a card vote, after the leadership opposed it.

A number of important motions – including supporting the Refugee Rights Campaign – have yet to be decided at the time of writing.

It’s apparent Socialist Party member Amy Murphy’s election as next Usdaw president has emboldened the left in the union. Iain Dalton of the Socialist Party has also been elected chair of Usdaw’s Broad Left, which continues to grow.

At the time of writing, we have sold over 70 copies of the Socialist. Full report to follow – but it’s clear support for socialist ideas is rising in Britain’s fifth-largest union.

Activist 75: 2018 ADM

ADM 2018 special – includes article by President-elect Amy Murphy, the Activist guide to ADM and on the banning of the Socialist newspaper NUJ-accredited reporter from ADM

Activist 74

Includes articles on Presidential & EC elections, DGS election and high street retail crisis.

Activist 73

January 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Includes articles on the forthcoming Presidential and Executive Council elections, the new Usdaw General Secretary and the cuts and closures in the retail sector affecting companies liek Toys R Us and Palmer and Harvey

Activist 56

April 23, 2015 Leave a comment

ADM 2015 special – Includes articles on supermarket crises, Usdaw members stand for TUSC and the Activist guide to ADM

Activist 55

February 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Includes articles on Usdaw EC elections, Minimum Wage, Scottish Labour Party, Tesco crisis, ADM £10 an hour proposition, John Hannett interview in Progress