Minutes: Hackney TUC meeting, October 13 2004

Submitted by Janine on Fri, 29/10/2004 - 11:46.

John Page, GMB
Janine Booth, RMT
Nigel Prendergast, PCS
Peter Coleman, Unison

Brian Debus, Unison
John Leach, RMT
Jane Holgate, Unison

Minutes of last meeting

Agreed as a true record; no matters arising

Defend Hortance Louw (nee Mbebo) from enforced deportation.

PC on behalf of Unison outlined the campaign to defend Hortance, who is the wife of a Hackney Unison member. They have now won the support of Hortance’s MP Joan Ruddock, and explained how Dave Prentis the General Secretary had supported the campaign by lobbying MPs from the Home Office while at Labour Party Conference.

A lobby and leafleting had lead to sympathetic press overage and Hertance has now been released from custody pending the outcome of a review. The Home Office is still insisting that they will deport Hortance, despite the fact that they accept her marriage is genuine and would ordinarily lead to a right to remain. The family appear to have received poor legal advice in negotiating the complex immigration process, and the threatened deportation appears to be a result of technical errors.

The trades council has already played an important supporting role by raising the case, and will continue to do so.

Crisis in the civil service

NP on behalf of the PCS gave a detailed report into the proposed cuts in the civil service; 104,000 jobs to be axed and a further 20,000 to be relocated away from London. The final salary pension scheme is under threat and proposals for cutting sick pay are also being raised.

The union was seeking a commitment for no compulsory redundancies and no compulsory relocation. They were balloting for industrial action. [the ballot delivered a yes vote]

PCS are promoting an organising drive in the ‘Working Links’ in Hackney where a private sector company are delivering functions which were traditionally associated with the civil service.

Secretary’s report

The Secretary provided a brief report;

Community (formerly the ISTC) are seeking to unionise Ladbrokes and are looking to trades councils to assist.

Unison delegate Will Leng has agreed to act as an editor of a HTUC Newsletter (all news items to will.leng@hackney.gov.uk

ESF. The European Social Forum to be held at Alexandra Palace was reported and delegates encouraged to attend. Concerns were however raised about the lack of a crèche at the event.

Next meeting

It was agreed to use the November 10 meeting as an ‘organising forum’.
It was agreed to invite Community, RMT, Unison, TGWU and PCS to discuss organising initiatives they have in the borough. A wider ‘circulation’ would encourage any TUC affiliates to discuss organising agendas.