Saturday, February 21, 2009

Unite-Amicus JGS Election: Simpson Using BBC Like Tannoy?

While it is without doubt the role of leading Trade Unionists to be ahead of the game and work both proactively and reactively for their worker-members I heard quite a few expressions of amazement yesterday that the Woodley-Simpson dynamic duo were doing a riddle-me-ree over an imminently closing car plant with 6,000 direct, or in this lift from the BBC direct and indirect jobs. In fact Mr Woodley was talking tens, even hundreds of thousands of jobs relating to this mystery site and the 6,000 appeared to be direct.

"Unusual" chorused the industrial correspondents, Society of Motor Manufacturers, and the like. "We know of no plant answering this description".

Could it be that this is Derek Simpson's equivalent of the Students' union tannoy at election time? Ours would go:

"Will Phil Woolas please come to reception ..?", "Will John Mann please come to reception ...?", "... Steve Hewlett ...", "... John Anzani ...", probably latterly "... Derek Draper ...".

Having stitched up the cover story in the Union mag, plus at least 17 honourable mentions within, plus a letter from his desk to all members, plus a correction to rivals' statements from the Union Exec sent out with the ballots, could Simpson be using the BBC now as his metaphorical tannoy? To keep the name in his members' ears as they prepare to scratch their mark on their postal ballots?

The above picture is lifted directly from the cover of the Union rag (in full, right). With placards here acting as thought bubbles. I've found all this very off putting indeed as I've said before.

Wherever he and his rivals lie on the political spectrum versus my own positions Mr Simpson ain't getting my vote.

It is perfectly true that Amicus members voted through rule changes to allow merger with the T&G that included stuff on salaries, pensions, retirement age, accommodation perks, and the like. We didn't take the vote in parts. It was a case of all or nothing. Reduced subs, and bloated top salaries.

I think myself that that was Jackson-esque in its cheekiness. But when "Napoleon" Jackson tried all this "Snowball" Simpson was up in arms. Now the bugger's only walking on his hind legs too!

One of the rivals has explicitly stated he would take a c 60% cut, another talks of tackling excessive pay and perks, I'd imagine the third would take a similar line on this.


Anonymous said...

The site is Ellesmere Port and saying it ain't so and trying to 'talk it up' is not helpful. I agree with the unions that action needs to be taken and the BBC and Government are not helping by putting heads in sand.

Chris Paul said...

Thanks Anonymous. But I do fear that whatever's going on out there in car world Simpson's pulling out every stop to get re-elected. And I find the behaviour awesomely undemocratic and possibly not that helpful industrially.

What do you think?

Should Derek have been on the cover of and all over the insides of the Unite comic?

Should he have sent letters to everyone just before the election?

Should the Exec have been used to twat the trottiest of his rivals?

What do you think about this stuff anonymous?

And as two days have pased and there's been no rescue plan can we assume that the car plant at Ellesmere port is now shut with 100,000 consequential job losses?

Chris Paul said...

So much for the Ellesmere Port information. Simpson (and Woodley) set a hare running, indeed several hares. It is difficult for me to shake off the idea that Simpson, who has been taking the Mick with union resources like the comic, and letters, went public on this at the wrong time as part of his election time profile effort.