Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/282/24439
USDAW executive elections
SOCIALIST PARTY member Robbie SegaL is standing for re-election to the shopworkers' union USDAW executive council. Robbie has been a shop steward at Tesco stores, Folkestone, for 16 years and held senior positions at the branch, regional and national level of the union.
Robbie told The Socialist: "Four years ago USDAW members were sold the 'partnership' deal by the USDAW leadership and Tesco management. We were told that partnership was a way for management and union members to work together in a new way based upon "trust and mutual respect".
"But representatives repeatedly contact me to complain that management force through policy changes without consultation. They complain that members are afraid to be off sick and are bullied by management. Hours are changed with no consultation resulting in less family-friendly hours. The policy of partnership results in a massive turnover of staff and union members.
"I have come to the conclusion that 'partnership' does not exist in workplaces where there are partnership agreements. I believe that new partnership agreements will further weaken our union.
"Bill Connors, general secretary of our union who was awarded a knighthood in the new years honours list for "services to industrial relations", has presided over the implementation of partnership in the retail industry.
"I say that 'partnership deals' herald the end of national free collective bargaining and an end to the democratic control of USDAW by its members."
The ballot closes on 14 February and the result will be declared in March.
In The Socialist 10 January 2003: