"The working class can kiss my arse,

  I've got the union job at last.."
Wage inflation: Len McCluskey, Les Bayliss and Gail Cartmail
Today we publish the salaries paid to the three employees of the union who are candidates for the position of General Secretary.

Although they are only Assistant General Secretaries, their packages rival those of the bosses of other major unions, e.g. the GMB General Sec's salary is only £87,000, NUT boss gets £94,374, Unison GS's basic is £97,327.

Unite has 9 Assistant General Secretaries!

Source - Unite TGWU and Amicus sections
Should we be unfortunate enough to elect any one of them General Secretary in November they will likely be receiving a package costing in excess of current General Secretary Simpson's  £196,497

Unite Gen Sec Election Nominations

These are now public:

Len McCluskey 829 valid nominations, including from branches representing 368,986 members

Les Bayliss 214 valid nominations, including from branches representing 137,942 members

Jerry Hicks 137 valid nominations, including from branches representing 109,088 members

Gail Cartmail 97 valid nominations, including from branches representing 37,836 members

What is notable is the poor showing by McCluskey considering that the T&G side of the union (his side) have 3,000 out of the total 5,000 branches.  So the machine's man could only get 1/4 of his own branches to support him for General Secretary. The same does apply to Bayliss although with Bayliss's history in Amicus this is not at all

McCluskey: How it All Began

There has been a lot of misinformation about how Len McCluskey was selected as the candidate of the 'United Left' group for General Secretary of Unite.  The misinformation has been spread particularly thickly on United Left's secretive, small and paranoid email list.

So we publish below the true account by someone who was actually there, Dr Judy Atkinson.  This was originally published in the respected Labour Left Briefing magazine:

Judy Atkinson reports

On 5th September, in a hustings marred by exclusions, bullying and walk outs, United Left supporters met in Manchester to decide who will be their candidate for Unite general secretary in 2010.

Three candidates who had put their names forward were Jerry Hicks, victimised convenor at Bristol Rolls Royce, who in March came closer than anyone else to unseating Derek Simpson when he polled 40,000 votes to Simpson’s 60,000 in the election for joint general secretary; Len McLuskey, Unite assistant general secretary and Tony Woodley’s favoured successor; and Rob Williams, convenor at the Linamar factory in Swansea, victimised and subsequently reinstated after a successful strike in May.

At the start of the meeting United Left national chair Martin Mayer decided to exclude about 20 people on various spurious grounds that they had arrived late or were not

Banned and Airbrushed

The editor of this site David Beaumont has been secretly banned from the  'United Left' email group.  We say secretly because even he wasn't told let alone the other members and no reasons were given. In addition six of his posts have been airbrushed from the group's archives.

The United Left  group is supposedly an amalgamation of the TGWU left and the Amicus left, of which David has been a member for over 15 years.  In reality though the Amicus Left split and the TGWU Left was always a tiny but powerful General Secretary's supporters club.  The group purports to be the Left in the union but its list currently has only 193 members.  Many of these are paid union officials (some even using their official '@unitetheunion.com' email address) and some members maintain duplicate addresses.

To put the 193 figure in context, dearunite.com's mailout list has just under 3,000 email addresses and the Union has 1.2 to 1.7 million members.  So you can see there is something wrong with the lay democracy of the union when the paranoid controllers, many of them paid, of a list of 193 people claim to represent the entire

Charlie Whelan out of Unite

No more champagne then...
Charlie Whelan was appointed 'Political Director' of Unite out of the blue by General Secretary Simpson, at a large undisclosed salary. Now just as suddenly and undemocratically he has gone. His only achievement we have noticed is his scheme to ensure that all Unite prospective MPs have to be approved onto a list.  Once on, if not selected for a seat, they cannot stand against the chosen one. (see page 11).  Nothing about following Unite policy once in power then, more about face fitting.

One of his last, expensive, contributions to the Unite Executive meetings was
"Charlie Whelan reported that Labour can still win the General Election and people should not get too despondent about opinion polls" (minute 542).
Whelan failed to get one of his mates,Balls,picked as Unite's Labour leader preference,  Guardian Story here

News of the Screws

In our last post ('Hicks in the Sun') we showed how Murdoch's paper The Sun covered Unite General Secretary candidate Jerry Hicks.  Here by contrast is how his other paper treats candidate Les Bayliss.  Spot the difference and  judge for yourself who is planning to screw Unite members:




Strikers Blow

Union chief slams walk-outs over cuts
WARNING: Les Bayliss
WARNING: Les Bayliss

A UNION chief last night urged militants to BACK OFF from a threatened wave of "suicide" strikes over public spending cuts.

Les Bayliss warned mass walkouts would only inflict misery on hard-hit families.

He appealed to the moderate majority to stand up to hardliners hell-bent on leading them over the cliff edge.

Mr Bayliss, assistant general secretary of Britain's biggest union Unite, insisted there was no mood for strikes among grassroots members.

And he cautioned his 1.6million members against repeating the mistakes of the 1980s and being dragged into battles they could not win.

Ex-engineer Mr Bayliss, 57, warned: "Public sector strikes will only deprive the vulnerable of services the Tories want to...

Hicks in the Sun

The Sun writes:

Monday, 6 September 2010
Sun City - The financial page you can trust edited by Steve Hawkes

AN extremist hoping to run the Unite union has vowed to ground BRITISH AIRWAYS by taking ALL staff on strike.

And he vowed to "bring matters to a head" if voted in this December - by extending the cabin crew dispute to all members, such as baggage handlers. He said: "Seventy members have been suspended by BA, 13 have been sacked.

"This is no longer just about changing cabin crew terms and conditions. It's about busting a union."

He continued: "It needs to be brought to a head, to a conclusion.

"With the members' backing I would extend balloting beyond the cabin crew."

Mr Hicks claimed BA needs to realise that "browbeating" workers into submission may hand them victory - but would de-motivate staff. He is one of four contenders to replace joint heads Derek Simpson and Tony...

McCluskey and the Machine

You may have noticed there is an election for General Secretary of Unite. If you ever had any doubt that Assistant General Secretary Len McCluskey is the chosen candidate of the well oiled union machine then look no further than his own campaign website's source code*:
<meta name="webmaster" content="Webmaster of Rippleffect Studio" />
<meta name="creator" content="Rippleffect Studio Limited" />
<meta name="publisher" content="Rippleffect Studio Limited" />
<meta name="author" content="Rippleffect Studio Limited" />
<meta name="description" content="Unite 4 Len Open:- Home" />

'Rippleffect Studio Limited' are one of hundreds of thousands of web site developers. Just by chance they happen to do Unite's website too (click below):

"Digital Agency Rippleffect has landed contracts for the Communication Workers Union and the UK's biggest union, Unite. Rippleffect, which has offices in Liverpool and Manchester, has redeveloped the CWU website and created a new online portal for Unite."

* to view any website source code click on 'view' and then 'source' in Internet Explorer or 'page source' in Firefox.

Welcome to the new dearunite.com

'On the interweb since July 2000'.

Click the "what's really going on in our union" banner at the top to go to the home page and latest news.

This is the fifth incarnation of a what's-really-going-on-in-our-union website, the previous ones being dearunite.com (old version), amicus.cc, LYONSweb and the original rogerlyons.com. Not to mention the long defunct twojobsjackson.com (bit slow- held in time in the web archive).

All the previous sites were coded in raw HTML which was great for flexibility but a chore to update. This new site is much simpler. To see the all the old articles click on 'Old Site' in the left column. The search box at top works on the old site if you then choose 'linked from here'. Legal notice: This is not the official site of the union 'Unite'.

Pre 2010 articles here: dearunite.com