Much of the Same, Bit More Expensive

A happy Woodley
Woodley has decided to stand down as General Secretary a year earlier than he has to.  This was announced on Friday on the union's website.  It means that McCluskey will become General Secretary a year earlier, on 31st Jan 2011.

There is a clause in the Instrument of Amalgamation of TGWU and Amicus which allowed Woodley to stay on a year after Simpson goes (this month). This was in case Woodley's chosen candidate lost to Simpson's chosen one (Bayliss).  Then Woodley and Bayliss (or Hicks) would have been Joint General Secretaries for the first year.  Woodleys chosen candidate was of course Len McCluskey who won, so no need for Woodley to keep his paws on the reins.

McCluskey - an extra year all round
There is no payoff package for Woodley  - instead he gets to stay for another 2 years until Jan 2013  as 'Unite's executive officer for organising', "a position I have discussed with Len" .  Then he will get his big payoff. have been led to believe his new job is on the same salary package, though no mention is made of terms and conditions in the union statements.    This would appear to us to hand Woodley an extra year on his current salary over what he would have got by retiring Dec 2011, as was anticipated in the Instrument of Amalgamation. McCluskey described Woodley's move as "typical of his selflessness".


  1. Tony Woodley's retirement date was approved by the elected Executive Committee and voted in by Unite members - fact!

    Woodley has decided based on the last few years that joint general secretaries don't work and i don't think anyone in Unite will disagree with that.

    So he has taken the principled postition to stand down as GS to allow Len McCluskey who was voted in overwhelmingly by members to get on with the job in hand.

    If he was asked to go he could have enforced his contract and been paid another year's salary for sitting at home, instead he is going to turn up to work and do something useful until he retires.

    Your attempts to stir up division, create splits and put about smears and innuendo are appalling.

  2. Yes Woodleys retirement date was voted in by the members. This decision now ignores the members as well as extending his pay by another year! A principled decision? What nonsense! He could have enforced his contract for another years salary? He recommended the Instrument that allowed for his retirement in 2012. He would have a hard job explaining such greed to the members!

  3. "Tony Woodley
    We have removed a story "Woodley to accept Axe" which concerned a Mr. T. Woodley the General Secretary of the TGWU. We stated that Mr. Woodley had attempted to negotiate a means of leaving the union in the near future in return for a substantial pay off. We now accept that this is not true and that Mr. Woodley is working hard to ensure that the new amalgamated union is a great success. We also accept that Mr. Woodley has no intention of retiring in the near future and any statement to the contrary is wrong. We apologise to Mr. Woodley for any upset caused to him as a result of our earlier statement.
    Posted by on 31st January 2007"

    I always take the accuracy of sites like Dear Unite with a very large pinch of salt.

  4. We always provide links to reference our statements. Nothing in the above story is incorrect (point it out if it is). Back in 2007, removing the 'Axe' story was in response to a solicitors letter which threatened a process which would likely bankrupt me. Basically the 'Axe' retraction outlines the 2007 story anyway, which was that Woodley would stand down early as GS. Oh look, now he has done.

    If anyone saw the intimidating solicitors letters we receive you would realise how careful we are with our articles. Otherwise we would have been financially wiped out long ago. As anyone knows the UK has the most repressive libel laws in the World.

  5. I see Tony moving over to the Organising role and leaving Len to get on with the job as a good positive thing for the members. I think anon 18th december @5.40 has it spot on.

    I am p*ssed off with the constant carping by people supposedly on the left in harmony with the corrupt old right wing parts of previous incarnations of the union, constantly trying to drag the union down.

    The left needs to unite behind the union rather than trying to forge unprincipled alliances of individuals with a grudge against the union. Remember the left has a very poor record on creating unity so this is a brilliant chance to move on.

    Of course like all employers the union will have its fair share of rubbish FTO employees. But isnt that what a disciplinary procedure is for?

    Woodley is far from a 'bad' employee as one can get. He has worked under very difficult circumstances over the last two years fighting the old Amicus machine. He could have easily remained in the GS post and continued to delay unity in the eyes of members. His standing down from GS sends out the right message.

  6. Stop Press....
    I understand Woodley is taking a cut in pay for new role. Can anyone confirm?

  7. anonymous of 5:29am what is this crap about "people supposedly on the left in harmony with the corrupt old right wing parts of previous incarnations of the union".

    It is just a slander with no evidence made up by the mccluskey club to hide their inclusion of right wingers - of which there is plenty of evidence. Not to mention Faircloth - ex Sir Jackson man and Jacksons 'men in suits' still in post.

  8. Keep up the personal attacks, you are wasting your time (and union members subs) they will be deleted.

  9. Personal attacks. We've just removed a few childish ones.

    It seems a tiny minority don't seem to understand what a personal attack is, as it is obviously their primary means of communication and political argument. It is playing the man not the ball, or shooting the messenger.

    This is a website about what is really going on in the union - every fact is referenced and the majority of stories here, and certainly the best ones, are provided by other people, union employees, ex employees, members of other unions (as incidentally was the 'Woodley to accept Axe' one).

    This is not a personal blog or online argument forum. Start your own site if you want to indulge in infantile politics and abuse. In fact why not join the UL email list who have experts in it or go visit 'Shitass Socialist'.

    Nor is this site for well meaning or disingenuous personal comments e.g. if your email starts "Dear David" you would be better off spending your time posting it to me direct. It will just be removed from here.

    Welcome here are corrections, comments, new information, questions, different points of view. What we don't understand are people who obviously hate this site but keep coming back to it. Just piss off so we can move forward exposing you and your like (and don't forget to claim your overtime).

    And for info although it may only take 10 seconds to write a personal attack, it only takes 1 second and 2 clicks to delete it. Or are you too stupid to have realised that?

  10. I have been following this site, and its previous incarnations for some time. The one thing you can't say about it is that it is run solely to support potential GS candidates. I think its author relishes opposition, and I guess that if Hicks were to be ever elected it would also be critical of him, if needed.

    The article is factual, Woodley has now been given another 12 months. What is surprising is that Unite have been through a VR program, we may also see another one next year, we have 2 National officers per some sectors and a number of AGS's so one would have thought that this “organising” role could have been filled by one of them.

    Of course Woodley has a contractual position, I don't think anyone would have argued that he hasn't or is not passionate about what he does, and it does make sense to have one “head” at the top of the organisation, but only time will tell if a VR program appears in 2011, and if it does, it will make this current decision more questionable.

    One last thing, reference “get his big pay off” I wouldn't assume that either Woodley or McCluskey will go when expected, age discrimination and legal challenges may be around the corner. However, I am surprised that this site may, knowing its history...!

    “The Watcher”

  11. McCluskey's failure to attend the TUC meeting with Cameron at Downing Street on Monday is not an auspicious start. Easier to wage war from the pages of the Guardian eh?