Open Warfare in Disunite

Started like Starsky and Hutch
Ends like Reservoir Dogs
In an extrordinary letter in today's Guardian Joint General Secretary Woodley has openly attacked the candidate of the other General Secretary, Derek Simpson.  Read the letter here.

Woodley accuses movie star Bayliss of 'presenting a grossly distorted view of his own union' and attacks him as 'never having led industrial negotiations as a union official'. He finishes off with 'Bayliss's industrial judgment is seriously open to question'.

This sort of spat is exactly what you get when a union is run in the interests of the senior management and not the members. If either McCluskey, Cartmail or Bayliss win, expect more of the same.

Failure to Deliver

Len McCluskey and Union GS Woodley
Exclusive! We covered last week the apparent failure of union officials to deliver at least one box of 'Vote McCluskey' leaflets from their offices (McCluskey's campaign slogan is "It's time to deliver").

Well we have hold of another email expanding upon the subject and reproduce it below.

Incidentally 'Failure to deliver' sums up neatly all three of the management candidates in this election - McCluskey, Bayliss and Cartmail;  The UK's largest union and biggest provider of funds to the Labour Party (£5 million a year) can't even deliver 100 Labour MPs when it needs them.

Brian Rice is a long standing member of Unite's  Executive Council and a Senior Rep at Bombardier Aerospace. 

From: Brian Rice
Sent: 21 October 2010 11:33
Subject: Ref General Secretary Election

Hi Jimmy
I would like to make a formal complaint about what appears to be a systematic abuse of the rules governing the forthcoming General Sectary's Election. 

My complaint centers around a number of things which i believe contravenes the notice sent to all Unite employees from the joint General Secretaries dated June 2010.

I would refer to Paragraph (a) of this document:- the corporate identity and logo of the union and the unions resources, which include the unions membership databases, must not be used to support any particular candidate in this election.

Firstly on the 13th October 2010 at a meeting in the Antrim Road with the Power Workers, it would be my understanding that literature in support of Len McCluskey was offered to the representatives in attendance

Same as The Greedy Bankers

Dearunite's cinema critic introduces the short film "Same as The Greedy Bankers":
The Idealist philosopher Hegel thought that material reality stemmed from ideas, and that without them reality is just a jumble of uninterpreted sensory inputs.

Karl Marx took this philosophy and flipped it.  He believed that people's ideas, their beliefs, the way they viewed the World and other people, were determined by the material conditions of their existence.

Imagine then that the material conditions of your existence are a house for life, plus a spare, plus expenses and a salary package of £200K.  Nearly 8 times the average wage. What sort of  beliefs, what sort of World view are you going to have?  The answer is of course "Same as The Greedy Bankers"....
 Film courtesy of Channel 4 'Dispatches'
The sequel to "Same as The Greedy Bankers" is the excellent "Baylissgate the Movie", available free here.

'Caught in the Rigging'

"Not another bloody leaflet left behind"
Exclusive! have seen an incredible two emails from Unite's  Executive Committee member Brian Rice.  You may recall last week we quoted McCluskey's  chief commandant Martin Meyer's exhortation to his troops:

"Time to get the vote out!.. For this to work we have to get ORGANISED!  It's no good having election materials languishing in union offices.."

Well it seems the paid troops in this election campaign may have been a bit lax..
Brian Rice/Shorts/Bombardier
15/10/2010 11:35

Ref Election for General Secretary

Hi Jimmy

I wish to make a formal complaint with yourself reference election material in support of Len McClusky being stored and distributed out of our offices on the Antrim Road.

Myself and Jimmy Neil where at an meeting on the Antrim Road with Jackie Pollock  whilst we where waiting on Jackie we went into the training room where we subsequently found a box of leaflets in support of Len McClusky with the address of one of our officials on the side.

I asked Jimmy Neill to get Jackie and Eugene to come to the training room, being the two most senior people in the building, I asked them to explain why election material was in the building and was there material in support of the other candidates, I have to say I was not happy with their response so I removed the box from the building, if you want to see it I can produce it for you.

I also told them that election material had been handed out at courses in the Antrim Road in support of Len McCluskey and was visibly on show for all to see.

I would request that you carry out an urgent investigation into what has happened as I am sure you would be aware it is a serious breach of the rules governing the election for General Secretary. I refer to the guidelines for the conduct of the ballot 2010   2.6 section (a) The

Woodley: Bayliss a Disgrace and Scandalous

Any thoughts that if one of the management of Unite (Bayliss, Cartmail or McCluskey) wins the lucrative General Secretary job then Unite will re-unite, were swiftly dispelled this evening.
Woodley and his silent
side-kick McCluskey
Simpson loosely holding
the reins of Les 'Disgrace' Bayliss
In today's Guardian Bayliss had himself a full page spread, in a carefully crafted (but doomed) attempt to potray himself as an honest moderate. The Guardian 'advert' for Bayliss was entitled "BA and Unite dispute is stuck in 70s like Life on Mars" and compounds Bayliss's stupidest statement yet ("If I am General Secretary of Unite there will NEVER be any strikes called over Christmas.” Or Easter, or school holidays, or Ramadan, or bank holidays, or weekends (you get the drift).

So this evening at the anti cuts rally in London General Secretary Woodley struck back (McCluskey seemingly unable speak for himself) saying Bayliss's comments were  "a disgrace" and "nothing short of scandalous".

New! Jerry Hicks press release: 'pawns in an election chess game'. The one non-management candidate in the election is Jerry Hicks .  Jerry came second in Unite's 2009 election for General Secretary, comfortably beating 2 paid officials and losing only to the incumbent General Secretary. There is no incumbent in this election.

All the other candidates apart from Jerry Hicks are highly paid and expensed Assistant General Secretaries in the union. Les Bayliss is the chosen candidate of Joint General Secretary Derek Simpson.  McCluskey is the chosen candidate of Joint General Secretary Tony Woodley.   Gail Cartmail's role seems to us to be to take Amicus votes off Bayliss to assist McCluskey.

Baylissgate the Movie

The short video below succinctly explains 'Baylissgate', an extraordinary tale of a senior union offical allocating £1/4 million of members subs to a charity and his mate demanding 10% of that from the charity as a "finders fee".  Readers may recall the Baylissgate story was broken exclusively by
Film courtesy of Channel 4 'Dispatches' You can also view the movie  here (large file)
Incredibly the affair reveals that  General Secretary candidate Les Bayliss was arrested by the Fraud Squad (paragraph 8) and investigated by the police for 2 years (although never charged)  and that the union, under Bayliss's direction, was handing out £1/4million pounds every year to just 3 charities.

As a result of the gaff being blown, General Secretary Simpson reported that Bayliss would no longer become a trustee of the union's charity.

Our union has a turnover of £134 million.  You can vote for Les Bayliss to run our union if you want from 25th October to 19th November. Read the full story with all documentation on

Broad Left: 'Vote for Hicks'

Today we publish in full an article by the respected ex Chair of the Broad Left in the AEEU and then Amicus, Jimmy Warne.  Jimmy was chair of the union's Left, the  'Gazette' group, from 2001-2006 and is currently chair of the Newcastle Central branch of Unite.   He was the union's Education Officer.  Jimmy also had a starring role in 'Baylissgate the movie'.


Jimmy Warne
So here we are again. Some ten years ago we all came together on the Left to remove Sir Ken Jackson and replace him with someone we all hoped would honour his election pledges. Now the circle has completely turned, we find ourselves asking the exact same questions we posed ten years ago.

The 600 word statements from the candidates have just dropped through our letter boxes and what do we see? Two managers Bayliss and Cartmail and another manager who is trying to ride two horses with one arse in McCluskey (and failing miserably in the process, as anyone with the debacle of BA hanging over his head would be). And then there is Jerry Hicks, his statement of intent is clear, his message is totally different from

Pots, Kettles and Projectors

Things are hotting up in the General Secretary election kitchens.  McCluskey's union machine in particular is simmering.  Here are some extracts from their exhortation to each and every one of their 192 United Left list members:
"Time to get the vote out!.. For this to work we have to get ORGANISED!  It's no good having election materials languishing in union offices.."
And what would election materials for a particular candidate be doing languishing in union offices we wonder. According to the rules they are meant to be made and distributed by genuine activists, not by paid-for ones and the union.

Their imperial commander Martin Mayer is positively boiling in his views about rival candidate Les Bayliss :
"His little clique around Derek Simpson and Steve Davison have already demonstrated how they operate, in the worst of AMICUS tradition. It's a centralised and ruthless style of leadership which bestows grace and favours on close supporters and shuts out everyone else - and even worse for those they regard as their enemies. "
Anyone with a background in Amicus or TGWU would recognise that description, it probably applies to the majority of unions today.  Most would agree that the TGWU would win in a contest though.  According to Sigmund Freud, "projection" is a defense mechanism whereby one "projects" one's own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else. For example, someone who harbors greed while believing that avarice is socially undesirable might believe that a friend is greedy, projecting his or her avarice onto the other person. Of course they could both really be greedy corrupt control freaks.

Mayer's extraordinary tirade continues, claiming
"abuse of union funds for a sickeningly high style of living in bars, restaurants and hotels. On the UNITE Executive Council we have seen it and witnessed it.
We can't publish the full text as it is clearly libellous and disappointingly no evidence