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03/04/2012 - Solidarity AGM Report

CENTRAL BIRMINGHAM was the setting for Solidarity Trade Union’s recent 2012 Annual General Meeting.

Delegates came together to listen to various speakers and to debate six motions that had been put forward for discussion.  Minutes from last year’s AGM – held in Carlisle on Saturday, February 27 2011 – were read and approved.  

The 2012 motions related to general trade union work, charitable work and specifically building Solidarity itself. 

In the first category (general trade union work) delegates heard calls for the union to build and promote two major campaigns this year.  They would relate to a ‘Buy British’ Campaign and an Anti-Cuts Campaign.

In the second category (charitable work) delegates were asked to support the idea of setting up a charity which will focus on educational and/or welfare issues.

And in the third category (specifically building Solidarity Trade Union) motions relating to Community Membership, the Self-Employed and establishing a Political Fund were debated.

The full text of each motion is provided below - all of the motions were passed.  In the coming weeks and months ahead, Solidarity hopes to carry regular updates relating to these motions.  Therefore, we’d advise all members and supporters to keep checking this web-site on a regular basis.

Solidarity Trade Union – 2012 Annual General Meeting.  Motions For Discussion.


1. Annual Conference Motion - Community Membership


THIS CONFERENCE supports the formation of a new Solidarity Community membership.  This will be aimed at those not presently employed e.g. students, retired, self-employed (if not wishing full membership) and the unemployed. The Union would offer them various benefits e.g. Legal advice, Welfare support, CV's etc.

The cost should be set each year by the National Executive. They will have their own membership card. They will not have voting rights but will be encouraged to become full members once in employment. There should be an appointed Officer who will attempt to recruit new members and encourage exiting ones to organise and/or promote the Union via a webpage and newsletter.

If this motion is passed the General Secretary is authorised to insert a clause into the Constitution to give effect to the above.

Proposed by Glen Nicklasson
Seconded by Graham Williamson

 
2. Annual Conference Motion - Self-Employed

THIS CONFERENCE recognises that the self-employed sector is one of the UK's growing industries. There are presently 4.1 million workers (over 14% of the total workforce) registered as self-employed (Work Audit report (2012) by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development).

This sector has been growing since the 90's as firms have been attempting to cut back on their 'employee benefits' and replace employees with, in theory, more motivated self-employed workers. The numbers have risen dramatically as a consequence of the recession. These 'new' workers are particularly vulnerable as they are largely workers who lost their jobs and are doing 'odd jobs here and there'. In the US and Europe Unions have adapted to provide help to such workers. Here in the UK there is presently little help on offer. Establishment trade unions are not interested, understandably reacting against employers pushing workers into self-employment. What can be done?

The self-employed need legal and financial help with contracts, self-assessment, insurance and pension advice. Any trade union that promotes this service could potentially grow significantly. For example, a Dutch trade union specialising in the self-employed is growing by 2,000 a year whilst others are shrinking.

This Conference should support the promotion of trade union membership to the self-employed. We should offer legal advice via the Free Representation Unit and discounted service recommendations e.g. Accountancy/Credit Control etc. This will be promoted via a special box on the website leading to a page explaining the benefits on offer.

Proposed by Graham Williamson
Seconded by Glen Nicklasson


3 Annual Conference Motion Political Fund.


THIS CONFERENCE recommends that the Executive Committee take steps pursuant to section 92 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (as amended) in order to seek approval from the Certification Officer to allow Solidarity to amend its rules to establish a political fund.

That the Executive Committee draw up proposed ballot rules and proposed political fund rules for preliminary approval by the Certification Officer.

That, in the event that the proposed ballot rules and proposed political fund rules receive preliminary approval from the Certification Officer, the Executive Committee call a Special General Meeting of the Union in order to adopt the ballot rules; the political fund rules and to resolve that, if a majority of members voting in that ballot vote in favour, the proposed political fund rules be adopted.

Proposed by David Kerr
Seconded by Patrick Harrington


4. Annual Conference Motion: ‘Buy British’ Campaign


THIS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING calls upon the National Executive of Solidarity Trade Union to build a campaign on the theme of 'Buy British!' This campaign should be promoted by all means possible.

Proposed by Graham Williamson
Seconded by Glen Nicklasson


5. Annual Conference Motion: Educational/Welfare Charity


THIS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING calls upon the National Executive of Solidarity Trade Union to investigate the possibility of setting up a charity which will focus on educational and/or welfare issues. The National Executive should report back its findings in due course.

Proposed by David Kerr
Seconded by Patrick Harrington


6. Annual Conference Motion: Anti-Cuts Campaign

THIS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING calls upon the National Executive of Solidarity Trade Union to build a campaign on the theme of 'No Cuts in Jobs or Services'. This campaign should be promoted by all means possible.

Proposed by Graham Williamson
Seconded by Adam Walker