Thursday, 22 September 2011



THEY say up North that 'where there is no sense there is no feeling' and Bernard McAuley's (National Officer for Construction in Unite the Union) email below to his colleague Gail Cartmail seems to lack all sense, sensibility and feeling for his members, and any intelligent grasp whatsoever of what is happening in the construction industry today. An eruption is taking place in industrial terms something similar to the rising of the Spanish Generals in the Spanish Civil War of July 1936, when Spain's Generals engaged in military sedition against their own legally elected government. The eight construction companies that have pulled out of the Joint Industry Board (JIB) are bent on the sabotage of what passes for a kind of civilisation in the British building trade. Faced with this attack from the eight global companies on the procedures of the status quo in British construction, Mr McAuley has shown himself to be at the very least inept, silly and lacking in foresight or prudence. At the time of writing Northern Voices understands that Mr McAuley has issued a grovelling apology about his email, which we publish below and urge our readers to judge for themselves the words of wisdom therein:

Good Morning Gail,

Reference to our telephone conversation last night on the above, could l kindly refer you to the attached correspondence. As your aware the construction section is likely to be engaged in a major industrial dispute going into the autumn, due to a decision taken by the Eight Major employers in the Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical sector of the industry.

On the 17th August the national shop stewards forum met and agreed a way forward by developing our campaign strategy on a regional basis working in conjunction with the appropriate Unite Regional Officer. Initially a group of activist decided to form a Rank and File campaign committee nominating Gerry Hicks to be there (sic) Chairman, resulting in Gerry travelling the country addressing meetings attacking not only the Employers but more importantly our Union's leadership and the capability of the Unite Officers.

The constant scurrilous attacks on officials by this small fringe group does have an impact on our campaign, as this cancerous group are simply opportunist's and extremely divisive when making there contribution at meetings, especially when fellow colleagues and members challenge these individuals, results in these individuals submitting unnecessary and frivolous complaints to the General Secretary, resulting in officers been investigated and tied up in preparing reports to defend themselves, which is time consuming and a unnecessary waste of an officers time.

My colleague Bill Green is working extremely hard in the Newcastle and l find the circular by the Newcastle Branch to be another unwarranted attack by individuals who have no intentions of working and supporting Unite in this campaign as they seek publicist which is a an unwarranted distraction at this moment in time.

My colleagues will not throw away this wonderful opportunity the employers have given us to re engage with the workers in the industry as opposed to becoming involved in this poisonous campaign by these mindless individuals who will simply hide by the Union's Equality policy.

Kind regards,

Bernard McAuley
National Officer for Construction

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