This site has been set up to help you to get the best out of your Union membership. It is run by a group of ordinary Usdaw members who campaign for membership control of the Union, in order that it represents members interests, not that of the senior officials.
It is often said that 'the Union is only as strong as its members'. But, if the members are prevented from taking decisions by the officials, the Union will be seen as weak, not only by the members themselves, but also by employers.
The growing number of 'Partnerships' with employers is undermining our ability to negotiate real improvements to our working conditions. Too many Union branches are under the control of full time officials, who are accountable to the General Secretary, not the members. Democratic structures in the Union are abused by the senior officials, resulting in poor morale amongst the membership. This must be reversed in order that members are enthused by their membership of the Union.
The Executive Council (EC) are elected to represent the membership and challenge the senior officials. Their role is to ensure that the rules of the Union are carried out and that the officials perform their duties effectively. They are responsible for ensuring that the objectives set by the members are pursued. The EC have become stooges for the General Secretary and must be challenged. A minority of Executive Councillors are trying to carry out their role. They must be supported in their efforts. The majority on the EC see their role as merely 'rubber stamping' the decisions of the General Secretary. They are prepared to do this in return for his patronage. Trips abroad are given as rewards to the 'loyal' majority. Membership of committees which take EC members away from their workplace, is seen as acceptable to them. Members must make it clear to their elected representatives that if they do not fulfil their duty to the membership, then they will be rejected at the ballot box.
This site will help members to understand the issues and how to take back control of the Union in the interests of the members, who pay their contributions every week. On this site you will be able to contact any Union office or official on the Usdaw Offices page. Simply move your cursor over the relevant office link and click.
There is also a page which sets out the Usdaw complaints procedure. This procedure was demanded by the members at the Unions' Annual Delegate Meeting. It was opposed by the General Secretary and the Executive Council! However, the procedure took away every members right to appeal directly to the Executive Council and gives the General Secretary the final word. Members should demand that their right to appeal directly to the Executive Council is reinstated.
If you have any views about how to improve the Union for ordinary members, please let us know.