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Thursday 14th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

CONGRESS voted yesterday to review its structures and protocols for dealing with inter-union disputes.

Moving motion 77 on trade union organisation, GMB general secretary Tim Roache declared that there was “no room in this movement for those who wear the badge of solidarity only to discard it when a recognition deal is on the table.”

GMB was highly critical of a recognition agreement that Community reached with online fashion retailer Asos in January, after GMB had campaigned for two years to organise the workers.

Under the deal, workers were automatically enrolled in Community and had to speak to management if they wished to opt out.

“Yellow cards for repeat offenders are demonstrably ineffective,” Mr Roache argued.

Vicky Knight, for the University and College Union, said any review would need to look at how workers “demand the right to trade union education and training” following massive funding cuts.

Moving motion 78 on support for affiliates in trade disputes, RMT general secretary Mick Cash praised train guards involved in the “longest-running dispute in our history” to keep trains safe and accessible for all passengers.

He attacked a deal between train drivers’ union Aslef and Southern that was announced at the TUC in January, when RMT was also in dispute with the train company, as “a deal we were not party to and had no say over” and which had caused huge “anger and frustration” among RMT members.

Supporting the call for a review, Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said that his union had needed “a couple of degrees of separation” due to litigation in which it stood accused of participating in secondary action and political strikes.