A message from Roger

The UCU general secretary ballot result has now been declared and Sally Hunt has been elected. The union and our members face major and difficult challenges from employers and government in almost every aspect of our working lives. The turnout was just 13.9 per cent which in itself suggests the scale of the challenge the union faces. I wish Sally Hunt very well in meeting those challenges. To meet them successfully will require a clear strategic vision and a determined articulate response which members can have confidence in and ownership of. I will seek to play my part in ensuring that is the case through my continuing role as Head of Equality and Employment Rights Finally I would like to sincerely thank the hundreds of members who sent messages of support and campaigned during the election.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Sunday 4th March

Trade unions and the BNP

I started to catch up with an email backlog after several weeks of combining doing my “day job” with running an election campaign – and having a week away on compassionate leave.

One of the emails that caught my eye was a European Human Rights Court judgment that has determined that trade unions are permitted to expel BNP members. The European Court of Human Rights that unions can expel members of the fascist British National Party. The judgement rested on whether such expulsion was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case was brought by ASLEF, following British courts' ruling in favour of a BNP member expelled from the union because of the incompatibility of BNP views and those of the trade union movement. The BNP has attempted to increase its legitimacy by setting up "Solidarity" - a front organisation to infiltrate the trade union movement.

I welcomed this decision. It is not enough, however, to rely on such court cases. Unions have to demonstrate we are also effective at gaining improvements in the pay terms, conditions and working lives of our members if we are to have decisive authority to effectively take on all forms of discrimination and racism – and the BNP - head on.

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A trade unionist all his working life. An activist and a proud campaigner, Roger has consistently worked to defend human rights of workers. As the leader of the Equality and Employment Rights team in the newly formed UCU he continues to unite the movement around equality and keep employment rights at the top of the agenda.