A letter of concern to John Hannett

July 5th, 2008

Robbie Segal
Executive Council member
29 Hawkins Road
Cheriton, Folkestone
Kent CT19 4JA
22 May 2008

John Hannett
General SecretaryUSDAW
188 Wilmslow Road
Manchester M14 6LJ

Dear John Hannett,

Re: Circular GC 26/08

I am deeply concerned that the above letter was circulated to all Union officials and Branch Secretary’s. The letter contains inaccurate and misleading information regarding your proposed election. The Executive Council (EC) did not recommend that branches nominate you for re-election. Neither did the EC agree that your details be included on any material distributed to Branch Secretary’s or Union Officials. Needless to say, your continuing failure to take detailed minutes of the EC meetings exacerbates problems for democracy in our union.

The inclusion of this misleading recommendation and the inclusion of your details on the circular are an undemocratic and irresponsible way to gain credibility through bureaucratic manoeuvres.

You will recollect that I raised a number of concerns at the May EC regarding your hasty decision to call the election and in light of misleading information circulated to members I certainly would object to your name and details being recommended to branches for re-election. My concerns are as follows:

  • The hasty election for the post of General Secretary will mean that 2 separate elections will be run this year. This is an unnecessary and wasteful use of our low paid union members subscriptions to the union.
  • Two elections will divert valuable resources away from the important organising work of building USDAW.
  • That a hasty election would not allow our members the opportunity to have a full and democratic debate on union policy.
  • That a hasty election would not allow other candidates equal opportunity to canvass support from our branches and members.
  • I have to ask why is the General Secretary so desperate to hold an early election in the middle of the holiday period with the knowledge that this will significantly reduce the turnout?

I wish to formally register a complaint concerning the circulation of your election details through the union’s internal administrative structure, which I believe gives the General Secretary an unfair advantage over any other candidate who may wish to stand.

Yours Sincerely

Robbie Segal
Executive Councillor
cc. John McGarry, Electoral Reform Services


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