Robbie’s biography

July 5th, 2008

Robbie Segal who is married with 3 children and 2 grandchildren has been an active trade unionist when at the age of 19 alongside other trade unionists she was ‘locked out’ during an industrial dispute with the Express Newspapers. She has continued with her trade union activities in her workplace and through building practical and political support for other workers in struggle.

Robbie was an active and vociferous supporter of the Liverpool councillors, the mineworkers and their wives during the bitter 1984/85 miners strike and then again during the P&O seafarers strike.

She was a leading light in the campaign against the ‘Poll Tax’ and together with her husband Eric, who was jailed for non-payment of the poll tax, she was expelled from the Labour party.

Robbie has worked in Tesco’s for 22 years and has been an active Usdaw shop Steward for 21 years. She has been branch chair and continues to hold the position of branch secretary. She has held many divisional and national positions including chair of the Southern Region women’s committee and is well known for her inspirational speeches at the Annual Delegate Conference.

60% of our members are women and Robbie has been a tireless fighter for women’s issues and in particular those who are experiencing domestic violence. She has campaigned for greater rights and understanding of issues for those members of the union who are lesbian or Gay and for other minorities.

Robbie has served 9 years as a member of the Executive Committee of Usdaw however during that time she has seen power taken from the elected members of the EC and put into the hands of a handful of bureaucrats who undemocratically determine where to spend our members hard earned subscriptions.

Robbie resigned from the national store forum in 2002 over the collusion between the leadership of Usdaw and Tesco senior management in the forcing through of the Tesco partnership agreement. Partnership imposed the draconian sickness policy, the ending of the vote for pay and conditions and the dilution of union involvement in the forums.

Robbie is determined to democratise Usdaw and return it to its members. She believes that Usdaw has huge growth potential with millions of especially young shopworkers looking for a fighting campaigning union. She will campaign for an end to partnership agreements and a return to national free collective bargaining.

Robbie Segal, if elected to the position of General Secretary, rejects the wage and benefits of over £100,000 that John Hannett receives and will take the wage that she earns as a Tesco worker and all necessary expenses will be open to scrutiny by our members.

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