An emergency meeting of the national executive of the Unite union was to be held this Thursday. The meeting was to consider two proposals by the joint general secretaries, Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley.
The first is to vote to delay the implementation of the new rule book. The second is to hold an election in the Amicus section for the general secretary position.
This means the merging of the two sections of the union will be held up for at least six months while there is an election clearly intended to re-elect the person already in office.
The deal done during the merger meant that Simpson would retire a year late, in 2010, and Woodley would retire a year early, in 2011. It appears that Simpson wants to go on to become general secretary of Unite as a whole.
A statement by the Amicus Unity Gazette group opposes the motions. It points out the union should be focused on fighting for its members during the economic crisis.
It concludes, “An election for the general secretary of half of our union—a half that will disappear immediately after the election—would be a distraction from the real work we need to do.”