Socialist Worker

Breakaway union attempt at AA and DHL

Socialist Worker reported last week on attempts to form a right wing breakaway union in the DHL parcels company and the AA. Paul Maloney, the national secretary of the GMB union in the AA section explains the background

Issue No. 1959

The GMB has represented staff at the AA since our merger with the Apex union in the mid-1980s. The union has had many successes, including the protection of the final salary pension scheme last year.

On numerous occasions the GMB had to take legal action to protect employees and often had to use the threat of strike action to bring reality to the minds of management.

Unfortunately Ian Allen, one of the senior representatives of the GMB working for the AA, was found guilty last year by the central executive committee for breach of GMB by-laws during the election of senior union officials.

Alistair MacLean, a senior full time official of the southern region of the union with industrial responsibility for the AA, failed to get appointed to the position of southern regional secretary in September 2004. He was a supporter of Kevin Curran, the failed former general secretary.

MacLean and Allen agreed with the venture capitalist company CVC/Premera to establish an in-house organisation, the AADU. This is masquerading as an independent trade union.

This organisation is set up in the management head office at Basingstoke. Some 4,000 jobs have been lost in the AA. These include 500 roadside patrols. The AA call centre in Erskine, Scotland, has been closed.

The call centre at Maidstone, Kent, is closing. Some 150 jobs are being cut at the head office.

People with disabilities are being sacked for underperforming. A further round of £12 million job cuts was announced on 23 June.

The management delivered these cuts following full consultation and agreement with the AADU. The AA has given the scab union recognition rights.

The GMB will continue to fight for every single job at the AA. The membership of the GMB continues to grow in the AA and we are pushing towards the 50 percent target so that we can once again get full recognition.

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Sat 9 Jul 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1959
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