Why is this election taking place?
Potentially, the union could be in breach of the law if the current holder of the position remained in post after his normal date of retirement.
Were the members aware of this potential breach of the law when they voted to accept the new rule book?
No. It is generally accepted that members voted to creat UNITE and the structures that would drive the new union forward. They were not advised that by voting for the new rule book the Union could face a potentially successful legal challenge if the current holder of the post remained in office without standing for election.
What is different about this election?
It is the first time that all members of the Amicus section have been asked to elect the General Secretary of Amicus. It was only members of the former AEEU who participated in the last election. This is the first time that members of the former GPMU, MSF, and UNIFI have had the opportunity to decide who should be the General Secretary of Amicus.
Is age a big issue in this election?
No, and it would be wrong to attempt to make age an issue. The central issue is that the Union has been placed in a position where, if left unchecked, a potentially successful legal claim could be made against us. The central questions are, what advice was available and given at the time of the ballot on the new rule book? Why has the Union been left open to a successful legal challenge?
Why is Paul standing in this election?
Paul is standing in this election because many of our members are seeking a genuine alternative to what is on offer. Amicus has a diverse membership base consisting of both men and women who have differing political views, are from different backgrounds and cultures, with different needs and expectations. Paul is a candidate that can bring all of these wonderful diverse elements together.
What can Paul offer that is different?
The merger with the TGWU and the economic problems that are impacting on the world economy are changing the Union and the services that the members require. We will need to get all of the issues that arise naturally out of merger dealt with efficiently and effectively and concentrate on the real issues that are impacting on our members and their families.
The world is in crisis through the demise of the Free Market Economy, unemployment could reach 3 million by the end of 2009. During this time we will have to support representatives, members and the businesses in which they are employed. However, we will also have to challenge any business or organisation that seeks to take advantage of the crisis to the detriment of our members.
Paul was first elected as an officer during the time when a conservative government privatised state owned businesess and utilities, deliberately challenged the miners and print workers, and brought in anti-trade union legislation. Therefore, Paul has the experience, ability, and time, to take the Union through its next stages of development and deal with the major issues that are heading our way.
What are Paul’s main policies?
In broad terms he thinks that our current policies and direction are fit for purpose. He believes this because we are a membership driven union and our policies have been developed and agreed by our members through democratic processes. However, in ecomomic and social terms, Paul will encourage and develop the Union and campaign on areas of a new and better regulated ecomomy, a fair and inclusive society, and a better enviroment to both live and work.
What are Paul’s political views?
Paul has been a member of the labour party for over 30 years and he will continue to fight within it for the policies that he believes in.