june19-18.qxp_RMT 12/06/2019 11:38 Page 25
RMT helpline 0800 376 3706 :: june 2019 ::
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS Branch and regional secretaries conference marks one hundred years in existence Cumbrian Lakes branch hosted the 100th the annual branch and regional secretaries conference this month in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Windermere. Outgoing president Keith Murphy opened the packed conference by welcoming the fact that so many lay officials were in attendance. RMT general secretary Mick Cash emphasised the point and described branch and regional secretaries as the backbone of the union. “Without you there can be no union activity, we could not organise at the workplace and fight back in the way we do without troops on the ground ensuring we are there to
represent workers. “Who would have thought that one hundred years after the first meeting we would still be here defending transport workers whatever their grade,” he said. He said that the union was still punching above its weight with 54 ballots for industrial action in the past year alone and hundreds of disputes that were settled without the need for a ballot. “Our membership figures are growing to over 80,000 yet we have many challenges ahead and I believe we can make the 100,000 figure. “Central this aim are the need for branch and regional plans to enable us to increase
membership at the workplace where it matters,” he said. Karen Mitchell of the union’s legal department congratulated conference on reaching one hundred years and led a presentation by lawyers outlining victories and problems in the many legal battles the union takes on. She explained the crucial relationship between branch secretaries and the legal structures of the union. “Since the legal department was set up five years ago we have won hundreds of cases from unfair dismissals to illegal wage deductions and we are continuing to develop strategies to improve services,” she said.
Mark Beresford, Bedlington marked a hundred years of conference by moving a vote of thanks to all those that worked so hard to make conference particularly to the hard work of conference secretary Jim Phelps and outgoing president Keith Murphy. Paul Howes, Crewe also called on branch and regional secretaries to attend the course at the union’s education centre to prevent any breaches of GDPR that could lead to the union being prosecuted. Keith Murphy closed the meeting with tributes to fellow officers and wishing conference all the best for the next one hundred years.
Essential reading for today's transport worker