Thursday, July 2, 2015

Important July Discussion Meeting

 


                          DRONFIELD LABOUR PARTY DISCUSSION MEETING


TOPIC  :          STRIKE ACTION AT GUNSTONE'S, STUBLEY LANE, DRONFIELD.

SPEAKER :     TO BE SUPPLIED BY THE BAKERS UNION.

                         (MORE DETAILS WILL BE GIVEN LATER).

TIME :             8pm to 9.15pm

DATE :            SUNDAY, 19 JULY

VENUE :         CONTACT CLUB, SNAPE HILL LANE, DRONFIELD


The following "Early Day Motion" along with the names of its supporters appeared on the Commons Order Paper on 24 June, during a 48 hour strike period called by the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). The Union is commonly known as the "Bakers' Union". Our Discussion Meeting will be held near the close of a second 48 hour strike period. More MPs are likely to give their support to the motion, including Jeremy Corbyn. The motion explains the situation.    


INDUSTRIAL ACTION AT GUNSTONES BAKERY 24:6:15
John McDonnell
David Crausby
Ian Lavery
Louise Haigh
Richard Burgon
Justin Madders
Dennis Skinner,
Chris Stephens,
Ian Mearns
That this House notes that management at Gunstones Bakery, near Sheffield, having recently made over 400 redundancies, is now trying to impose a pay freeze on the remaining workforce; further notes that the Chief Executive of the parent company, 2 Sisters Food Group, Ranjit Singh Boparan, and his wife, are estimated by the Asian Rich List to enjoy a personal fortune totalling £1.35 billion; deplores the exploitative business model that has seen attacks on jobs, pay and conditions across the 2 Sisters Group; highlights the goodwill previously shown by Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) officials and members in offering to suspend pay negotiations whilst the redundancy process was conducted; believes that the company management is now being unreasonable in insisting that any increase in pay would need to be financed via reductions in existing terms and conditions of BFAWU members; recognises that BFAWU members have been obliged to take industrial action to protect their pay and conditions; and calls on their employers to enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute.

This further information is taken from the Union's Web-Site -   Press Release re: Strike Action at Gunstones Bakery.

The BFAWU strike at Gunstones (Sheffield) taking place from June 15th 2015 was called following the company’s decision to force through a pay freeze on staff at the site.

BFAWU members and officials had initially agreed with the company to keep any pay negotiations in abeyance due to over four-hundred redundancies being made. However, the company refused to offer staff an increase following the redundancy consultation period, citing the overall cost of the redundancies as a reason for non-movement on pay.

BFAWU members at the site subsequently balloted for industrial action, but gave the company a window of six weeks in order to negotiate further. Five days before the strike was due to take place, Union members at Gunstones met and made a proposal to the company that involved a pay increase of 4% over two years with no back pay.

The company refused this proposal and made it clear to BFAWU members and officials that any movement on pay would have to be ‘self-financing’, meaning that employees at the site may have to sacrifice existing terms and conditions in order to secure any increase. The BFAWU sees this as unacceptable and hopes that the company can review its position to avoid potential bitterness, resentment and the possibility of further action at the site.


More information will be provided nearer the date of our meeting

                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What Hope For Labour ?

  Compass Radical Hope NEW








"Independent Labour Publications" (ILP) is getting together with the campaigning pressure group "Compass" in September to examine the future of the Labour Party and the politics of radical hope. A public meeting will be held in Leeds on Saturday 19 September, just one week after Labour elects a new leader and deputy leader, and four months on from the party’s disastrous defeat at the general election.

The implications of the election results for Labour’s future will be the focus of the day’s activities.

For further details click here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Celebrating The History Of The Derbyshire Miners




Friday 26 June is the centenary of the unveiling of the statues of Harvey (on your left)) and Haslam (right) outside the former Miners' Office on Saltergate in Chesterfield. The above photo was taken shortly after that event.

At 7pm on Friday, 26 June a short ceremony will take place at the statues themselves to mark the occasion. From 6 pm, refreshments will be available at the Labour Club which is situated close to the statues, but on the opposite side of the road.

Harvey and Haslam were known as the "Twin Pillars of the Derbyshire Miners Association (DMA)", being its major founders and its leading officials from the time of its establishment in 1880 until their deaths just before the start of the First World War. They were also the first miners in Derbyshire to serve as local MPs.

On Saturday 27 June, the following events will be held at the Chesterfield Library to commemorate the unveiling.

(1) Talks at in the Library Threatre from 11am.

   On Harvey and Haslam - Harry Barnes (a former tutor on Derbyshire Miners' Day Release Courses and then MP for NE Derbyshire from 1987-2005.)

   On Derbyshire Mining in its final period - Cllr John Burrows (Leader of the Chesterfield Borough Council and a former DMA official).

(2) A round-table discussion on the history of the Derbyshire Miners from 1.15 pm.

   Chair : John Halstead (Labour Historian and former tutor on Derbyshire Miners" Day Release Courses.)

   Attendance at these events is free. Refreshment facilities are available in the Library.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

JUNE DISCUSSION MEETING

            DRONFIELD LABOUR PARTY DISCUSSION MEETING

TOPIC  :          THE FUTURE FOR THE LABOUR PARTY

TIME :             8pm to 9.15pm

DATE :            SUNDAY, 21 JUNE 2015
(A week later than usual.)

VENUE :         CONTACT CLUB, SNAPE HILL LANE, DRONFIELD



I WILL PROVIDE A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION TO THE TOPIC.

WE WILL THEN QUICKLY ENTER INTO DEBATE ON KEY ISSUES CURRENTLY FACING THE LABOUR PARTY, SUCH AS -

(1) THE LEADERSHIP AND DEPUTY LEADERSHIP OF THE LABOUR PARTY.  HOW DO WE VIEW THE CONTESTANTS? (Link here, this item has relevance to this question.)


(2) HOW SHOULD LABOUR RESPOND TO GOVERNMENT POLICIES?

(3) WHAT SHOULD BE LABOUR'S OVERALL "DIRECTION OF TRAVEL" AND ITS KEY  POLICIES?

(4) HOW CAN WE SEEK TO INFLUENCE THESE MATTERS ?

                                                                                                            HARRY BARNES.
 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Needed - More Blathering

The North East Derbyshire Constituency Labour Party is having the following resolution submitted to it by its Dronfield Branch. If it is carried, it will be sent to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Labour Party for its consideration. Others might like to press this matter via similar avenues. The issue was first raised at our Labour Party Discussion Group (which this blog caters for) at a fine meeting last Sunday.

Candidates for the position of Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party shall be required to issue "Manifestos Of Intent" of no less than 3,000 words to explain the programme that they would like the Labour Party to pursue and that these documents should be circulated to members of the Labour Party to help them determine how they will vote in the coming contests.

The following link was the result of efforts by our local Labour Party Discussion Group (the "Dronfield Blatherers") to obtain "Manifestos Of Intent" back in 2010. This (as you will see) achieved some success. But this was done late in the day and in an informal way. This time we need the NEC to arrange for such Manifestos to be issued systematically and in a  prominent fashion. Click into this link for the 2010 versions. A huge boost to our campaign was the fact that the Guardian ran this letter which provided a link to this blog. Publicity helps.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wanted "Manifestos Of Intent"

Almost 5 years ago in 2010 this blog was used to get forms of "Manifestos Of Intent" out of the candidates for the Labour leadership. The extent to which we achieved this is shown here.

At our Discussion Meeting on Sunday the question was raised on how this could be done on a more formal basis for the current leadership elections, with Labour's NEC making the necessary organisational arrangements. It is a matter we are pursuing. We will report later on whether we have made any progress.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Our Next Discussion Meeting

ADVANCE NOTICE

We will not be holding a discussion meeting in April, as we will then be into the formal General Election period.

But we will be holding a key meeting just three days after the General Election itself. It will provide an important opportunity for us to discuss with Keith Venables where we stand politically, as a consequence of the election result.

Please place the following details in your diary. 


    DRONFIELD LABOUR PARTY DISCUSSION MEETING

TOPIC  :          AFTER THE GENERAL ELECTION : WHAT NOW ?

SPEAKER :    KEITH VENABLES

TIME :             8pm to 9.15pm

DATE :            SUNDAY, 10 MAY 2015

VENUE :         CONTACT CLUB, SNAPE HILL LANE, DRONFIELD

 

Keith is the convenor for both the national body "Independent Working Class Education" and the "Derby People's History Group".  He has been a trade union and equalities tutor.