We reproduce below a statement being sent out by Jerry Hicks to
branches and members in Unite concerning the forthcoming election of a
General Secretary for the Unite union. This statement has also been posted on the jerryhicks4GS site.
For the attention of the Branch/Chapel
From Jerry Hicks, Unite member Bristol:
I write to you about the election for General Secretary (GS) of
Unite which this time round will involve the whole union, unlike last
year’s election for Joint General Secretary which was only held in the
As yet there is no definite date or timetable set for the election,
though it is extremely unlikely to be held or even announced during the
run up to the General Election. However it has to happen this year.
With the election for a single General Secretary ahead of us it’s
worthwhile for a moment looking at where we are right now.
We are a year on from the election held in the Amicus section of
unite and sadly, in my view we are in an even worse position than we
were then. With the economy in tatters and our members in the firing
line, the union continues to be run as a business and not a service.
Again and again member’s say they feel even more distant from the
leadership and even more remote from decision making leaving them
feeling both angry and vulnerable. Our members need and deserve a lot
more from our union!
There is in my view a lack of clear, bold leadership in our union for
which they, the leadership bear a collective responsibility for where
we are and how we got here. They have either agreed with the decisions
and direction of the union or have not being able or willing to change
Already a number of candidates have come forward though with the
exception of myself, I am not an official or employee of the union, they
are all senior national officials. Whilst I have no axe to grind with
any other prospective candidate I believe they have become ‘part of the
problem and not the solution’.
Given their positions they are more able to contact members or appear
in the union publications.
Our campaign on the other hand is doing precisely what we promised
and that is, involving and engaging, supporting and organising, with and
for the members. These last few days and weeks especially, in that our
latest leaflet which lots of our supporters have been taking to
workplaces, is aimed at informing members of the GS election, the
importance of it and where we stand.
For many this is the first they have known about it.
It will require sufficient nominations to progress and I do not
underestimate that task. More of the same won’t do, members need and
deserve a lot better than another false dawn. We confounded all the
sceptics by coming second last time with nearly 40,000 votes and we
believe that this time we can go one better.
We are in it to win it and we want to win it to be able to change the
union. Where it’s good we want it to be fantastic, where its OK we
want it to be great and where it’s wrong we want it to make it right.
Change from a ‘can’t do’ union to a ‘can do’ union, from a
campaigning union to a fighting union, from a remote and distant union
to an inclusive involving union where members decide and the union
Not change in the form of top down dictates but change from below
from the workplaces, branches, sectors and regions that will be given
authority and independence over decisions and direction, change at the
top helping to bring about change from the bottom up.
Some of the issues I stand for:
- · Election of all officials.
- · Repeal of anti union laws and when necessary confront them.
- · A General Secretary on an average members wage.
- · Members decide while the union provides.
- · Mergers that make us stronger not just bigger.
- · Prioritise: Public ownership: Pensions: The creation of one million
- · Public works programme, first 3100 jobs offered to blacklisted
- · Make the ‘Peoples charter’ happen.
If you wish to and are able to help with the leafleting please let me
know, in many places there are already small (or large!) groups of
supporters organising themselves, let me know if you would like to be
put in touch with others, by phone, email or meeting up.
If you agree with some, most, or the majority of what you have read,
please would you consider supporting me in my campaign for General
Secretary by way of an invitation for me to speak, by nomination at the
designated branch meeting or by making a financial donation, details
I will be relying upon the generosity of individuals and the belief
that collectively, when determined people come together ‘all things are
If you wish to help, want to know more, or make a donation
Please contact me by either of the following ways
Or write to me at: 10 York Road, Montpelier, Bristol; BS6
Please make cheques made payable to JerryHicks4GS
All donations will be receipted, and a record of all transactions
will be available for inspection. Please note that the new unite rule
book does allow for donations to be made from branch funds up until to
the time the election is called.
And take a look at the recent Youtube clip: ‘organising the union’.