Tim Roache elected General Secretary of GMB

Tim Roache

The independent scrutineer Electoral Reform Services have advised of their certified result of the Election of General Secretary & Treasurer 2015:

McCARTHY, Paul              11,454

ROACHE, Tim John          15,034

Tim John ROACHE has been duly elected as General Secretary & Treasurer.

This is a fantastic result.

Tim will build on the success of the Kenny era, and the large margin of victory gives him a clear mandate from the members.

30 comments on “Tim Roache elected General Secretary of GMB

  1. NATTYFOC on said:

    26000 votes cast out of a membership of what 650,000 clearly an overwhelming endorsement ………………………..here comes the certification officer !

  2. NATTYFOC on said:

    NATTYFOC:
    26000 votes cast out of a membership of what 650,000 clearly an overwhelming endorsement ………………………..here comes the certification officer !

    Mind that’s more than Paul Kenny EVER GOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Volodya on said:

    NattyFOC – Why are you making continuous posts as a cheerleader for the Certification Officer? Why do you support state intervention in trade union matters?

  4. John Grimshaw on said:

    Voldya’s point is a good one NattyFoc. I assume you’re not working for the state? So why are you constantly inviting them to interfere in our affairs? I’d be careful they may even be monitoring this humble blog. If there is some corruption going on we should sort it out ourselves. Do you honestly believe that the certification officer has the interests of TU members at heart? Or are you merely saying that in this case the GMB should be careful because it looks like something is going on? I don’t see how a low turn out implies this however. This is common across unions at the moment which admittedly is a sad state of affairs. I think there are a number of reasons for this. Over worked or demoralised members could be it or lack of choice of candidates or the governments insistence on postal ballots etc. The Deputy General Secretary of my union was elected by about 5% of the membership for example.

  5. John Grimshaw on said:

    Just out of curiosity Andy what in your opinion was the difference between the two candidates as I don’t know?

  6. John Grimshaw: Just out of curiosity Andy what in your opinion was the difference between the two candidates as I don’t know?

    see today’s MOrning Star:
    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-1d9a-Most-political-candidate-Roache-takes-GMB-top-job

    GMB Swindon branch secretary Andy Newman, who voted for Mr Roache, told the Star: “Once the battle became a two-horse race, [the difference between the two candidates] became absolutely clear to most of the activists.
    “Paul would offer continuity with no real plans to take things to the next level, while Tim would be building on Paul Kenny’s success but really taking things forward with new ideas.”
    Former Labour general election candidate Mr Newman said he could see Mr Roache and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn having “a very good relationship,” in spite of the need for GMB to remain “critical friends” of the Labour Party.
    “Tim is going to be a politically engaged general secretary in a GMB way,” he said.
    “I can foresee this as being a real gain for the progressive left in the trade union movement and in consolidating unions in support of the current direction of the Labour Party.”

  7. NATTYFOC: 26000 votes cast out of a membership of what 650,000 clearly an overwhelming endorsement ………………………..here comes the certification officer !

    Yes, low turnouts are a problem, but recall that the method of election is imposed upon the trade unions by Thatcher’s legislation, and most of the electorate don’t know the candidaes, don’t know what the job entails, and have no informed criteria for chosing between them.

    What would be irresponsible would be for the left to join in with the anti trade unon right wing in exploiting the facts of low turnout to destabilise and delegitimiase the unions.

    Following the CEC elections in 2010, which also had a low vote, a branch review working party with participation of activists from sucessful branches around the country was initaited, that has led to process improvements – this initiative was party a response to a motion from my branch calling for a constructive review of how to increase membership engagement in elections.

  8. NATTYFOC on said:

    Let me respond to some points I am no cheerleader for anti union legislation as I pointed out in 1969 I got nicked on A demo to stop anti union legislation by the Labour Party and have continuously argued for General Strikes to remove Thatchers legislation, these activities were not popular within the Labour Party which I have been a member of for 35years!

    And by the way within the GMB where both candidates argued against GENERAL STRIKES as a way restoring our rights as did Paul Kenny.

    [ANTI TRADE UNION NONSENSE DELETED], who were the only candidates, other candidates were I believe IMMORALLY excluded from the Ballot Paper,
    Given that scenario those excluded clearly have a duty to re establish morality within the GMB unfortunately the only route is via the CERTIFICATION officer the Days when the TUC could rule on such issues are long gone!

    [ANTI TRADE UNION NONSENSE DELETED], neither are fit to hold office and most likely wouldn’t even have been admitted into membership of NATSOPA or SOGAT in London IN MY DAY!

    I will leave readers to ascertain which description adheres to which candidate, by the way I have met them both so I am speaking from first hand experience.

    Its worth noting that neither candidate could even get 20% of their OWN Regional membership to vote for them! WHAT A STATE OF AFFAIRS!!

    [ANTI TRADE UNION NONSENSE DELETED],

    Any way heres a prediction Tim Roache will never take up the office of General Secretary!

    [ANTI TRADE UNION NONSENSE DELETED],

  9. NATTYFOC on said:

    Low turnouts of course reflects the appalling lack OF ORGANISATION WITHIN MODERN DAY UNIONS

    In proper Unions ie NATSOPA Sogat NGA if you didnt vote in elections you were fined refuse to pay the fine you were expelled and that meant you were out of work PERMANENTLY WITHIN THE PRINT !exactly as it should be !! Which is all astounding to your modern day card holder such as Vanya

    Its essential to return to the PRE ENTRY CLOSED SHOP and re establish the Bridlington agreement !

  10. NattyFOC – you are an utter disgrace. All your talk about ‘proper unions’, referring to the General Secretary elect as a scab, calling people ‘fascist scabs’, calling Warren Kenny, one of the most able officers in the Region useless, calling for the intervention of the Certification Officer etc., etc. puts you on the side of the Tories…….you clearly don’t understand trade unionism, you are out of touch with the politics of GMB and your constant attacks and attempts to undermine the union say more about you than they do about GMB.

    Anyway – the election of Tim Roache should be viewed positively and is another victory for the progressive left. I for one welcome the result and look forward to the developing relationship with Jeremy Corbyn and a Labour Party that stands together with the trade unions as part of a broader social movement. The attacks on both are coming thick and fast but we are in a better place to meet those challenges.

    Thankfully NattyFOC, Henderson and co. are in a miniscule minority, viewed by those that know them with derision. The rest of the union are united behind the new GS and are getting on with the task in hand.

  11. P Spence on said:

    NattyFOCK is correct about pre-entry closed shop: why should non-members ride on the back of trade unions? Why are unions not free to run their affairs as they see fit as free associations of workers? We know why because of the neoliberal counter-revolution of the 1980s. We should repeal the laws that shackle unions: that’s a more effective means to leaver up labour v capital than sops such as the NMW. Our liberal free market democracy is reverting to the 19th century model where it was only such for the propertied class.

  12. P Spence on said:

    The Labour government of 97-10 did effectively nothing to strengthen free collective bargaining. The focus was all on individual rights such as the NMW and outlawing discrimination ( most of which in any event was compliance with EU directives). Let’s deregulate trade unions lock stock and barrel.

  13. NATTYFOC: re establish the Bridlington agreement !

    So you want employers to be able to choose which union they are dealing with?

    Bridlington is effectively dead this last 20 years, and the TUC disputes procedure is a mostly a formalistic dance.

    Far too often we experience a recognition agreement with a union that has only nominal organisation, but the employer uses this pre-existing recognition as a shield to prevent effective organising from another union.

  14. Volodya: Thankfully NattyFOC, Henderson and co. are in a miniscule minority, viewed by those that know them with derision. The rest of the union are united behind the new GS and are getting on with the task in hand.

    hear hear!

  15. NATTYFOC: Low turnouts of course reflects the appalling lack OF ORGANISATION WITHIN MODERN DAY UNIONS

    In proper Unions ie NATSOPA Sogat NGA if you didnt vote in elections you were fined refuse to pay the fine you were expelled and that meant you were out of work PERMANENTLY WITHIN THE PRINT !exactly as it should be !! Which is all astounding to your modern day card holder such as Vanya

    Its essential to return to the PRE ENTRY CLOSED SHOP

    But trade unions exist in the real world, and adapt to changes in legislation, levels of class consciousness, changes in political context.

    What Nattyfoc does is elevate a particular form of trade unionism that was historically contingent into an ahistorical paradigm to always be emulated.

    Now, actually the period where such forms of trade unionism were the norm was in historical terms relatively brief, was dependent upon a long economic post-war boom that itself was beneficiary of the UK as an exploitative imperialist power on the international stage, and was unresponsive to the changing nature of the working class, as the pre-entry closed shops – in practice – excluded women and immigrants.

    But mostly, if NATTYFOC was correct, then those allegedly strong and powerful union would have won at Wapping, and not met their Waterloo.

  16. P Spence: The Labour government of 97-10 did effectively nothing to strengthen free collective bargaining. The focus was all on individual rights such as the NMW and outlawing discrimination ( most of which in any event was compliance with EU directives). Let’s deregulate trade unions lock stock and barrel.

    There is no going back, and most trade union members would not even want to.

    The individual rights you sneer at are of immense value, not least the right to representation, and can be used as tools to increase workplace organisation and confidence

  17. #9 I don’t find it “astounding” at all. I knew enough older people in the print industry back in the day. to be fully aware of how things worked.

    I also know that things have changed. Certainly most younger working people would find it “astounding”.

    As Andy explains, the position you describe was historically specific, as well as being specific to certain industries.

    It is indeed tragic that the state and the employers were able to smash the power of the print unions (and others) but they were, and I’d be more impressed by someone who was (or claims to have been) at the heart of the struggle, to factor into their arguments a bit of serious analysis of what went wrong (after all it was in the first instance YOUR struggle, which YOU lost) rather than moaning that people living and working in a completely different situation don’t slavishly want to emulate your method of organisation.

    It would be great to re- legalise the pre-entry closed shop, even better if we could create a situation where enough unionised workplaces existed for that to have any real meaning.

    But I suspect you’re more interested in bleating on about a lost past as a cover for what’s essentially an anti-union agenda.

  18. NittyFock is obviously broadly correct if we assume the last 40 years didn’t happen.

    My personal view is that the days of the big multi employer unions are numbered. More and more we are drifting into some form of insurance/community club membership. Soon we have our teeth removed once and for all with the next round of anti-union legislation. Things do change politically but this rests on the pressure we can exert industrially and since this is impeded by politics it’s near impossible for unions to steer government.

    I think what we will see is some new form of new unionism, very localised and atomised around groups such as call centre workers – small but powerful. I don’t see the current unions responding quickly enough to privatisation – realistically they can’t.

  19. tomj,

    I think you are wrong, but your argument is a substantive one and when I get a chance I will explain why it doesn’t match my experience.

    In other news I am elected to GMB Central Executive Committee.

  20. tomj: More and more we are drifting into some form of insurance/community club membership.

    This is surely not true, Or rather while this would be an aspect of trade unionism that matches the expectation of many members. the situation is much more complicated.

    For example the Carr report on “leverage” campaigns commissioned by the government showed considerable appetite from unions for robust action against employers (it is worth noting that no trade union cooperated with Bruce Carr, except for the IWW who effectively scabbed, and used the opportunity not only to collaborate with the Tories, but used the opportunity to slag off trade unions!).

    I would point out that there is actually a trend towards longer strikes over the last two or three years, especially from Unite and GMB, the type of general unions you say won’t fight.

    tomj: Soon we have our teeth removed once and for all with the next round of anti-union legislation.

    Only if you lack imagination. Trade unions adapt to different legislative contexts, there are certainly reasons for concern, but I have already been involved in discussions about how the proposed new law can be worked around. And the law is poorly drafted such that employers are themselves worried about the unintended consequences. For obvious reasons I will not expand.

    tomj: Things do change politically but this rests on the pressure we can exert industrially and since this is impeded by politics it’s near impossible for unions to steer government.

    I have no idea what you mean by this, it sounds like something you have read in a pamphlet written by a soap dodger with a dog on a piece of string.

    Unions can and do influence government, even Thatcher altered primary legislation after successful lobbying by trade unions (NUPE and GMB) to remove section 10 Crown immunity.

    Far from politics being an impediment, using political leverage on employers is an increasingly important arena of struggle.

    Certainly, the idea of an “industrial only” strategy to seek to change government would be a recipe for defeat.

    tomj: I think what we will see is some new form of new unionism, very localised and atomised around groups such as call centre workers – small but powerful.

    How would that be powerful? You yourself use the word “atomised”. Small unions focused on individual workplaces would not be able to leverage the press contacts, the legal back up, etc. You would not be able to cross -subsidise workers in struggle from the the members who are not involved in a current dispute. If an employer sought an injunction, you wouldn’t be able to fight it. this model would founder on the lack of activist capacity, and would be vulnerable to employer aggression.

    tomj: I don’t see the current unions responding quickly enough to privatisation – realistically they can’t.

    That is strange, in 2012 i seem to remember myself leading 20 days of strike action against a private contractor in the NHS.

  21. I am talking more about the failure of our movement, in its present form, to respond to the decline in wages, wholesale privatisation, dismantling of the welfare state, outlawing of mass action etc etc.. Note ‘in its present form’ – I do not lack imagination, I am imagining struggle beyond the existing unions, stifled as they are by the law, the new law with new teeth which basically means we can capitulate or face bankruptcy. You say we can work around it, ok, but I suspect their side know their way around the law better than we do and since the law is theirs, not ours, we’re not in great shape…
    Yes trade unions adapt, my point is that they are being forced to adapt to a less powerful, less meaningful position within the system – and clear evidence of falling wages, low level of strikes, decling living standards is obvious etc..

    I’m glad you led a 20 day strike, (you will make a good militant in the new union) but seriously this is not indicative of anything.

    My point about politics is that to influence it we need some clout, if we don’t have any then we can’t Steer the ship..

  22. Also, the idea that unions become more local and atomised is not an argument for how to organise, it is, in my opinion, a future reality because no union will be able to organise a national fightback as low union density and ballot turnouts will dictate, by means of anti union law, the direction of the struggle, ie. to capitulate.
    Yes people will organise in workplaces, that is what workers do. But I don’t see how current organisations can flex themselves to organise effectively, and people won’t stay apathetic forever. Tell me, if 40 years of neo-liberalism hasn’t taught our movement how to organise, then what of the future?

  23. (in other words, the struggle of the working class to organise to better it’s position within capitalism is a historical certainty, forms of organisation are not, they are entirely temporary and imao the days of the unions – and by extension the Labour Party are numbered – in their current form)

  24. Andy Newman on said:

    tomj,

    So basically you know nothing at all about the subject but feel the world could benefit from you venting hot air?

  25. George Hallam on said:

    tomj: (in other words, the struggle of the working class to organise to better it’s position within capitalism is a historical certainty, forms of organisation are not, they are entirely temporary and imao the days of the unions – and by extension the Labour Party are numbered – in their current form)

    MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

  26. John Grimshaw on said:

    Andy Newman: by a soap dodger with a dog on a piece of string.

    Surely this is discriminatory in some way but I can’t work out what sort of “…ism” it is.

  27. Andy Newman:
    tomj,

    So basically you know nothing at all about the subject but feel the world could benefit from you venting hot air?

    Oh yes, now I remember why I don’t come here very often, yet it always promises so much…

    I won’t come down to your level and make personal insults, for example I could say you are a disgraceful opportunist, so obsessed with your own pathetic little position in your bureaucratic little self survivors group… You are interested only in yourself… One day you will get bitten and the whole facade will come crashing down around you until you are literally standing naked in the rain clutching your Labour Party membership card… You will make a great Labour MP you backstabbing little, oops, got a bit personal there didn’t I. Enjoy your committees and your oh so important meetings Mr Andy Newman OBE (you heard it here first)

    Seriously if I ever post on this website again, promise me that you will delete any post I make and permanently ban me, in fact ban my email right now, that’s right Mr Powerful you have the power to ban, use it now, in case I take leave of my senses.

  28. Andy Newman on said:

    tomj: I won’t come down to your level and make personal insults, for example I could say you are a disgraceful opportunist, so obsessed with your own pathetic little position in your bureaucratic little self survivors group… You are interested only in yourself… One day you will get bitten and the whole facade will come crashing down around you until you are literally standing naked in the rain clutching your Labour Party membership card… You will make a great Labour MP you backstabbing little, oops, got a bit personal there didn’t I. Enjoy your committees and your oh so important meetings Mr Andy Newman OBE (you heard it here first)

    *sigh*

    The thing is, saying thay you don’t know anything about the subject is not actually personal abuse. I made a number of arguments about why I felt your position is worng, and you didn’t address them, you basically just rehashed your initial premise.

    You have responded with simple abuse.