I am writing to you to let you know what is happening in the GMB Northants Community branch and to find out what more you think the branch should be doing and to find out if you would like to play a more active part in the branch.
This is a very large branch with 2800 members in over 300 workplaces. Many of our members work in small groups or by themselves which would mean that should they run into trouble with their employers they could be isolated and vulnerable. Rachelle Wilkins is the full time official for the branch, based in the Peterborough office. Rachelle is the regions lead officer for Asda stores. We have a network of over twenty five workplace organisers and four experienced branch members , who can act as accompanying reps so any member who has problems will get support even if there is no rep on site. If you are interested in becoming a workplace organiser or accompanying rep please let me know. Full training will be given and expenses paid.
The GMB is a general union with members from all industries and this is reflected in the makeup of the branch with members in public services and the private sector. This means we are at the forefront in opposing the conservative led coalition’s massive cuts in public spending especially in local government where we have many members.
There are also the new threats our members are facing at work. More and more workplaces are using agency workers instead of employing and training their own people. This is leading to lower wages and longer hours for many and puts increasing pressure on those workers who lucky enough to have decent pay and conditions as employers, encouraged by the Tory led coalition, seek to cut costs. You never hear of a company chief executive taking a pay cut or being forced to work longer hours. As you will know there will be a general election and local elections this year on the 7th of May. The GMB strongly supports the labour party. We feel that, although it could do better, the labour party offers the best chance of a better future for working people and their families. I urge you to do what you can to ensure that a labour government is returned to Westminster in May. Together unions and labour can start to put this broken country to rights.
Never has it been more important to be a member of a strong union that puts its members first - That union is the GMB
I have added a list of meeting dates for next year. I know many of you can’t make the meetings as they all take place in Corby. Meetings are on the last Wednesday of every month except August and December. We will have meetings elsewhere in the county if we can get the numbers. We had a meeting in Northampton in November with speakers. It was poorly attended but we will try again if we think we can get members to go
If you want to get more involved in branch activities but can’t make the meetings please let me know. I am anxious to do more outside Corby.
The branch is always interested in donating to good causes, especially local ones. If you know of a charity we can help or a group or event we can sponsor please let me know. At the moment we are supporting Youth Brass 2000 and Kingswood junior football team in Corby as well as a number of charities. If you know of a worthwhile organisation that needs sponsorship or a charity that needs the cash please let me know.
Every year the branch commemorates Workers Memorial Day. This year we will be holding it on Saturday April 25th at 11.00am next to the steelworker statue in Corby town centre or in the Corby Cube if the weather is bad. We have speakers and invite other unions to attend. Last year Youth Brass 2000 played for us and they were really excellent hopefully they will do the same this year. We also present a cheque to the Mesothelioma Research Fund which does a lot of good work helping those who have contacted this killer disease, usually caused by breathing asbestos at work, and funding research into a cure. We raised over £1000 for the fund last year and over the past few years we raised over £11000.
Finally we now have a website up and running which is really excellent. All that you need to know about the GMB nationally, regionally or locally can be found on it. Have a look on www.gmbnorthants.org and tell us what you think.
I hope you all have a prosperous and peaceful 2015.
GMB Northants Community Branch
MEETING DATES FOR 2015
JANUARY 28th JUNE 24th
FEBRUARY 25th JULY 29th
MARCH 25th SEPTEMBER 30th
APRIL 29th OCTOBER 28th
MAY 27th NOVEMBER 25th
All meetings take place at 7.00pm in the Ex-Servicemen’s club Lloyds Road, Corby.