Regional Council Appeals Executive's Refusal to Discuss Dispute Resolutions

At our April meeting, the London Transport Regional Council past three resolutions about our jobs / pay / justice dispute. Unfortunately, the General Secretary refused to table two of these - those entitled Revised pay offer and Rank-and-file members be heard - to the Council of Executives. The Executive then delayed discussing our appeal against this refusal until it was too late to make any difference, and when it did decide, upheld the General Secretary's decision and would not let itself look at the resolutions! (Still with me?)

The Regional Council and the LU Engineering branch appealed these decisions to the AGM, which took place in early July. This means that we asked the AGM to vote that the Executive had been wrong to do what it did. We withdrew the appeals concerning the 'Revised pay offer' resolution, as the democratic principles were identical in both cases. They were:

On the first appeal:

  • The Executive should consider resolutions and appeals within the timeframe that they are relevant.

On the second appeal:

  • The grounds on which the General Secretary rejected the resolutions were incorrect - for example, he rejected the 'Rank-and-file members be heard' resolution on the grounds that only the Executive can make decisions about industrial disputes, even though the resolution explicitly acknowledged this.
  • The Executive was fully at liberty to disagree with and therefore reject our resolutions, but it should at least have discussed them.
  • The 'rank-and-file members be heard' resolution was a simple and reasonable request for the Executive to listen to members' views at a mass meeting on the day of the strike ballot result before making a decision as to industrial action on the following day.
  • If the Executive could refuse to even discuss our resolutions, then it could similarly refuse to discuss any resolution from any branch or any Regional Council.

Unfortunately, we lost the first appeal by a substantial majority. The second appeal was defeated by just two votes (26-28) after a speech against on behalf of the Executive which angered many of our Region's delegates, for example accusing us of being divisive simply by raising the issue.