LYONS IN WAKEFIELD
ANN MORGAN REPORTS BACK FROM THE MSF REGIONAL MEETING
On arrival I asked Lyons, politely, if I could have a photo taken with him. He was so smug and delighted, he couldn’t wait. He even moved to put his arm around me. At that point I revealed the T-shirt. For some reason he then got upset. Lyons then went on about how I shouldn’t wear it in the workplace. I felt the need to point out that it wasn’t my workplace.
During his talk, he said that he wasn’t personally attacking me, but referred to me "as that lady in the T-shirt" (PC not being his strong point either), gave the T-shirt three plugs, and the website two plugs. Better advertising you could not have got. He only answered half my question, which he referred to as stupid, the other half, he refused to answer.
Here are some of the things he said.
On the consultative ballot- "we expected most people to junk it."
On the 25p credit slip - It cost the credit company to process it not the union, and he signed the slip without noticing what was on it.
On the AEEU- "we are not handing over the cheque book".
ON the website and T-shirt - "indiscipline and anarchy".
"There are better things to do on a Saturday morning than record interviews about redundancies"
"All members who have worked with me have given me their full support"
"Marcia Solomon told serious untruths in her witness statement."
"The £130,000 never existed."
"The bun never existed."
"There were no unauthorised loans by the union."
He also said, although I didn't get his actual words down, he welcomes questions about the merger and the recent scandal from members.
Other interesting points were, Lyson referred to UNIFI wanted to merge with the new union. Someone got up and stated that he had "distorted the truth". That in fact they wanted to merge with us but not the AEEU.
Lyons told us to talk to AEEU members. It was pointed out that this had already happened, and they had told our members "not to touch them with a barge pole". They had also stated that as soon as we merged, all branch and regional funds would be taken back to the national level.
Humorously, he said that people who had lied etc. should be taken to court. The room we were meeting in was quite clearly labelled, and quite obviously "the old court room". Unfortunately, he was not sat in the dock during his questions and answers. However he did move around to the dock area to sit while taking his refreshments.
The part of my question he did not address, was to do with the infallibility of MSF elections. He claimed the reason why the figures were different was because MSF does not update it’s membership list regularly, although he did say it had been updated in, I think, August. Which would mean we had lost a quarter of our membership since then. He was not that clear on the point, and contradicted himself, saying that when members moved away, they were still kept on the list, despite the "MSF Works" being returned to sender. I asked if the difference was down to people being in branches like Guildhall (one of the fake branches), or whether some people were balloted twice, as I was during his election. This inaccuracy he did not address, presumably because it would have made his election void.
Ironically, in view of Lyons petty expense claims, later in the meeting the document "Expenses claims- guidelines for lay members" came up, along with much grumbling, about the appropriate people not having received it.
Under motions, Bradford Engineering Staff Branch (0602) passed unanimously the following motion to go to Regional Council.
"This Regional Council considers the Consultative Poll, on the merger, to be a dishonest exercise in manipulation of democracy and unworthy of our union.
Regional Council finds the projected costs of the poll to be completely unrealistic and requests the General Secretary to provide a complete breakdown on total costs of conducting the poll."
The proposer talked about it being important, despite Saturday, as it would set a precedent for the future. Lyons attempted to trivialise the motion. A speaker from the floor stated that he would have voted against the motion, but after hearing Lyons making his comment about junking ballot papers during his talk, would vote for it. The motion was carried and will go to the NEC. Of late the NEC have taken to refusing to publish such motions in the minutes let alone discuss them, or God forbid such courage, pass them.
Lyons distributed copies of "Comments on media reports of allegations by Marcia Solomon & Bryan Keegan" and "Circular Ref. G1117".
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