Unite election: Dubbins wades in

Yesterday Simon Dubbins, the Unite union’s head of international affairs, announced his intention to stand in next year’s Unite general secretary election (see blogposts below passim ad nauseam). I picked this up through out-of-work chitchat with my burgeoning blog fan club (ahem) and thought I’d pass it on.

Below is Dubbins’ statement of intent. I republish it unedited and without comment. Two factual observations though, again gained off duty:

1) Dubbins is son of Tony Dubbins, former general secretary of the GPMU union which merged to form Amicus, which then merged to form Unite. Dubbins senior attacked Derek Simpson earlier this year during the Amicus GS campaign, and the Simpson camp wrote off his attack as “bizarre”.

2) When he heard about Dubbins’ intentions, Derek Simpson sought to persuade him not to stand. Simpson is thought to support assistant gen sec Les Bayliss, though whether it’s just because of that I do not know.

Statement of intention to stand for the position of UNITE General Secretary 2010
Dear Colleagues,
During the last few weeks and months I have been approached by numerous people asking whether I would be prepared to stand in the forthcoming election for UNITE General Secretary.
I have been very moved and encouraged by the number of people that have urged me to go ahead, and have been equally encouraged by the range of reps from different sectors and regions that have expressed this view.
The common theme that has been emerging is the need for a new start for UNITE, to end the internal divisions, to build unity, and to get on with building the great union that UNITE is capable of becoming.
Many have referred to their frustration that the next General Secretary election is already becoming defined as an Amicus v T&G show down.
I have therefore decided that I will seek nominations for the position of General Secretary when the election takes place next year.
In order to avoid becoming labeled as an Amicus candidate I have decided not to seek the nomination of the Workers Uniting Group and will instead candidate outside of this group and on the basis of a Unity Campaign.
With a group of committed supporters I have already been working on a set of policies for the key areas of the unions work. The intention is to put these forward in the coming weeks and to engage in a comprehensive discussion with members, activists and officers concerning their content. Any suggestions and inputs into these ideas will be warmly received.
Aged 42 and already with a wealth of experience, I believe that I can inject fresh impetuous and bring new ideas into UNITE, which will shape the future policies, structure and direction of the Union.
We have been advised that this is an open, honest and fair election and that no repercussions or reprisals will take place against anyone for simply deciding to stand in this election.
We trust that this is the case and look forward to the coming campaign.
I will be launching a new interactive web site shortly, which will provide a platform for debate and discussion.
Kindest Regards

Update: Further to Dr S. Pin’s comment below*, and since (s)he doesn’t mention it, I should point out that Paul Reuter’s blog is here. He’s put a bit of an essay on it here. Would be nice to see some speeches.

*the doctor is kind, but I suspect I have not made much of a contribution to “industrial relations”. Well, not in the sense of calming them…


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2 Responses to “Unite election: Dubbins wades in”

  1. Dr. S. Pin Says:

    Firstly, thank you for posting another interesting article, I hope the Tribune recognise and value your contributions to the world of industrial relations, and I am not surprised that you have a “blog fan club”

    When looking at the statement I have noted the following:

    Every candidate likes to say, “I have been approached”, its better than saying “support my ego”. Paul Reuter has already stated that there was, and still is, a need for unity, (see his blog site), he also stated that a vote for Simpson was a vote for the status quo, where were all these other candidates then?

    Reps aren’t saying it is an Amicus v T&G contest; they are just getting on with their jobs. The WUG is not an “Amicus” group; it has been open to all Unite members, Simon should go along to them and argue his corner; like Paul is…

    I know that former T&G members have attended and voted for Reuter because he has already stated that he doesn’t want an Amicus or T&G mark 2. But it is true to say that meetings have been poorly attended, how can an average of 30 to 50 people at 10 meetings decide who will lead a Union of 2 million members? Or in addition, how can one meeting of 300 people do that either?

    The WUG or United Left on their own will not win an election; any candidate must pull support from all former sections so I hope that Paul Reuter will also be talking to other groups, at fringe meetings and workplaces, including those in Ireland.

    Unite does not have any policies, only Amicus and T&G policies exist, but Unite policies will follow after the conference next year but it is for members, activists and representatives to set policy, not potential GS’s.

    However, if you want to talk about delivery, leadership and management of staff and officer’s and working with the EC then that’s different.

    If at 42 you can have a wealth of experience how would you describe the other candidates experience i.e. a Euro Jackpot lottery win of experience?

    I doubt if this will be an open, fair and honest election. GS elections never are, but by asking publicly if it will be is a smart move but it does not always bring about the desired result!

    Websites are helpful, but debating at hustings meetings are better because at least people can see who you are and hear the message you want to give, even if the other candidates can get more bums on seats on the night to make sure that they get the vote!

    Roll on the election, bring on Unite the Union…

  2. FT.com | Westminster Blog | Jack Dromey to run for Unite leadership? Says:

    […] Simon Dubbins, the Unite union’s head of international […]

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