Community union fined for 'undermining' GMB ASOS campaign
The Trade Union Congress' disputes panel has sided with GMB, and fined
Community nearly £25k, after the union accused Community of sabotaging
its campaign for recognition at the logistics firm.
The case related to a recruitment campaign at two sites in Yorkshire
and Northamptionshire by GMB, which the union said was undermined by
the decision by Community to reach an agreement with management to
recognise Community instead of the GMB.
According to a letter sent to workers, the agreement saw employees
“automatically enrolled as a member of Community” for a six months of
free membership, despite the union previously having a minimal
presence at the warehouses.
The Disputes Committee today ruled that the Community Union had
“clearly and significantly breached” principle 3 of the TUC’s code
governing disputes, which 'prevents another union directly or
indirectly, undermining established unions or those engaged in
Community was also found to be in breach of principle 2 of the TUC's code.
The TUC Committee ordered Community to pay a fine of £24,532 directly
to GMB after the ruling, and ordered it to formally seek recognition
for GMB at the Barnsley XPO Logistics site.
Neil Derrick, GMB's Regional Secretary welcomed the decision to
overturn the "sweetheart deal", commenting: “GMB is the true voice for
ASOS workers and be assured we’ll be stepping up our battle to win
dignity and respect here in Barnsley."
“We’re firmly on the side of ASOS workers and we’ll continue to be a
voice for them. These are our people, not machines and we will ensure
they are treated properly."
“Workers at ASOS have been crying out for union representation of
their choice, not of their bosses' - and that’s what they’re getting
with GMB every day."
A spokesperson for Community union said they were disappointed "at the
GMB’s decision to selectively publicise elements of a TUC ruling on a
dispute between the two unions."
"In a clear breach of both the judgment and the general principles of
the TUC, the GMB have chosen to publicly attack a sister union, in a
move which only serves to undermine all trade union members”.