OVER ELECTION BAN
Michael Dooley, a nominated candidate for the General Secretary election in construction union UCATT, is to mount a legal challenge over a ban imposed on him from standing for election. Three members of the UCATT general council and three members of its executive council, including President John Thompson, formed a selection panel which determined Mr Dooley’s fate.
Michael Dooley was nominated by 30 UCATT branches to contest the election which was forced on UCATT by the Certification Officer, the Trade Unions watchdog, following his successful challenge over the validity of the previous election earlier this year. Dooley came a close second in the election to Alan Ritchie, who won by a margin of only 2000 votes.
The CO upheld the challenge from Michael Dooley after it was found that over 60,000 members, more than half the union’s membership, had not received ballot papers. Now in a surprising move the union has banned Michael from standing in the re-run election.
Michael Dooley has announced that he will seek a High Court injunction this week to prevent the union from proceeding with the election in November without his name on the ballot paper.
Michael Dooley said today “why not allow all the candidates to state their position on the election address and allow the members to decide. Then get behind the democratically elected candidate and work together to establish a strong union in the construction industry. Building workers work in harsh, dangerous conditions, they have no pensions, holiday pay, sick pay and notice pay. They do not have a viable union in the construction sector which employs over 2 million people.”
Michael Dooley is also seeking election to the union’s highest office on an anti-corruption ticket. He has vowed to open up the books of the union and launch an investigation into the union’s finances and membership. He will also stamp out accepting money for contributions from members who do not join the union themselves.
He has pledged that if elected he will only take an average workers wage.
Dooley complained last year about the union’s funds being “mismanaged” and demanded an investigation. After five investigations into allegations of misconduct Dooley, a full time official with an impeccable reputation for integrity, was later sacked.
A decision from his Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal is expected soon.