This is a press release from the campaign of Jerry Hicks for General Secretary of the Amicus wing of UNITE.
Laurence Faircloth has announced that he has withdrawn from the election. Unsurprisingly he has not done the right thing. Instead he is calling for his supporters to fall behind Derek Simpson.But the recent press coverage of Derek Simpson’s obscene salary arrangements has left him discredited as a credible voice for the one million members of Amicus and must severely damage his chances of being re-elected. Who will pay any attention to his demands to tackle Fat Cats in the city or the excesses in the boardroom?
But what of Kevin Coyne? In marked contrast to Mr Coyne, who until now has been silent, Jerry Hicks has been highly critical as to the wages of the General Secretary since the beginning of his legal challenge.
Jerry is determined that the General Secretary’s excesses will end. He says “‘Fat cats in the city are despised, why have a ‘Fat cat’ General Secretary in our union with wages of £126,939, a free car and a virtually free £1million house forever, a lifestyle nothing like that of our members.” If elected Mr Hicks would only take the average wage of a skilled worker.
Kevin Coyne must have known about these arrangements and chose to say nothing, despite plenty of opportunity. Now he says he will support an ‘inquiry’ into the General Secretary’s pay. Why does he need to inquire? He could make the same commitment as Jerry that he would only take the average pay of a skilled member. But he won’t. Instead he just wants to wear the crown, sit in the throne and take a king’s ransom!
It is worth remembering that when Jerry Hicks launched his legal challenge against Derek Simpson’s right to remain in office for 8 years without holding an election, Kevin Coyne like most others said there was no chance of success. How wrong he was, which begs the question of his judgement.
Kevin Coyne has described this election as ‘a waste’, a ‘distraction’ and unlike Jerry Hicks would have waited another two years before tackling the very obvious and ever mounting problems, further putting into question his judgement.
Faircloth’s withdrawal presents our campaign with an incredible opportunity, and means that this is very much a three horse race. This election is a fight between Left and Right – Jerry Hicks and Kevin Coyne, and between right and wrong – Jerry Hicks and Derek Simpson.
This is still a David versus Goliath contest and David won that encounter. A better example would be Mark Serwotka, the PCS General Secretary who was a part time clerk in the DSS when he went on to win. This challenge represents the single biggest change within the union and in the union’s relationship with the Government.
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