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Scab union betrays AA staff



The full scale of the treachery by the former GMB officials who led the breakaway scab union, the "AA Democratic Union" is becoming clear, as significant job cuts are forecast in the AA's 4000 strong workforce.

In March this year all AA Staff association members (the AASA was a section of the GMB) received a letter saying that a new breakaway union had been formed, and they would be paying lower subscriptions. The "AA Democratic Union" is in receipt of an undisclosed source of funding, and it wouldn't take a Sherlock Holmes to work out that the AA bosses are behind this scab union. Unfortunately 130 lay representatives voted to back the splinter union at a special AASA meeting in Wolverhampton, but they had been misinformed about key facts by the GMB officials who now work for the AADU. GMB officials, who have since spoken to AA staff, have heard tales of individuals being intimidated into resigning their GMB membership by management in public staff meetings. Certain GMB assets are alleged to now be in the possession of the AADU, and GMB membership lists are also alleged to be in the possession of the scabs, which may be contrary to the data protection act.

The GMB now warns that the AA is moving to cut 431 jobs across the country, as revealed by an AA memo dated 8th April which outlines proposals to assess staff performance. The cuts will mainly affect breakdown patrols of which 150 patrol drivers will go from London. There are also proposals to reduce the number of call centre staff in Cheadle and Newcastle.

The union warns that road safety will be put at risk as the reduced number of AA patrol drivers work longer hours to cover the workload. Some AA patrol drivers are already working up to 90 hours a week and up to 12 days in a row. The stress on call centre staff will inevitability lead to errors and longer waiting times for AA customers. Paul Maloney, GMB Senior Organiser responsible for AA staff said, "The venture capitalists who are currently running the AA are trying to force 431 patrol staff out of their jobs and they are doing it in the most underhand way. They are trying to bribe employees with money and get them to sign confidentiality agreements in return for giving up their jobs. GMB will not stand idly by and allow the AA to get away with this. The GMB want the AA to admit openly that they are seeking to shed 431 jobs and to talk to the GMB about it as the law requires. Unless this happens there will be problems"

The GMB will be aggressively countering the activities of the scab union officials and winning back members inside the AA. Richard Ascough, Southern region GMB secretary and Paul Maloney have written to AA staff pointing out that "the AADU's lower subscription is such that it will not support the new leadership in the manner they have been accustomed to. There will be costs to the AADU that they will not be able to avoid forever - the salary, expenses, NI and pension of a General Secretary, their secretarial and office services, full time officers, mailing costs, computer systems, accounting services, telephony, ballot costs, insurance and much more, before you even consider the cost of supporting you the member!"

 

April 2005

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