All Things Must Pass  April 24, 2015

 All Things Must Pass

“Sunrise doesn’t last all morning. A cloudburst doesn’t last all day…”

The words of a son of bus driver, active trade unionist and shop steward, George Harrison – the deepest thinker of all the fabs‎– seem apposite to me.

It’s been a fantastic privilege to represent CWU people at all levels and for so many years – from representing individual members to taking the collective view of the union to the wider movement or Government. From a committee member of WDO in the Liverpool Amal branch, through to a one-to-one with the Prime Minister. My only aim was to strengthen the collective.

It’s been tough being a full-time official during the last 23 years – but never, and nowhere near, as tough as the jobs of the people we have the honour to serve.

During the last few months I have met many members and activists.  Every meeting I’ve attended, or walk-about I’ve been on, has always left me feeling a bit dewy-eyed that so many people put such faith in our union.

The ability of the common folk to make a difference is much underestimated ‎in our political culture.

Trade unions are still the biggest voluntary movement in Britain today – yet there is hardly a mention of trade unions and the role they play in our 24/7 news culture.

We in the CWU have much to do.

The report, ‘Mapping The Future’, which will be circulated in the next week or so, will show that there are 318,000 workers in our sectors who are not in a trade union. We represent 38.3% in the postal and logistics sector and 31.8% in the telecoms sector. The figure in financial services is harder to ascertain, but tells a similar tale.

What’s clear is that a diverse union helps grow our strength, 24.6% of workers in our sectors are women, 14% are from ethnic minorities and we need shape our response around these facts.

If CWU Conference 2015 agrees the modest rule changes set before it, that will help copper-fasten our initiatives in that regard.

Such work will now be before your new general secretary. I wish Dave and your new leadership the very best for the future.

Thank you to every member who voted in the elections.

Regardless of your choice, in voting you strengthen our union.

My thanks to those who supported me. Everyone at team GS15. Toby Ziegler, C.J, Josh Lyman, Tony Benn, Bill Shankly, Rosa Parks, Dian, Melissa, Niall & Millie. The late Peggy and Billy.

I will be a CWU member until the day I die. Best wishes for the future.

All you need is love.

“A mother is a school. Empower her and you empower a great nation” – Egyptian poet Hafez Ibrahim, 1871-1932

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