Willis ignores pressure to go - UK - News - The Independent

Willis ignores pressure to go

THE TUC leader, Norman Willis, faces fresh pressure to resign - ironically after a vote of confidence in his organisation from members of Britain's biggest manufacturing union.

The vote by members of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union was thought to be an opportunity for Mr Willis to announce, with a degree of dignity, his intention to retire early after criticism from union leaders, invariably behind his back.

Mr Willis, 60 in January, restricted himself yesterday to congratulating the AEEU on the ballot in which a low turnout produced a 92 per cent vote in favour of TUC affiliation.

There will be a further opportunity for him to announce his early retirement at the TUC's 125th anniversary celebrations in the summer, but critics will become impatient if it seems he wants to soldier on after the annual congress in September. The process of replacing Mr Willis as TUC general secretary would have to be set in train by the ruling general council on 23 June for the annual congress in September to vote on a successor.

Virtually all members of the TUC's ruling council want to see Mr Willis retire, but none have been prepared to 'go public'. They believe that the TUC needs a more charismatic and articulate leader and most favour John Monks, Mr Willis's deputy, as the next TUC leader. During the next two months union leaders will discuss how best to lean on Mr Willis.

Nearly 840,000 ballot papers were distributed in the AEEU's postal ballot and 37 per cent were returned in what was the first major referendum on the value of the TUC among union members.

The vote was prompted by the merger of the engineers' and electricians' unions to form the AEEU. The engineering section of the new union was already a member of the TUC, but the electricians had been expelled in 1988 after rows over single-union agreements. It was thought likely that electricians voted with less enthusiasm for TUC membership, but the new union took care to ensure that the votes could not be separated.

Leaders of the new organisation will now have to negotiate their way through a minefield of membership disputes between the electricians and TUC unions, many of which have arisen while the electricians were outside the movement. However, most union leaders are in a mood to give the affiliation a fair wind.

Announcing the result of the ballot at the AEEU's national committee meeting in Llandudno, Gavin Laird, the union's general secretary, said the the ballot was 'the biggest vote of confidence the trade union movement has ever had'.

Mr Willis welcomed the 'splendid' result saying it showed that rank and file trade unionists backed the unity provided by the TUC.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week