My election is a victory for GMB
members. They have spoken and told us that they want a union that is
democratic, transparent and open. That is what I have been elected to do, and I
promise every GMB member that is what I will work every day to achieve.
"I would like to give my
thanks to every single GMB member who used their vote. I would also like to
express my gratitude to those activists and officers who supported me and
offered their advice and expertise.
"I look forward to working
with Paul Kenny and all of our other colleagues over the next five years. Paul
has good ideas and energy and I am confident that we can work together to
deliver for our members.
"There are so many things to
do but I am ready for the challenge ahead. The priorities that concern our
members and those that I campaigned on – employment rights, pensions, equality
and opposition to privatisation of public services – will be my priorities in
"I also want to begin a
debate about taking our union and the political debate away from London and
into all of our regions.
"I want to deconstruct the
role of a trade union general secretary – and make myself and the union
accessible to our members at every level. This will include taking trade
unionism into our communities on a level and scale unprecedented in our history.
"I will, as promised,
institute a membership-led review of our relationship with the Labour Party.
This will begin in summer 2003 and all aspects of our relationship will be up
"Under my leadership, I want
every member, shop steward, staff member and officer to feel valued and a
respected part of our union. I will be putting forward proposals on measures
that enable us to better consult and listen to all of our people.
"The GMB will appoint an
independent commission in the next few weeks. That independent commission will
be tasked with examining the role and structures necessary for modern trade
unions. The commission will take evidence from any member, shop steward, member
of staff or officer that would like to put their ideas forward. It will have a
wide ranging remit, and I expect it to put forward ideas and proposals to bring
about a new, modern, form of trade unionism. I want a union that retains our
values and builds on the things we do well but also begins to address the needs
of the modern workplace and those who work in them."