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Community slams GMB hypocrisy on union disputes

3rd October 2018

Community has expressed its disappointment at the GMB’s decision to selectively publicise elements of a TUC ruling on a dispute between the two unions.

In a clear breach of both the judgment and the general principles of the TUC, the GMB have chosen to publicly attack a sister union, in a move which only serves to undermine all trade union members.

In criticising Community over this matter, the GMB have displayed rank hypocrisy. In recent weeks, the GMB has agreed to pay Community £15,000 following a TUC disputes ruling in Scotland which found the GMB in breach of two TUC principles by organising and poaching members within a major justice sector employer, where Community was the only recognised union.

In another TUC judgment, finally implemented just last year, the GMB were again found to have breached TUC principles and were fined after they colluded with an employer to sign a single-union deal, which resulted in Community being de-recognised. These disputes were concluded prior to the issues now raised by the GMB.

Despite these disputes with the GMB in which rulings have been made in Community’s favour, Community chose not to publicise these events, nor use them to criticise the GMB. Even now, it is with regret that Community takes the decision to expose the GMB’s hypocrisy, but it would be a dereliction of duty to our members and the wider union movement to not present the bigger picture in light of the GMB’s actions.

Meanwhile, at the site in Barnsley, despite the GMB’s assertions, Community has dozens of democratically elected reps across the site, representing over 1,000 paying members. With Community on their side, the workers have organised successfully in the past year for the real living wage, better contracts, and democratic union structures. Rhetoric and press releases from the GMB will not stop Community standing up for all its members as we continue to organise for a better working world.

Community remains prepared to work with the GMB in good faith to improve union relations and strengthen the labour movement.


For more information, please contact Community’s press office.