Ucatt torn apart by leadership election row

Grant Prior 13 years ago

Former Ucatt leadership candidate Mick Dooley has been suspended by the union.

Dooley has been suspended on charges of gross misconduct over allegations that he supplied fictitious forms for bogus new members.

But supporters of Dooley believe the charges are simply a way of silencing him after he raised concerns about the general secretary election won by Alan Ritchie last summer.

Dooley claimed that only 50% of Ucatt´s 130,000 members received ballot papers during the election which he lost by 2,000 votes.

Dooley said: “The Executive of Ucatt have seen fit to suspend me after all this time which will make it difficult for me to defend myself.

“I am anticipating an unfavourable outcome. However it will not stop me questioning the conduct of that Executive”

Dooley will face a Ucatt hearing in November and has been suspended on full pay in the meantime.

He has been accused of submitting 50 membership forms which related to non-existent workers at fictitious addresses.

The practice – known as “check-off” – is widespread in construction when unions agree  with employers to register an agreed number of workers without always naming them individually.

A Dooley supporter said:  “The continuing witchunt of Mick Dooley is a return to the old Ucatt days.

“It’s a disgrace which will not help to defend building workers who need a united union in these desperate economic times

“Everyone involved in recruiting members cuts deals with employers and the forms never tally exactly with the membership.

“This is just a trumped-up charge that could be levelled at anyone.”

A UCATT spokesperson, said: “Michael Dooley has been suspended on full pay, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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