Labour Research January 2012

Union news

UCATT election

Steve Murphy has been elected general secretary of the troubled construction union UCATT after beating Jerry Swain in a two-horse race. Murphy received 5,475 votes compared to Swain’s 3,529 votes. Murphy will formally take over as general secretary on 9 January.

While four candidates had been nominated in the election, the ruling executive committee had ruled out two from the ballot. These were former general secretary Alan Ritchie and another former official Mike Dooley.

The reasons were not made public, but Ritchie has been linked with an investigation into expenses while he was general secretary. In a separate matter, Ritchie had been forced to stand down as leader of the union last April due to irregularities during his election in 2009.

In November last year, he lost a High Court action to be reinstated on the ballot paper in the latest election.

Dooley had also been sacked from the union — in January 2011 — but was later found by a tribunal to have been unfairly dismissed. He has lodged a complaint with the government certification officer about being barred from the latest election.

UCATT general secretary results

Steve Murphy 5,475
Jerry Swain 3,529
Turnout 18.8%