M&E union Amicus may call for an independent review of the national ballot that led to the Joint Industry Board pay agreement.
The London construction branch of Amicus this week passed a motion calling for such an inquiry in the wake of the claims and counter claims over improper conduct in the union’s leadership election.

The motion will now be addressed by the union’s executive council, which will decide a course of action.

Derek Simpson, the acting general secretary who won a fiercely contested election for the post against Sir Ken Jackson, the incumbent, said: “If the membership is concerned with negotiated agreements then they will be examined and adjustments made where appropriate.” Simpson becomes general secretary in January.

James Lafferty, chairman of the union’s London construction branch, said the motion calling for the review had been passed because the majority of members at the meeting made clear their distrust of the voting procedures that led to the ratification of the pay agreements. He said there was no confidence in the national JIB agreement that had been negotiated and voted on last year.

If the membership is concerned with negotiated agreements, they will be examined and adjustments made

Derek Simpson, general secretary elect, Amicus

Lafferty said: “There is a mistrust in the higher echelons of the union due to what went on in the leadership election. This now has to be addressed on all membership votes, including pay agreements.”

The JIB agreement was negotiated last summer by leading figures from major M&E contractors and leading union officials. The agreement sets out pay rates for the next three years.

One contractor raised doubts over whether such an independent review could have the legal authority to change pay rates that had been negotiated. He added that such a renegotiation would hit profit margins badly.