Papers reveal election may not be re-run until November

An appeal by construction’s largest union Ucatt against the invalidation of its 2009 leadership contest has been thrown out by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

Justice Underhill, president of the EAT, threw out the appeal on its first consideration, saying it had “no reasonable prospect of success”.

Ucatt – which claims to have a membership of 130,000 workers – has now lodged papers with the Certification Office for Trade Unions (CO) requesting that the election be re-run.

The contest is likely to see a re-run of the 2004 and 2009 contests, with former general secretary, Alan Ritchie facing off against former regional officer, Mick Dooley.

According to papers seen by Building, Ucatt has requested that the election be re-run so that a result is declared on 20 December – five months later than ordered by the CO when its 2009 contest was declared void.

Commenting on the delay, Dooley said: “Ucatt have again lost another decision and now want the union to remain leaderless until next year.

“I was under the impression that Ucatt were going ahead with the election in July and would only have put it on hold when they knew the appeal was being allowed to be heard.”

George Guy, Ucatt’s acting general secretary, said he was disappointed by the EAT’s decision not to hear Ucatt’s appeal.

Guy said: “Ucatt is very disappointed with the outcome of the appeal and the length of time it has taken for the Employment Appeals Tribunal to arrive at its decision.

“Ucatt accepts the decision and have applied to the Certification Officer for a revised timetable to hold a new election for General Secretary.”

Dooley – who brought the original challenge against the 2009 election – has been involved in a series of disputes with the Ucatt leadership and was sacked as a regional officer earlier this year.

He is set to challenge his dismissal at an employment tribunal later this month.