This report was written for the quarterly magazine Asperger's United by Caroline Henthorne who was a delegate to the TUC Disabled Workers' Conference
Report on the 2013 TUC Disability Conference Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd May 2013
By Caroline Henthorne
Aren’t Unions for People with Jobs?
The Trades Union Congress Disability Conference carried an emergency motion submitted by RMT calling for a review of the sentence given to Jordan Sheard for the killing of Steven Simpson, on grounds that the attack should have been treated as disability and homophobic hate crime (as well as unacceptable comments from the judge).
This is the speech I gave at TUC Disabled Workers' Conference in proposing RMT's resolution on Autism in the Workplace.
Andrew Beck has Asperger syndrome, an autistic spectrum condition. He was a golf club greenkeeper for 13 years with no problems, until a new boss bullied, humiliated and assaulted him, and forced him out of his job. Andrew won £78k at Employment Tribunal
Adam O’Dee has autism and dyslexia. He got a job through Remploy as a hotel chef. His boss bullied him and paid him half the minimum wage. Adam won £40k+ at employment Tribunal.
The Following motion was Agreed by the RMT Executive to submit as the union’s resolution to TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference.
We note that autism is a neurological spectrum condition. Our society - including our workplaces - causes various difficulties to people on the autistic spectrum (diagnosed or undiagnosed), and to people caring for autistic people. Problems include: bullying; imposed changes to work routines; sensory overload; and difficulty getting time off or fixed hours when needed.
The RMT took a motion on the tragic death of Stephen Simpson to the TUC Disability conference. The motion details how Stephen, a young gay man who was autistic, was brutally killed. On his 18th birthday, he was doused in tanning oil and set alight - he died the next day.
The judge in the case Roger Keen dismissed the crime as ‘good-natured horseplay’ that had gone too far, and sentenced Sheard to a unusually short sentence of just three and a half years in prison.
At this month's London Transport Regional Council Meeting, reports were given by our Executive member Janine Booth and Regional Organiser John Leach.
These are just notes of the areas discussed - to find out more, have a look through this site, speak to your local rep and do your best to attend branch meetings and the LTRC meeting which is held on the last Thursday of each month except June and December.
The London Transport Region's Executive Member has given a report to the London Transport region at the recent Regional Council.
For full details all RMT members are invited to come to the meeting.
Regional Council meetings are held at the Exmouth Arms near Euston Station at 1630 on the last Thursday of the month, except June and December.
Recognition agreement signed
Pay and conditions claim to be drafted
REGIONAL COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS
RMT complaints policy
International solidarity conference in Paris
LU Engineering branch have organised a drop in session to discuss workplace harassment and bullying.
All RMT members are welcome, please circulate flyer to friends you feel would benefit from the session, but do not display on workplace noticeboards, for fear of management repercussions.
The event will be held upstairs at the Exmouth Arms, Starcross Street, London NW1 (near Euston station)
The event will run on Wednesday April 17th, from 12pm til 6pm, please drop in any time you can.
Please contact LUengineering@rmt.org.uk for more info.
Everyone knows that London Underground is woefully inaccessible to disabled people and others. A major programme of physical improvements to stations would increase access and create jobs. But access also means staff.
For example, RMT supports the continuing use of boarding ramps to enable access for mobility-impaired passengers to London Underground trains. This must be properly risk-assessed and have a safe and effective system of work, and requires adequate numbers of staff on every station to use the ramps.
The Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Union with the Workers Education Association ran the third autism course today. The course has trained fifty union reps who are now much better equipt to deal with difficulties and issues that people on the autistic spectrum may face.
John McDonnell MP was due to speak at the course as he has done previously, however he was unable to attend. Instead he recorder this video.
More courses will be run soon as they have been very popular.