Union welcomes ruling “which will allow UCATT to concentrate on representing construction workers”


UCATT has confirmed its former general secretary Alan Ritchie has failed to secure a court injunction which could have halted the on-going election for his successor.

Ritchie was forced to step down earlier this year following an inquiry by the trade unions watchdog, the Certification Officer into the conduct of his election in 2009. He has also been suspended as a member of staff pending an internal expenses inquiry.

This is the latest in a series of challenges and counter-challenges to the ballot, which have included the decision by a UCATT selection committee to exclude Ritchie and high profile left-wing official Mick Dooley from running in the election. Dooley stood against Ritchie in 2009 and exposed the voting irregularities which led to the election being annulled.

The Certification Officer confirms that Dooley has this week lodged a formal complaint into the conduct of the current general secretary election. Their investigation could take up to six months.

There are two candidates standing: the union’s Midlands regional secretary Steve Murphy and London regional secretary Jerry Swain. The winner is due to be announced later this month.

Speaking after the High Court rejected Ritchie’s application for an injunction, the union’s interim general secretary George Guy said: “This was a vitally important decision for UCATT. The current general secretary election is being conducted fairly and in accordance with the union’s rulebook and we look forward to announcing the winner on Tuesday 13th of December.

“This ruling will allow the union to go forward, elect a new general secretary and concentrate on representing construction workers.”

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