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Ucatt leadership fight

2004 REVIEW

THE BATTLE to become the new leader of Ucatt became precisely that in the summer when one of the challengers for the role found himself facing possible disciplinary action following a bout of fisticuffs at the union's headquarters.

The allegation made against Mick Dooley (right), who at the time was in a run-off with eventual winner Alan Ritchie, was that he had bopped a Ritchie supporter who Mr Dooley claimed was handing out his rival's election leaflets.

The whole thing blew over eventually and no charges were brought but it enlivened a rather lacklustre campaign which until then had been carefully managed and was moving in an entirely predictable way.

That the favourite won in the end was about as big a surprise as Chelsea splashing out millions on a new player. Neck and neck it was not.

Departed leader George Brumwell, who stepped down after 13 years in the post, has not left the industry entirely.He has been sorting out the impasse on the new contracts Laing O'Rourke is bringing in across its sites as well as easing into his new role as head of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

But Mr Dooley apart, the only noteworthy thing to say about the election was how lousy the turnout was. Just 19 per cent of Ucatt members bothered to vote.