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UCATT candidate launches legal challenge over election ban

A serious contender for the leadership of construction union UCATT has mounted a legal challenge against a ban preventing him from running for election.

Michael Dooley, a nominated candidate for the general secretary election launched the challenge after an internal selection panel including President John Thompson, banned him from standing.

UCATT has been forced to re-run the election after union watchdog the Certification Officer said the result was invalid.

Mr Dooley – who was narrowly defeated by incumbent Alan Ritchie – successfully overturned the result after 60,000 members, or more than half the total membership, did not receive ballot papers.

But the internal selection panel, including three members of the UCATT general council and three members of its executive council, has banned him from re-running for the job.

Mr Dooley is seeking a high court injunction to prevent the union from proceeding with the election in November without his name on the ballot paper.

He said:  “Why not allow all the candidates to state their position on the election address and allow the members to decide.

“Then get behind the democratically elected candidate and work together to establish a strong union in the construction industry.

“Building workers work in harsh, dangerous conditions, they have no pensions, holiday pay, sick pay and notice pay.

“They do not have a viable union in the construction sector which employees over 2 million people.”

Mr Dooley said he would be running on an anti-corruption ticket, vowing to open up the union’s books and launch an investigation into finances and membership.

He said he would stop UCATT accepting money from benefactors who do not join the union.

And he pledged if elected he would take “an average workers wage”.

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