Stephen Cavalier

Stephen Cavalier
Interview Number: 
Interview Date(s): 
5 Sep 2017
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 

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Derek Threadgall  0:01  
Do you want to stand up and do Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  0:02  
Join me out the way then right.

Derek Threadgall  0:04  
This is just an ID for for that for the for the interview. Okay. Okay. Today is the fifth of September. We are in progress house to us in London headquarters. We will be interviewing Stephen Cavalier, Chief Executive of Thomson solicitors. The solicitors to back to the interview will be conducted by Derrick threat goal with Ray Pascoe on camera. And we will be starting the interview at 1220. Okay

now, your ID Steve is very simple, so that people can know who you are, etc, etc. is just basically name when we're born and I think that was just for us to really, yeah. Okay. And then we can start the interview. So, when? Okay, right, ID.

Speaker 1  1:29  
Hello, I'm Steven Cavalier. I'm the Chief Executive of Thomson solicitors back to lawyers. I was born in St. Albans on the 26th of February 1962. Okay, why don't we go? Right.

Derek Threadgall  1:49  
antastic. Can we start with a bit of background information regarding parents, education, etc? And, again, why choose the law? Can we do that? Yeah, sure. I

Speaker 1  2:10  
was. So I was born in St. Albans, and relatively young age moved to Surrey to a place where adults suddenly I'm sorry, and my dad was a draughtsman and heating and ventilating engineer, my mum had worked as a secretary and then bumped up the kids I went to, suddenly I went to work in grammar school at a time the 11 Plus was still around, and then working Sixth Form College, went from there to Oxford University studied law at Oxford, and then to Guilford law school to qualify as a solicitor. I've always had an interest in the law from being a teenager, I suppose, in social justice in fighting with people who I thought had been given a bad deal, particularly in relation to workplace rights. And although I started my legal career, for a couple of years during my training in a city law firm, in 1987, I was very pleased to join Thomson Reuters as the preeminent Trade Union law firm to act for workers, working people and trade unions. And that's what I've been doing ever since.

Derek Threadgall  3:17  
It's really important to ask your personal political views.

Speaker 1  3:24  
I'm a member of Labour Party, and I'm a trade union member. I joined the trade union since I started work. I joined the Labour Party before then joined the Labour Party in 1979, suggesting bad timing and as with a lot of other things, because I was obviously the year that Facha got elected, and I've been a member lately, ever since I've been active in the party. I've held a number of positions. But I've campaigned within the party of pretty much every election that I can remember, I remember voting in the general election night at three on the day of my day, my university final exams. So I've committed like party member, I believe the Labour Party is the best way of representing working people and people who need representation. And I'm pleased that my job was back to and with Thompson's brings me into contact with trade union and labour colleagues, and we can campaign together on key issues.

Derek Threadgall  4:17  
A question here is, are the trade views should we say past their sell by date, it was 21st century.

Speaker 1  4:28  
I think that trade unions are very relevant, but the difficulty they've got is communicating that across to a different workforce. So trade unions are really very much needed at a time when we've got atomized and insecure workforce where people are often working in isolation, not in the same way as they were before when they had many ways a permanent job, which was like to last for many years. One career with one employer now people will do Observe no jobs or no guaranteed hours, zero hours contracts. And it's much more difficult for unions to organise, they've not got a large workplace with a large group of workers in the same place that they can recruit and organise. They've got to try and go out and find people to educate people about trade unions. A lot of younger people aren't aware about the importance of trade unions. But there again, there are people out there trying to reinvent the wheel, we get lots of stuff about the so called gig economy. It's not a world that I like, I think it's more about exploitation and employers trying to pass the risk on to their workers. But you've got a lot of people out there who want to get on in industries, I mean, the film and television industry be a case in point, they're keen to take any job that's going on any terms, often unpaid in some cases, and they get exploited as a result, they need representation. Now, back to its predecessor, unions have been representing freelance workers and gig economy workers throughout throughout history. And that's needed even more than ever. I think the challenge is getting that point across, because a lot of good work being done, and expect to see a lot of good work until you seize on some excellent work under Frances O'Grady. I think that we got the issue around undercutting of wages, bringing in labour from overseas. Now, obviously, in the film and television industry, broadcasting industry. There's always been a history of people coming to work in the UK from overseas, and we welcome and encourage that. And that is to be applauded. And we want to have the same attitude towards other workplaces as well. But making sure that Terms and Conditions on undermine back in the day, you will have collective agreements that apply to everybody who came into the industry. That's what we need.

Derek Threadgall  6:38  
On a personal basis for myself. I must say, though, alerting retired from the industry for several years now. I'm about to retire member. It does, certainly to read today of the Union shenanigans in the on the trains in other areas in 2017. But have we learned nothing from the larger 73 day rule?

Speaker 1  7:08  
I think I think unions have learned an awful lot. Since the 1970s. I'm not terribly sure that employers have and I'm not terribly Sure, I'm absolutely sure that the Tory Government has and that I'm very pleased that we act for ourself, and we act for RMT. And I'm very proud that we do. And the way in which some of the rail employees behave is pretty appalling. And I mean, I've been on those southern rail trains, which is no mean feat in itself because they don't turn up very often at the best of times, you know, and, but they are massively overcrowded. And they are asking train drivers to drive a 12 carriage train on a with a on platforms of bend that obscure views and try and protect the safety of their passengers. When there are safety critical incidents or if there's an accident on the train just can't be done. And health and safety is very important. You've got a government that says red tape is bad and we need to get rid of red tape is the lack of proper red tape and proper regulation that led to the deaths of all those people in Grenfell tower. We need proper health and safety regulations.

Derek Threadgall  8:12  
Okay, slightly loaded question here before we move on. Is this constant battle the government?

Speaker 1  8:30  
This government would like there there not to be any trade unions, ideally. I mean, you look at that Trade Union Act, which was a pernicious piece of legislation, then it was vindictive, it was designed to try and stop trade unions from organising to try and undermine collective bargaining. So it's not just a lot, the focus will be on industrial action and strike action, understandably, because it's what the public notice. But collective bargaining and the undermining of collective bargaining, I suspect we'll come on to talk about that, in the context of disputes in the television site is very important for governments and for the media, because they want to break the power of trade unions so they can deal with workers as individuals and exploit them. And that's why they don't like collective action or collective power or trade unions. Now, that's particularly true of a Conservative government is particularly true of media outlets, news outlets, press in particular, but increasingly with with the involvement of sky and others is true of broadcasters too. They do not like trade unions. And one of the things that came out I think of the Leveson inquiry very powerfully from our NUJ colleagues is one of the reasons that there was a culture of hacking in News International was there was no independent voice to stand up because the NUJ would pretty much shut out of US International because of the Staff Association. So this the Tory government will carry on bashing trade unions. They were trying also to undermine the links with Labour Law either party are very important both for trade unions and for the party. I think it keeps the party grounded. Now, if we get a Labour Government and let's hope that we do, and it looks much more likely than it did say, a year ago or even seven months ago, then I think the relations with the unions were much stronger and Labour governments haven't always dealt particularly well with the unions. On the other hand, we shouldn't overlook that the 1997 Labour government introduced trade union recognition laws, as well as national minimum wage working time regulations and many other provisions so that there is some cause for optimism. But now, we'll always have a Tory government that doesn't like trade unions whilst we've got a Tory government. And I think I'm gonna make the point here now. We've been going 10 minutes.

Unknown Speaker  10:45  
Is that noise really getting

Unknown Speaker  10:47  
on your nerves? Great, thank

Derek Threadgall  10:52  
you. Okay. Well, we'll just carry on. Yeah, sure. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Right. Now, before we get into the nitty gritty of Thompson's work, could you give a general overview of both Thompson's as a company formed? I believe in Nigeria? 21. Yes. And you're working stupid.

Speaker 1  11:18  
Yeah, Thompson's was formed in 1921. By wh Thompson, who was a conscientious objector, a member of the Communist Party, that a lot of work with civil liberties groups, he was a founding member of the National Council of civil liberties. And increasingly, the work that he did on civil liberties brought him into contact with trade unions. He was also involved in the popular rate strike in the 1920s, representing the counsellors who were taken to court and by the government for not setting a rate. So he was involved in radical ideas, radical politics throughout the 20s and 30s. And with trade union movement, as well, increasingly work with trade unions with the introduction of the Workmen's Compensation acts. He was his firm, were at the forefront of getting compensation for people who've been injured at work. He died in 1947, I think, and his phone was then taken over by sons, Robin, and Brian, both of whom died within the last four, it's probably 1520 years now actually, seems much more recently, because I'm using both well, and their son Robinson, David was a colleague of mine until very recently, when he retired 18 months ago, and we still have the Thompson Foundation, which makes sure that we remain true to the principles of why to our Constitution, that we will always act for trade unions and working people and try and secure justice for working people not to work for more wealthy clients, that might mean we get better paid, it's actually part of our reason for being and through that work. We represent most of the major trade unions, we've been involved in a significant proportion of the major trade union cases over the years, we only ever act for unions or employees or injured people. We never act for insurance companies we never asked for landlords we never asked for, for employers. And that is I think, what makes us unique, and we're very, very proud to be that firm. And to have that reputation that standing is that I regard myself as chief executive, as a custodian of that legacy to pass it on to future generation.

Derek Threadgall  13:22  
I've got a note here that do. You've been at the House of Commons regarding the trade union Bill. And you were also involved with the justice select? Yes.

Speaker 1  13:37  
What? Yeah, I've done a number of committee sessions, if you like and represented trade unions and and our view in the labour movements view in a number of forums. So an earlier example, was the European Parliament back in the 1990s, when I gave evidence to the European Parliament Social Affairs Committee on the acquired rights directive, the transfer of undertakings directive on the implications for insolvency law and the for proper protection for workers when there was insolvency. So that was, I think, a good example of that. But more recently, as you say, under the worst since 2015, I gave evidence to the trade union, select committee, treasury and Bill committee, sorry, on the trade union Bill, as it then was gave evidence on how it was going to operate badly how it was going to damage not just trade unions, but actually didn't make sense and was illegal in a number of ways. And I think what's I'm not suggesting the government took on board. The points I made in the amendments that were made, I think it helped to reinforce the labour and trade union case that was advanced very effectively in Parliament, particularly in the House of Lords. I worked closely with the labour front bench, both in the commons and in the Lord's on those amendments and challenges. And then I gave evidence to the justice Select Committee on Employment Tribunal fees where I and a number of other lawyers were pointing out that the tribunal were unfair And we believe are unlawful and of course, that's now been backed up by the Supreme Court decision in the Unison case, which was a fantastic victory for us under the trade union movement.

Derek Threadgall  15:12  
Let's go back to TVA.

Some people who are going to listen to the interview I'm sure don't remember that. So probably it's worthwhile.

Speaker 1  15:29  
Yes, well, I've bought my crop with me. I've got my my mug. My tvm Maga mug is coming out on the screen there with ACTT on the other side, and I joined Thompsons in March 1987. And not long after that, it must have been actually in the autumn winter thinking about it. The tvm dispute kicked off, and it was dispute to do with the terms and conditions of work affecting the workers at tvm, which was the first commercial breakfast TV company originally had been launched with a great fanfare by the Gang of Four in glamorous. I think Terry Farrell designed studios up in, in Camden in Haut holy Crescent than the Gang of Four, I think wasn't exactly working out in the way that it was expected. Much like many gangs of fours, it turns out, and Bruce Ginza would come in as the chief executive and wanted to shake things up, and essentially wanted to undermine and break the power of the unions and get away from the collective bargaining, which applied to all ITV companies, including TV, I'm under what I think was called the White Book, if I remember rightly, in those days, and this then led to a dispute was industrial action, which was being taken by the ACTT members at TBM. During the course of the run up to Christmas, when I was there was a charitable campaign going on by the Lions Club. So it proved to be a bit unpopular in publicity terms, because of that, albeit was a very important issue for the unions concerned and affected their members very profoundly. And unfortunately, it wasn't possible in terms of dispute to get the other unions on board with joining the AC T's members or going out on strike, how sympathetic they might have been individually and collectively. And so it was a protracted strike with members locked out kept out for long periods of time. 234 I believe we have children and 34 members of AC, who lost their jobs as a result of this, and I was involved in the legal advice and the campaign from the start. So I remember being on the picket line up at tvm. In classic 1980s, wide tie in enormous glasses, and I had a quiff in those days, I still still have the hair, I still have the hair, not anymore, I'm afraid, working with the officers and the officials working particularly closely with Tim White, who was the steward or Branch Secretary for the members. And I remember speaking to members on the picket line, and also on one occasion advising members on mass from the state of electric Ballroom in Camden Town, which was the only time I've ever appeared at the electric ballroom, and it wasn't invited back, sadly, but but it was it Joking aside, it was difficult time and a lot of people were losing their livelihoods very worrying. And with the dismissals, we then took a tribunal case for the members claiming that they hadn't been taking they haven't gone out on strike. They've been locked out because of the way in which that dispute panned out and claiming unfair dismissal. And we had a protracted hearing at the Employment Tribunal or industrial tribunal would have been then in London central lapping woven place. And after a lengthy and quite acrimonious hearing and very long witness evidence from the from the union people on the union siding turning from SR unions and other organisations as well. We lost the case unfortunately the to one vote by the tribunal. But we didn't give up at that point we went to appeal went to the employment Appeal Tribunal. But as that employment Appeal Tribunal was due to be heard, there were then discussions which took place involving Allen SAP other than general secretary of ACTT. And a deal was then negotiated on terms for the for the members who've been sacked Now it didn't get everyone their jobs back. And the important thing from the employers point of view was they have managed essentially to break the collective agreement, the white book and that then had ramifications throughout the industry and throughout the ITV sector, because you're well remember the strength of the unions in the ITV sector in the in the 70s, but into the 80s, as well. And this was very much a turning point that and a sign, perhaps of a more aggressive management approach towards unions and a bit of a decline in that collective strength of unions within it. V and the independent broadcasting sector.

Derek Threadgall  20:03  
When what was the year that?

Speaker 1  20:07  
Well, it was 1987. That dispute started 1988 would have been when the when the legal case was, and the settlement would either have been in 1988 or 1989. I think.

Derek Threadgall  20:22  
Can we move on to the merger? Basically TT and betta Yes,

Speaker 1  20:29  
yeah. So I had been dealing with ACTT. They were the union that I was representing, and handling all their legal work. And there was discussions taking place between ACTT and other unions as a as indeed had happened in the past. But discussions with betta were productive and taking things forward. And so I was then involved in advising ACTT on the legal side of those negotiations with betta, and on the formation of the new union. So I was involved in drafting the rulebook, Vita would have had their own lawyers, John L. Williams was representing them, I think I was representing ACTT. And I was involved in number of discussions between Sapre on the ACTT side and his team and Tony Hearn, on the on the betta side and his team in bringing the Union together, including many discussions around what the union was going to be called, which has as ever was something of a controversial issue, I seem to remember, the Tudor gates wanted to call it the British media workers, which would be V and W and was called to be a bit controversial. But anyway, back to it eventually was, which is funny, because I remember a number of people at the time weren't too keen on that. And then when there was a suggestion that the name might subsequently be changed or on on the move into prospect, people were very sorry to lose the name vector, but of course it has been maintained and the identities been maintained.

Derek Threadgall  21:52  
Okay, let's move on to the general secretaries that you've been involved with

Speaker 1  21:58  
or watching Before we do that one, one oddity in this actually, which I mentioned to Jerry Morrissey, when I was down at the last back to conference before the move into prospect was the actually through my longevity as the lawyer for for for back to I managed to be the lawyer witnessing the papers when back to was formed on the merger of icct and betta, but also the lawyer witnessing the papers went back to transferred into prospect 25 years later. So I was quite proud and pleased of that particular achievement. Okay, move

Derek Threadgall  22:31  
on then to the general secretaries that you've been involved with, if anything, you'd say needs to be stopped.

Speaker 1  22:45  
Well, the first one that I dealt with was, was Alan Satbir. And I was pretty new to Thompson's and no doubt pretty full of himself. But I would only have been 25 in 1987. And dealing with Alan who was, you know, very well known public figure. You know, there have been a lot of high profile disputes in independent television, Alan would be at the forefront of that he was a phenomenally bright man. Very talented, very flamboyant, very entertaining, and had many an enjoyable exchange with Alan, we have many good occasion down at the gate, Azhar. But we also had a lot of serious issues to face. And he was pretty robust, very strong minded, but knew what he was doing. And he had a good team of officers around and I dealt a lot with, with Roy Lockett as his deputy and with Brian shavings Bob Hamilton, Jack O'Connell, a number of the other Jack O'Connor a number of the other officers involved. But I kept in touch with Alan and Kevin guy still in touch with his son Simon, and through other unit connections as well. I very much enjoyed working with Alan. And he was always incredibly good company. He always had a good story to tell. He always had lots of jokes, some anecdotes, and lots of stories about other trade union general secretaries, which are not for me to probably repeat now. But he was a he was a great person to work with. And he steered the union through a very difficult set of circumstances and into that merger and he was not he was pretty selfless about it. Sometimes in Union mergers you get good general secretaries are more concerned about their own position rather than the future of the Union. Obviously, I'm not saying that it's true of the unions that I ask for, but I've heard it's true of others. But Allen was very clear that what was important was securing the continuation of the Union and the formation of the new union bringing together other aspects of the media and accepted that in due course that would mainly be passing on the mantle when he I think, deserves great credit for that.

Derek Threadgall  24:41  
So who was the next one?

Speaker 1  24:42  
So Tony, her and I met through those negotiations with Beto. And I suppose it's an unusual set of circumstances when that happens, because if you like he's represented the other party in a discussion so I wasn't advising him. But I got on well with Tony. I mean, I've mentioned I was pretty young at that time and he was To John L. Williams, who was in his 80s and was a former pilot fighter pilot and hero of the Second World War last night, I think in the war, and Tony regarded him very highly. So era here was I this 25 year old and I think he thought I was famous. He said, You shouldn't be doing the Tony herd impressions, but he was saying, Oh, you're far too young young man, I will die. Yeah. And I had to claim I was 30. And I was only about 26. At the time. I don't think you believe me. But anyway, I've got. So I work closely with Tony and I enjoyed working with him. He was again a bit of a character. And I didn't quite have his proudest, when it came to go into the pub in the evening, Tony could outlast me. So I'd have to get Tony Lennon to ring me up and play another some emergency legal issue to bail me out before I was failing to keep pace with Tony Hoare. But he was, again a phenomenally bright man, a very entertaining man, a very well read. Very, very brave and thorough when I'm in you know, he tell me the stories before my time of the case of BBC against her and and the South African dispute and the cup final and to take that sort of stand for what he said was a small union was incredibly bright. So you know, he took the union forward throughout that time, and I enjoyed working with Tony as a colleague and, and again, it was entertaining times and, and tough times. But we had a lot of successes together. Roger, Roger, I'd known again, Roger was abs and then beta. So I hadn't worked with him in ACTT. But I got to know him through various disputes we'd have with the BBC. And there were a number of disputes with the BBC over that time, which involved quite complex legal issues. industrial action legislation is not very straightforward. And if you've got a dispute, which involves a series of what they call discontinuous action on particular dates, you've got to notify it, you then think you've got to deal then you haven't, you've got to resume it. There's always the threat of legal challenges. And we had some fairly robust exchanges with the BBC lawyers and their legal department on that and a number of other issues. So I worked closely with Roger on that. I got to know Roger, very well. Diff very different character to to Alan and to and to Tony, but very professional, very again, really drove a hard bargain for the members knew what he was about had a good strategic view. But it was also very good fun. And I think people forget that side of Roger in a way. And I saw a fair bit of him socially common affliction of supporting Tottenham Hotspur. And so we went and watched that I can see this is the first controversial point of the discussion. And we we went to a few games together and we went all the way up to Manchester, the watch a semifinal, which you'll be pleased to hear. I can tell from your demeanour, we lost Old Trafford, I think it might have been against our current if it was up against Newcastle or against Man United anyway, we lost it and that can't be Monday night because there's Old Trafford, either Newcastle or another team I won't mention and we travelled all the way back down the M six together. I think I was driving it was a terribly slow journey. What stuck for ages on the M six, eventually got back and Roger had to then travel from Highgate where I dropped him off of the tube to get all the way back to sorry. And he did say to me when I saw him the following week. I appreciated very much of the hospitality, but it was possibly the worst day of his life. And could we not do it again. So and I remember chatter, mentioning that I think when we put together some stuff about Roger fought for the magazine for his funeral. And it was a it was a tragedy. It really was a tragedy that budget was taken so young. And he dealt and visited him a few times in hospital. And he really dealt with it incredibly stoically a was amazing man. I know that he had tremendous support from the Union from colleagues, particularly from Jerry Morrissey. And it was just a great sadness to lose Roger. And he made a huge contribution to the union and to take it for putting on a secure financial footing and to the move to Clapham. So now I'll always have a great fondness for Roger. And it's as I'm, I'm now 55. And it just seemed to shock the other day when it was being said, you know, the Roger was taken from us far too young. And I think it was 59. And you think, you know, I suppose as someone who was younger than roger that I hadn't really appreciated, perhaps then just how young that was, and, you know, a real sadness and her great, great union leader,

Derek Threadgall  29:32  
and Jerry.

Speaker 1  29:34  
I won't mention Jerry's football allegiance, which is his only drawback actually. But I've known Jerry again since the merger. When Jerry was young, he's a saint, I think about the same age as me and he was able to come up through the BBC from working in catering in the BBC to being a rep and by then he was an official. And by far, I think the best and most effective union negotiator. And I remember watching that programme the house about Royal Opera House where he absolutely ran rings around Jeremy Isaacs and the and the director of HR and did it with such charm and Guile, and so self effacing that they didn't realise until afterwards that they just been done it like a kebab. And that is how he is he's a is tough, but in a very polite way he's amusing, he is incredibly tenacious. He's a visionary in terms of seeing a way forward for unit. I've worked with him on a number of very difficult issues, for example, issues around the user's pension scheme, some of the legal challenges the unions face. And I mean, he's the, you know, the person who had the the commitment to see through the transition into prospect whilst preserving the identity of the Union. And I'm not sure anyone other than Jerry could have achieved that. So I've got an enormous, enormous amount of time with Jared. He supports a team who are now based in North London, who originally from Woolwich.

Derek Threadgall  31:00  
Oh, no, not as

Unknown Speaker  31:03  
I'm afraid. So. There'll

Derek Threadgall  31:05  
be all have crossed a bit indeed. Right. Moving on. I was rather intrigued by when you sent me through the bits and pieces. You class this as an amusing case. And it involved IC CUDA.

Speaker 1  31:29  
Oh, yeah. Well, tutor gates, I've had quite a lot of dealings with Tutor one way or another, I mean, I should say, also acted for the Union defending a case brought by today when he was protesting about the way in which the President was elected. And I gave, I've acted for the Union and argued the case before certification officer and we eventually lost it in the employment Appeal Tribunal about the law on how the president should be elected. And I have to say, I think that's because the law have been drafted wrongly. And if anything, we should have been right but to choose, it was successful in the case that led to a change in how the president was elected. But leaving that to one side on a personal level, I always got on with with Tudor, notwithstanding his support for the Liberal Democrats, but he was a very entertaining man, as you know. And of course, he wrote Barbarella he was the one who created the character, Duran Duran, and, in the other very, always a very interesting to have to tell he was notable for that flamboyant way of dressing and is charm, which are a number of my female colleagues particularly benefited from. And so I enjoyed working with today. And again, I've worked with him over the merger, and a number of issues around that. But also, he had a number of personal cases. And he had written a number of film scripts for Hammer films. Twins of evil, which everyone will recall, was the first ever lesbian vampire film. And a number of other vampire films named which now escapes me, but he was not getting proper payment for his royalties from Hamlet. And we had a but tracing this back to the agreements from the 70s, or wherever it was 60s 70s and all the receipts and the accounts. And actually, the amounts were reasonably substantial when you added it all up. But of course, they were quite modest when you actually looked at the individual. But it took years and years and years to get this and event every year, we then find hadn't paid it again, then we'd have to go back to it all. But some of the stories of the times with hammer and the and the and the nature of the films he was writing on, were quite incredible. And we then also got into scrape where Tudor had written the what had secretly rewritten the script for beyond all reasonable doubt by Jeffrey Archer, but was subject to a confidentiality agreement, which meant they couldn't disclose that, because it was meant to be written by Jeffrey Archer, and by nobody else. Today, I felt he wasn't getting paid and got his royalties on that. So he went to the Mail on Sunday, I think. And there was then an almighty Rao about whether they could get an injunction where they can stop him from saying that you wrote the script on that, if it's still subject to an injunction, I apologise, but I think that since it went out was out in public for that then. So it was not the sort of run of the mill stuff you would normally expect to get from from trade union legal work, shall we say?

Derek Threadgall  34:27  
The working holiday pay case which would lead to the European Court of Justice. Yes.

Speaker 1  34:34  
Well, I give credit here to Roger Bolton, the the the Labour government, elected in 97 and commits to join the European Social chapter. And that means implementing European legislation and that includes European Working Time Directive, which was a health and safety piece of legislation the European UK Tory Government has called level bourbon on successful working time regulations are introduced by Labour government. But there are some aspects of them, which are imperfect, shall we say, in particular, they say that you have to work for 13 weeks for a particular employer before you qualify for holiday pay. Now that would have ruled out not just people who just started work, but it would have rolled out all these short term engagements, which many back to members were affected by a Roger said to me, Look, I don't think this can be right, we we've got to challenge us, it means that our members will be working on a whole series of short contracts, but they won't get paid holiday, they won't get any holiday pay, let alone any chance to take time off and be paid for it. And employers are going to try and get around it or making sure you work for 12 weeks, you sent away for a few weeks, and you come back again. So it was Roger very much, who was the inspiration? I looked at it, I thought, well, this is going to be very difficult. And Roger said, Well, I don't mind that difficult. It's you know, we've got to take this and we discussed it. We found a way through we took advice from a leading QC you since become a judge. In fact, he became a judge during the case Patrick Elias. And we then moved on to Laura Cox, QC us now involved with the International Labour Organisation, again, as a judge, so very eminent lawyers. And we took the government on. And we got the case referred to the European Court justice in Luxembourg. And Roger and I went to the hearing out there. And we could see from the demeanour of the judges, if you like that, that we were getting a good hearing. And the government was uncomfortable because the judges were saying, Okay, you can have, if you like, administrative provisions about how you get your holiday pay or when you're entitled to it. But you can't have a provision which effectively excludes a whole group of people from having any holiday pay at all. And Roger was entirely right to have seen that. And I give him again, credit for that. But it was a it was probably one of the greatest moments in my legal career getting that successful judgement, because it affects not just the 1000s of maximum, but millions of workers in the UK, but across the whole of Europe. So it is now the case, thanks to back to and that case, that every single person is entitled to holiday pay accrued from day one. But even on short term appointment engagements, it has to be some account taken of holiday pay. And that's all more important. We talked earlier on about the about the gig economy, which I don't like it's a phrase, I think it's exported to mised. Working it's it's passing on the risks to individuals rather than the organisations that employ them. In those circumstances where people are moving from job to job or have short term engagement is all the more important that they're entitled to holiday pay. Some of the stuff in the Taylor review about holiday pay, and rolled up holiday pay is very dangerous, it would be the very thing we've been arguing against we had several cases subsequently about how holiday pay was entitled many which involve back to members. So it's a real real victory. It's it's a it's a classic example of what the trade union movement is all about and how one of the smaller unions in the tea, you see can have a massive impact on a huge, huge victory.

Derek Threadgall  38:13  
Can we go on to back to members? Can you give an idea of legal issues that apply abroad by members themselves? So the general legal issues legal problems that they have? Yeah.

Speaker 1  38:36  
Yeah, legal problems for bectu members. I'll give some examples, I think we should illustrate the range of problems that start with health and safety. Now, sometimes people don't necessarily pick up on the health and safety aspects of the work of back to members. But there's a lot of physical aspects to it, and a lot of risks that faculty members are exposed to. We've had said not least, lugging around camera equipment for a start. And there were a number of issues around that which were problematic when it came to introduction of betta cams and so forth. So not every issue leads to a successful conclusion. But we had cases for example of workers who were working for Transmission Services who were repairing or inspecting the transmission mass. And on a couple of occasions the power was on when they were doing it, they were subjected to effectively microwaves it's a bit like being microwave not as severe as that, but they certainly suffered physical effects from the rays and we brought a number of cases. For them. We weren't able to prove that there was any increased risk of cancer in the future in the future, but we could do to evidence from the National Radiological Protection Board and submit evidence from Sweden, but we were able to recover compensation for the injuries that they suffered. I also dealt with cases for workers who were subjected to exposure to Legionnaires disease due to probably got air conditioning towers to the BBC in central London. cases for again, you don't necessarily think of back to members being exposed to asbestos, but I've dealt with a number of cases for back to members, some of whom had been exposed to asbestos in previous careers outside the industry, but others who've been exposed to asbestos through soundproofing and studios, often at a time when everyone thought asbestos was some magic product was everyone the, the asbestos producers didn't think they knew it wasn't, but people who were using it, were unaware of that. And of course, they were this stuff that was great for soundproofing and for fire retardants. Was, was killing and people were then getting mesothelioma, which is one of the worst diseases you can get and guaranteed to be fatal and in what normally painful and some of the cases, I really remember is the bravery of some of those people who contracted that and their families and what they went through and how they were then it was heart wrenching to actually hear some of the stories my my secretary typing out the statement and being in tears from some of the stories of the pain that people suffered, then you get a perhaps more prosaic accidents for people who are working in theatres, you people who work in the flies who suffer falls or I had one fellow who was injured when a bit of scenery from Madame Butterfly fell on him when he was doing the scenery, I think it was at the Coliseum as opposed to the Royal Opera House. So there was a lot of, you know, as well as quite serious road traffic cases, or one guy who was injured whilst working on ski Sunday, when he was taken out by the skiing presenters wasn't properly trained at skiing, take taking out this very, very experienced skier. And he suffered quite nasty spinal injuries as a result. So a lot of health and safety issues around the industry where we've dealt with cases for members who were affected by that. on the employment side, I've mentioned on the collective side, the issues around holiday pay. We also dealt with cases around trade union recognition. So one of the very high profile cases we dealt with, was for the BBC Natural History music unit in in Bristol, where we were arguing that they should be entitled to collective bargaining for that group of workers. And the BBC were arguing that they weren't workers, because they were professionals, and therefore, effectively should be treated as in business on their own, not covered by the recognition legislation. And we won that case involve having to go not just to the central Arbitration Committee, but also to the Court of Appeal, I think, or the high court and then back to the central Arbitration Committee, we won that case, and secure collective bargaining for those workers so that they could have their terms and conditions, properly regulated, which was a major breakthrough. And again, we had a similar success with the bill and getting collective bargaining for people working on the bill, TV programme, so that you can again, mean that when people come in to work there, they're covered by the same terms conditions. And I've mentioned, I think previously, the difficulties are often with media employers around collective bargaining and trade unions. And those were some of the early cases that we dealt with around around that issue.

Derek Threadgall  43:15  
I suppose that over the last few years, there have been what I would call no budget films, not necessarily low budget. No, yes. No. Which that's an issue.

Speaker 1  43:35  
Yeah, it was, I mean, there was a there was a phase wasn't there of what they call defer payment, defer. And, of course, which actually meant no payment at all, because the chancellor was never going to make any money. You know. So that was a real issue. I was going to come on to say that one of the big issues and it's consistently been the case has been freelancers not getting paid for the work that they do, and trying to get that money back. And of course, the sums are significant for the worker concern, but not tremendously significant in Court term. So often the cost of trying to recover that will be outweighed by the cost of it, which is why the support of the union is so important. So where they are small claims that using provide support for the member to bring the small claims so it's when they're more significant, and we would have been involved supported by the unit because units wouldn't have been able to fund that case themselves. Sorry, members would not have been able to bring that case themselves or afford to do so. The other thing I think which back to was in the forefront of was the creation of the ask first list in the magazine. So people who who don't pay consistently don't pay would be named in the ask first list. And you could tell how effective that is. Because the number of times there were legal threats about you can't put me in this list. Because you know, I This isn't fair, and we said well, you haven't paid this bloke or woman. And then obviously be often was an argument well even do what they what they prefer. onto the surface, and you'd get repeat offenders. And the other breakthrough we had on that, of course, is a lot of people will hide behind company names. So they won't be you won't be so in Steven Cavalier, you'd be suing Steven Cavalier limited. And so you say, you'd be saying, oh, you can't name me as a director of this company, because I'm just the director is the company. And now that company no longer is this is now called Steven Cavalier. Number two limited, you know, so, but we also pioneered naming the individual directors. So we will say the name of the company and say, of whom the directors are, and again, they tried to lead any challenge that but we stopped that as well. So that I think is raising them and I'm afraid is an issue that the members still face, which is companies disappearing. It's not really been properly addressed by the law, despite the fact back to I know have lobbied very hard on that. Yeah,

Derek Threadgall  45:45  
I've come across quite a few, actually, over the years. And, and being caught out myself. Yeah, over the years. But I don't think it's a very good term low budget films. I've seen people working or pictures working at Shepperton when I was there. And the problems, especially if they're not necessarily non budget bullets, but low budget films they faced was quite unbelievable. I mean, there was lots of problems there. Okay, well, that's a good cross section, I think was doing also, I meant to ask you this. Do you also represent if necessary? Retired union members retired back to members, for example. I mean, if a retired veteran member who was not actually working but had a problem, would he be able to come to terms? Well,

Speaker 1  46:52  
first of all, obviously, the union provides representation for retirement. So there's something that's happened and taking, for example, asbestos, as we talked about before, then a number of the people we represented for asbestos related diseases, because they have such a long lead in periods where retired members by the time we were representing them, and they were in later years when they were stricken by mesothelioma, or or or asbestosis. So there's that. Also, there, if someone suffers an accident or an injury as a retired member, when on the road or in the supermarket or whatever, then that's very happy to represent the member for but when it comes to other issues, then there is we have an advice service for the Union on legal issues, which are outside the workplace if you like, well, we're predominantly dealing with workplace issues, I mean, wills conveyancing, things like that we can deal with but it's mainly around things that happen at work on the way to or from work or injuries on the roads. That's really what we're focusing on. Okay.

Derek Threadgall  47:55  
So we move on to the move into prospect? Well, you told me your side first, because I have a personal issue here.

Speaker 1  48:10  
Yeah. Jerry first mentioned to me that discussions were going on, and that I knew Jerry was very determined to secure the future of the Union into the long term and beyond. I mean, obviously, Jerry hopefully be around for a long time yet, but beyond his tenure as well, and was looking at ways of dealing with that and with the challenges to the industry to threats to the BBC licence fees or threats to trade unions through through changes to check off legislation, the likelihood of a Tory government being around for a while, the issues that back to like a number of unions had with its pension scheme. Despite the frugal management and prudent management and the good investments in in Clapham meant that the future of back to as an independent union of that size could not be absolutely guaranteed going forward into the future. And I could entirely see why Jerry was looking to secure that and also why whilst there may have been attractions to mergers with other entertainment use of similar size that may not necessarily have led to an outcome that was beneficial to the union and also the desire not necessarily to end up just as a very, very small part of a very, very large union without sense of identity. So I know that Jerry's aim was very much to make sure the back to his identity was preserved. And I thought it was very novel approach to getting get in touch with prospects of disgust with prospects. And certainly I was involved in discussions around the legal issues in the instrument of transfer and the rulebook, which have very much secured identity for bank to burn in an autonomy for bank to within that sector and in in large sectors while bringing the CMD division of prospect and name In the back to way of doing things is maintained. So I see a strong future on the back of that, whilst you never, it's always a bit sad to see a union not no longer as a separate independent entity. And there obviously issues around things like labour, party affiliation, and so forth. But I think it hopefully will enable back to to be very strong, long after I'm not around.

Derek Threadgall  50:25  
Well, my personal I'd be interested to hear your comments on it is that I thought that I had, I couldn't let her in the journal. And what I couldn't understand, I'll be honest, I voted against it. Now only 18% of the members, which is 4900, places in mind that 4987 effectives membership of 27,639 boat to join prospect. And I've got hardly a ringing endorsement. But in my view, 18% is not nearly enough to justify this major. And we were left with 22 members who couldn't be bothered to vote. So my view was, although I voted against, I could understand if it had gone through, but with a prefer a larger majority. Because to me, 18% is enough. And that's gold through on 80% of the membership, only 18%. And I just couldn't, I just couldn't see it. I felt okay, you shouldn't be the other way round. But it wasn't. So you've got 22,000 members who hadn't bothered to lose that they obviously didn't think it was that important? Because it's a Major.

Speaker 1  52:12  
Major. Yeah, now you've done your research on me, I should have done my research on you and read your letters in the in stage screen and radio, shouldn't I but I think this raises a wider issue, which is about the level of participation in Union balance of democracy generally. The Tory legislation, and historic legislation for the most part, drives unions into having to conduct individual postal ballots on a whole number of issues, General Secretary elections, NEC elections, presidential elections, union, mergers, industrial action, and so forth. Now, it's not to say that members shouldn't be given individual science that matters. But the problem is, it makes it very difficult to do so because it can only be done by post. It's not a particularly effective way of doing it, the level of turnout is very low. And that is true across all union elections. And if anything has become lower, and you think about people's reaction, generally these days when they get something through in the post, it's usually a bill or a circular or whatever. It's not really encouraging a level of participation. And the Tory government has been dead set against allowing electronic balloting and those now review going on which they were forced into by the House of Lords and the Trade Union Act. And they're even more dead set against workplace balloting. And you you will know and recall that workplace balance have a much better turnout, though they would characterise that as people standing in the carpark of British Leyland. What we're talking about here is people having the opportunity to vote in their workplaces with a ballot box in their workplace to put their ballot paper in, which is much likely more likely to lead to a higher turnout. So that I think there's a problem with a turnout in union elections. And of course, you didn't get to this point about thresholds, numbers and so forth. And if you like democracy and legitimacy now clear majority in that ballot, to to move into prospects. No doubt about that, but a low turnout. Now, what the government's trying to do, of course, in industrial action, is to say there's got to be not just got 50% of everybody who is eligible to vote, not just 50%, who's voted and in the public sector, which will include the BBC, for that matter, you've got a 40% threshold. So you've got to have, you've got to have at least 40% of everybody has voted in favour. So so it is they're imposing very high thresholds, which are effectively meaning that you count someone who has voted against as being as being a no voter. If you haven't voted, your vote is counted against the prospect. Don't freak out. Apple. Now, I don't think that is a valid interpretation of why people might not vote it, some of it will be apathy. Some of it will be, they simply didn't pick up the ballot paper or didn't get round to it or whatever, or you didn't feel particularly strongly. But if anything, I would have thought there's something like a merger or industrial action, if you felt very strongly against it, one would expect to vote against it. Now, I think there is a case in some circumstances. I'm not, I'm not a fan of Brexit, for example, and I think is extraordinary that we can find the Gup, the country is going to be plunged into absolute chaos and causing massive economic damage and damage to the working people of this country. As a result of a 52% 48% vote on the turnout there was which means on any analysis, and majority of people in the UK didn't vote for brexit. And yet, we're told that we're stuck with it. And that is the will of the people. Now, I think back to your example, here, it was a clear majority through the process that was adopted. And through the process that required by legislation. There's not a threshold required. And I think if people felt strongly against it, as I know, that you did, they would have voted against my

Derek Threadgall  56:08  
real fear was that I didn't. whereas all the other big mergers, etc, only been entertaining. And we'd be doing whatever. Whereas suddenly discovered a really old news, but it's just a way of having been in the stupid scene. In the nerve centre of life, it's I've seen so many things I've seen, of course, that we're talking about cases. That prospect to me, as I said, they've got a picture, but it didn't seem to me to be the right. I'm not against anything to help, the better develop. But this to me didn't seem to have any link to what the industry would expect. Beta, etc. It was all going to change. Yeah,

Speaker 1  57:28  
it's interesting, isn't it? Because I think it's about it shows I think, the moving on of technology. I mean, you look back to take the post office, and it seems, as I think it will then have been caught in the the Postmaster General General. And that sort of stuff seemed entirely logical to split off telecommunications telephones from the post. Yet now, you know, the link is, is absolutely obvious. The fact that people communicate electronically, rather than by postal all the time, or that people would order stuff online, which is then delivered by the post, if you actually had an integrated telephony, electronic and Postal Service, you'd be in a very, very strong position. But that was all given up. Now we've had that sort of, if you like, divided up, and yet the divide between some of the broadcasting entertainment side of things, and telecommunications has, has has been eroded. So we did increase digital communications, so forth, and an increasing amount of stuff done online on the internet, and also a major employer for prospect through given their links with with was a site of telecom executives that then became connected, which became part of prospect. Bt is a huge employer. And Bt is now a huge media outlet as well. And yeah, both in terms of sport and other aspects as well. So there's much more of a connection there might have been. Yeah, and I recall in the past, actually, that there were discussions and there was a compact of sorts, I think, between back to and the National Communication unit, the NCU, which was the telecom side, what became the CW. So there have been those discussions in the past. So I think there is that communication side, there's also the scientific nature, if you like, of the work that prospect does. And there is also dare I say it, a bit of a civil service ethos sometimes to what goes on in the BBC, so you can see the links there as well. And as an engineering side, electronics, so I mean, I confess it wouldn't have been one that I would automatically have thought of, but once having had the conversation with Jerry, I could see it was an imaginative approach and you can see the obvious connections and that breath, if you like that breath, who knows how things will develop in the future in the industry and in technology as well, I suppose

Derek Threadgall  1:00:00  
are practically all my working life in and around the business district. And I suppose in a way, I've been stuck in that passed, because we're not hoping it will change. I mean, not jeopardised. We have special effects department. We've got CGI. Yeah. We also got video assist, though the first time I saw a video assist that was a recurrent grantors Frankenstein film. And I thought directors seem to check it on video. Shall we do that they used it. But yes, it's technical. And filmmaking. Now, of course, in this digital age is totally, totally change. We know that. But I suppose I've stuck in the past. I enjoy films.

Speaker 1  1:01:09  
Yeah, well, I'm, I'm probably in the past with you. And when I when I joined Thompsons in 1987, we didn't have a fax machine or a telex, and didn't have any computers. And you have to get permission from Brian Thompson to send the letter by first class post rather than second class post, you know, so there's a lot to be said for that. In today's donation. Email was unheard off. And I remember the first discussions I had with some of the TCS office in Brussels about can I email you something I said, Well, we haven't got email, you know, that was that was much more recently than that. We are now up with all that. And yeah, and of course, I'm I like films and I big fan of films, and I did loads of cases for the projector operators, you know, exactly. Yeah. When you add all, you know, the reels and all that sort of stuff. And I was only remarking because I took a ridiculous number of digital photographs on holiday the other week, you know, that we're talking about when you scan all day, and you have 24 shots on your film, and you think, Robert, but be careful about whether I take this one or not, you know, the chances are, you'd probably put the foot I'd put the film in wrongly or expose it to light, and they were all gone. So I mean, it's changed completely in that technology sense. And not not necessarily for the better. And some people will deal with retro things. And I mean, I remember thinking that VHS was a good it's a it's a sadness that some of the things I've got marking great events such as spurs last summer winning the FA Cup in 1991. To date, and the labour election victory in 1997 are on VHS rather than I've got DVD

Derek Threadgall  1:02:45  
loads of VHS, and I'm trying to get them transferred. And

Speaker 1  1:02:49  
I'd much rather go and see a film in the cinema. In fact, I think probably as I get older, my attention span is worse, I need to be in the cinema instead of just been watching it quite apart from the experience. But then I would I thought I was getting out of the game. But watch your stuff on DVD. I've never quite got into the Netflix of digital stuff. Similarly with music, I remember. I had a colleague who was in her 20s. And he's going back about 15 years or so now. And we were talking about LPs and records. And she said, Well, what's one of those? And I still believe these CDs are cutting edge or naive, and that's a bit old school and everything's digital. I still prefer to have something you can actually physically see and, and hope but maybe that's just a sign of the times, you know, so

Derek Threadgall  1:03:31  
he ever trained projection? I was trying to be original national tools. Fine. That was the Teddy good. Yes. And that's where I was trained. And of course, it was the only the only cinema in the country at that time. That could actually store likely on the premises. And we all know what nitrate film. Yeah, exactly. lifer I found out. I found out. I know. Don't go to the cinema. Much. I used to go with teenagers 567 times a week, but you could do it. Yeah. The programme Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and in the old one on the Sunday. We've got three silver. So if we didn't, yeah, you could do 567 times a week. But now and I have heard this so many times, especially for the older people. I say When did you last go to the silver mines? You're all about three months ago. I think it was three months? Yes. What did you think? Too loud. It's too loud. They would say now, as a training projection, we control the sound, the sound level. My chief would sit in the back row and maybe run the throne and he would let

Speaker 1  1:04:58  
is it to do with prayer. Row Do you think I mean? Because obviously these days most cinemas are split up into screen 123456789 You know, and you've got quite you go you go into cinema, there's only about three rows in that prep industry.

Derek Threadgall  1:05:15  
We've got so many screens, screens, and of course, as a protection as you go along there, right rapid. Most often we've got maybe the biggest one I went in was the complex in Croydon Warner Brothers, and there were 32 screens. Okay, economically, it makes sense, of course. But enjoy. Just yeah,

Speaker 1  1:05:51  
I mean, you know, it hasn't been and obviously this is the behaviour of picture house after sight is appalling. And that dispute needs to be sorted and I fully support what the members are doing in the actions of the union in making the stand quite right to and hopefully that will lead eventually to a victory and we've been involved in advising on that independent growth of independent cinema generally has been a good thing and you have got cinemas that are purpose built in and they are actually properly cinemas I used to live up in north London and the Phoenix and East Finchley is a fantastic cinema. And there are places like that you think this is just what you need to choose that is probably going into cinema now. And there are a number of places that are owned by men come into the one it brightens it up yorkson like that, that's that's very good. Places like that. You get a proper film experience. They've now got, you know, nice bars and coffee bars and whatever, you know, some of the Curzon cinemas as well, very, you know, so that, you know, that is a lot and I would much prefer that than going to something that's got 47 screens in a shopping centre, but you know, they are, but I don't go very often. And, you know, I'm probably approaching it in a very middle class why I guess you know, and and if there's a way of keeping the cost of cinema tickets down to encourage more people to go to the cinema, then that's a good thing, it seems to me, because it's also it's a socialising experience rather than just watching it at home on your own. We laugh

Derek Threadgall  1:07:21  
and they say we've got a full house at this scenario it might be three screens or four screens and they all are they had the main one but seats have hundreds most of the big cinemas have 1500 1700 60,000 seats you know the new one in Gray's and someone will do 1500 That to me was cinema because there was all the adults there especially as a kid you know, how do you get your friends? Yeah, all these sorts of you can't do any of that. You can't do it and getting your friends which I've obviously had long talks on this wi groups on cinema Yeah. In the 40s 50s 60s and at the end I do ask them when they last went to the cinema and every time they say the same is true now so don't go and I've complained bitterly to my job it's too loud you don't even have a manager now.

Speaker 1  1:08:31  
I mean I I don't mind a bit of volume once in awhile for a start stops me not enough you know six to six or two are supposed to say that but but but but also but also be you're always people in there shuffling about rushing about eating their popcorn you know that type of stuff so at least it you you want to be immersed in it don't you that's the point you want to forget not forget you're in the cinema but you've got to be if you like in the film if you're just conscious of your surroundings because you can hear people talking or whatever. So I appreciate as a proper level to be set.

Derek Threadgall  1:09:11  
Again, but once I saw the original for weddings innocent I then saw it on purpose on DVD. Then I saw it when it was on television. And I came to the conclusion that we could go to the cinema the cinema is fine for the big stuff. Yeah, okay, you've got the whole thing. But something like for what is your theory? You can I found no difference. No difference watching it on TV or DVD? Also, why bother to go to the cinema when we've got films like that or which many when you can see it.

Speaker 1  1:09:57  
Yeah, I don't go to the cinema as much I accept that. But I think that's right. I'm I'm not a big fan of big action films, particularly, you know, sort of blockbusters. And so most of the films I see probably involve, you know, a story and a lot of dialogue and not many car chases. So, and also given that televisions are a lot bigger than they were, you know, you can you can express it, but I still think there's a lot to be said, for going aside. I went to see Trainspotting, too, which I really enjoyed. I mean, partly because it reminded me, you know, I'm a little bit older than the characters in the Trainspotting, but only about five, six years or so. So it was a sort of, you know, you saw that moving forward. And that was that I thought was a film that I wouldn't have enjoyed as much as seen on TV. So it struck me as a film that benefit.

Derek Threadgall  1:10:46  
In fact, a projection is, as you say, quite right.

Speaker 1  1:10:54  
Yes, all right. We haven't seen anything obscene. How are we doing on time, right? It's just an hour and 10 minutes. Oh, fine. Okay, well, we're laughing and yeah, yeah.

Derek Threadgall  1:11:08  
I went, I was involved with the fundraising for a cinema in heritage, the electric palace of the heritage, which was built in 1911. And it was closed because of East Coast floods of three. And we wanted to open it again. And it's now running as a members, cylinder. And it's been restored to see what a cinema was really like in the 20s. Simply because it's been restored, as it was fantastic.

Speaker 1  1:11:45  
And is that just one screen with a proscenium arch and white sort of stuff. They're great.

Derek Threadgall  1:11:51  
Still got the paper, a little paper box, on the left hand side of doors are showing. That's fantastic, fantastic. And when we were fundraising for it, which we did succeed, most of help with it when they were trying to, and I've got pictures of a wedding, as it was said that they found the original silent scream, the original silence. And I thought, yeah, I used to go to dinner,

Unknown Speaker  1:12:40  
as well.

Derek Threadgall  1:12:41  
Yeah, pretty small. And they had all sorts of music on stage. But that was lucky, similar. And it's more a factor. To me is is something else, it's now running. It's a members only think they think for themselves, etc. So I talked to the guy who was heading a fundraising campaign the other about six months ago. And they kept because they kept the projection box, because occasionally

Speaker 1  1:13:22  
do show 35. Right.

Derek Threadgall  1:13:26  
But he said, we keep that because sometimes we do is I'll show you what we get to show the size of VHS, the whole programmes on that. And he said, That's what I said, What Happens are some of those

bigger projects always went wrong. Yeah. And you renders the worst farmer sitting between the two bth super machines, each with 5000 feet of nitrate film. achieved, back II threw me out the box. Do 10,000 feet of nitrate film? Either side. That's when he told me Do you know what? I said? No. He said, we've got about 12 inch strip. Yeah, I'm not sure who to hold that. And then he set fire to me. That's a new we're sitting in 1000 feet of it. I mean, you're in the heart. Yeah, of course. But that's the way it is. Anyway, is there anything else that you would like to add from your you know, like, what's happening today? Not today today. Yeah.

Speaker 1  1:14:50  
Yeah, well, exactly. I've enjoyed this a lot more than going to the dentist. I've been getting a lot of talking because I can't talk later but yeah, I mean, I've I've been You know, I really, I love my job. And I love what Thompson's does, like his inclusion is crucially important that we're here to represent unions. And it's great to do a job where you believe in what you do, and you get up in the morning and you think you're on the right side. It's not all you know, not every day goes as you would hope. But, you know, we think we're doing an important job. And it's important. I think there's an institution. And I've acted for a number of unions over the years, and I've got a lot of close friends who trade union movement. But I think because the first big case I was involved in in the union movement was tvm. And the first union I really got to know the general secretary and work closely on a big industrial matter was ACTT. I've always had a fondness for fact, to under union, it's great for me to have that long association. And it is astonishing. So this year, it's 30 years since I started at Thompson's total 30 years since. Since TV I am and it is just, to me extraordinary look back and think that was so long ago. And having come into it as what I thought at the time was a was a young man to find I'm still going if you like then that that is now something we're talking about and a history project. But we are in very difficult times at the moment. And you touched on it earlier on. It's a crucial time for trade unions and for working people because trade unions and all these endeavour now how can we get that point across? Probably not by 55 year old white blokes talking about it on a on a camera, but by making sure that people like the pitch house workers like younger workers, like people who are experiencing the exploitation by their employer coming together, same for migrant workers as well. And it is just so important that we get to that point and that people mobilise around that we've got very difficult times ahead in the economy. Generally, I think Brexit is a disaster, I think it's gonna be very damaging for a number of industries, including the entertainment industry is going to be disastrous for workers. And you can expect the market will be the workers who bear the brunt of it. And it's we're working very closely with back to I was talking to back to colleagues earlier on today about the impact of Brexit. But you know, unions are still winning victories, the employment tribunal case that was won by us and the other week was a fantastic victory, so we can still do it. And I feel, you know, I mentioned before lifelong Labour Party member and activist and was campaigning that last election, we got a much better result than we expected. And let's hope we can build on that. And because you things do tend to be a bit more cyclical than, than you expect. I remember thinking after 1979, and particularly when labour didn't win in 1992, would ever see a Labour government again in my lifetime, then, of course, we have 1997. Again, I was starting to feel that way. Recently, but I think the result in the last election gives us all a lot of calls for optimism. So I think we need to press off. And I think that that sort of reevaluation of the values that are important about standing up for what you believe in and about protecting people against exploitation, against abuse, and the need for proper regulation and safety. Hopefully, there's something we can build on

Unknown Speaker  1:18:21  
I enjoyed it, too. Thank you

Derek Threadgall  1:18:29  
all once again. Yeah, wait. Yes. Good. Fine, we go, here we go. Okay, it's machine. Great. Okay. Much marvellous. Marvellous. Excellent. Right. Just a couple of

Speaker 1  1:18:48  
goes up. Can you give us a shout? Yeah, should how to access it. Oh, you