Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/697/13290
Reinstate Paul Kelly: Solidarity with Portsmouth RMT
On 11 November Paul Kelly, an elected transport union RMT rep at Wightlink Ferries in Portsmouth was dismissed on trumped-up charges and what many workers see as an anti-union vendetta by management.
Paul has a proud record of standing up for his members' rights and safety. He recently campaigned against the imposition of new rosters, while highlighting issues which led to an intervention by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on the grounds of safety.
Following this campaign Paul was given informal advice by a manager after failing to wear full protective clothing when responding to an emergency request for technical assistance by a ship's captain.
However, this was suddenly escalated to a charge of gross misconduct and dismissal when a second allegation was made against Paul.
The RMT began balloting for strike action on 30 November, while the city's trades council has pledged its support for any action the branch may take.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "Paul Kelly's case is one of the most blatant examples of victimisation for union activities you will ever come across...
"The events leading up to our member's dismissal appear farcical, with informal advice suddenly escalated to dismissal, and clearly show an employer jumping at the opportunity to remove an effective representative."
In support of the RMT, Portsmouth Socialist Party demands the immediate reinstatement of Paul Kelly, an immediate end to the campaign of victimisation by the management of Wightlink and a full, transparent inquiry into how a manager used company disciplinary procedures to carry out a vendetta.
- Send messages of support to: Portsmouth@rmt.org.uk
In The Socialist 7 December 2011:
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party editorial
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reviews