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Posted on 26 January 2012 at 10:49 GMT

Reinstate John Brookes, sacked PCS Steward!

A flying picket of a dozen PCS activists leafleted Triage offices in Middlesbrough and Darlington in support of sacked union activist, John Brookes, on Monday 23 January.

PCS Rep John Brookes has been sacked for highlighting job cuts and reduction to services on the Work Programme. The government's private sector led return to work scheme.

The lively picket received warm support from many of the unemployed forced to attend at Triage offices.

Some made unprintable comments about the company after reading the PCS leaflets. Staff also scurried around collecting leaflets left on the premises so they could not be read by clients.

John was the senior PCS representative in the Commercial Sector and was previously employed by a company called Working Links.

John has been a worker for 36 years and a trade union rep for most of them. He has a lifetime of commitment to helping the unemployed in Middlesbrough and the surrounding area.

In April of last year John was subject to TUPE transfer under the Work Programme from Working Links to Triage Central Limited.

On 23 August John spoke to the local media about welfare to work provision and the planned redundancies of many of his colleagues.

This has resulted in him being charged with gross misconduct by Triage Central limited. His appeal against dismissal was rejected on 5 January 2012 by the employer.

Before he was dismissed John also happened to be in dispute with his new employer about the amount of redundancy pay that he was owed.

By sacking him he has nothing. In contrast the CEO of Triage Central Ltd, Kate Carnegie was awarded an MBE in 2011 for services to the unemployed and she is paid 135,000+ per year.

Triage is a sub-contractor of Ingeus and Deloitte, both multinational companies, 'working in partnership' to top slice the programme with the aim of making handsome profits.

John was not the only person disowned by Triage; John strongly supported and represented Giles Hudson.

He was also on the picket line supporting John. Giles had been a victim of a horrific car crash that left him brain damaged.

Giles against tremendous odds was able to rebuild his life and became a competent trainer, though he required some support.

Giles praised John, as his union rep, as one of the few people that helped him get back in to work. 'He has been a rock'.

Giles maintains that Triage would not employ him because of his disability. So much for the Government's assertions that disabled people should be forced to work, when one if its own contractors tasked with getting unemployed people back to work, will not employ a competent disabled person.

John Brookes is unrepentant about speaking out against Triage: "Money is being creamed off, and nothing is really being done to help the unemployed.

"Trainers are under resourced and they have beg, steal, and borrow equipment. Staff are forced to buy their own flip charts and pens to give to the unemployed".

Send messages of support to John and also, write to Chris Grayling the Tory minister to complain about Triage, and to Kate Carnegie CEO of Triage demanding the reinstatement of John Brookes.

All the details are on the PCS Web site. http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/commercial_sector/cs-news-and-events/defend-john-brookes.cfm

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