Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/13958

Posted on 22 February 2012 at 17:50 GMT

The Unison witch-hunted 'four', photo B. Severn

The Unison witch-hunted 'four', photo B. Severn   (Click to enlarge)

Unison leadership found guilty of "unjustifiable discipline" against four Socialist Party activists

Victory for the Unison four!

Once again, the Unison leadership has been found guilty of "unjustifiable" disciplinary action against four activists for producing a leaflet protesting about the exclusion of resolutions from the 2007 Unison conference.

Today an Employment Appeal Tribunal (Judge Michael Supperstone QC) upheld the unanimous judgment of an earlier Employment Tribunal (Employment Judge Ms H Grewal, 27 January 2011).

That ET judgment last year rejected false allegations of racism against the four and found that the real reason for disciplinary action was that they had issued a leaflet criticising the Standing Orders Committee and the union leadership for preventing discussion on the issue of union democracy.

Today's EAT rejects all five grounds on which the Unison leadership appealed against last year's ET judgment.

The four activists who were disciplined by Unison were banned from holding any union office for up to three years.

The four are Glenn Kelly (formerly Bromley branch secretary and NEC member), Onay Kasab (formerly Greenwich branch secretary), Brian Debus (formerly Hackney branch chairperson), and Suzanne Muna (formerly Housing Corporation branch secretary).

The judgments of the ET and the EAT completely vindicate the four's struggle to defend union democracy.

The unjustified sanctions against the four are part of a wider witch-hunt being carried out by the Unison leadership against activists fighting for union democracy and effective action to defend public services, jobs, pay and conditions.

There is now a rising tide of discontent within the union at the ineffective policies of the leadership when faced with a tsunami of attacks on the public sector.

The Unison leadership unscrupulously tried to bolster their disciplinary charges with allegations of racism.

This related to a cartoon on the leaflet protesting about the Standing Orders Committee's suppression of over 50 resolutions that used the well-known image of three wise monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.

The ET judgment forcefully rejected the allegation of racism: "All four Claimants are committed anti-racists and have fought against racism.

"They quite reasonably assumed that anyone who saw the leaflet would understand the cartoon to be saying that the SOC was out of touch in closing its minds to and ignoring issues that concern the membership."

"Looking at the context in which the cartoon was used (i.e. to depict the attitude of the SOC towards controversial motions) it cannot be said that any reasonable person would or should have realised that it would cause racial offence, and that not doing so was somehow 'careless'.

That is reinforced by the fact that [it] never occurred to many people who saw the cartoon before its publication. These individuals included an Equalities and Diversity officer and black members."

Incredibly, during the case, it was discovered that Unison's own lawyers had used a cartoon of the three wise monkeys.

The tribunal found that the main reason for disciplinary action against the four was that they produced a leaflet criticising the SOC for rejecting a large number of branch resolutions.

It is estimated that the Unison leadership must have spent at least 100,000 on the disciplinary hearings and tribunal cases.

At a time when the focus should have been on fighting public-sector cuts, the four have been dragged through four years of tortuous, money-wasting investigations and hearings.

Glenn Kelly, one of the four, is demanding that the witch-hunts must stop, and the four branches be taken out of regional administration so that the members can run their branches.

Also that the bans on the four should be rescinded and the latest charge against Glenn should be withdrawn.

Glenn urges UNISON to fight the Con-Dem government instead of hardworking union activists.

For more info phone: 07595 352 795

A Defend the Four press release

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 22 February 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

Facebook   Twitter








Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter



Related links:

Unison:

triangleNo-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

triangleLocal government union backs no-cuts council budgets

triangleCarmarthenshire Unison campaigns against council cuts

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleStudent nurses march to oppose bursary cut

Socialist Party:

triangleYork Socialist Party: The EU debate

triangleYork Socialist Party: Who was Leon Trotsky?

triangleYork Socialist Party: The political developments in the USA

triangleYork Socialist Party: Why a revolutionary party?

Union:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleLeeds meeting expresses Corbyn and McDonnell's contradictions

triangleOxford Unite's strike to defend children's centres

Democracy:

triangle'People's budgets' and local democracy

triangleMomentum and democracy in Hackney and beyond

Witch-hunt:

triangleQuiz of the year

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

10/2/16

Momentum

Lack of strategy - and exclusions - threaten Momentum

10/2/16

EU

Don't give money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!

10/2/16

Sexism

'Pro-rape' anti-feminist Roosh V humiliated

10/2/16

US

US elections: Clinton coins it

10/2/16

Football

Liverpool fans walk out against ticket price hikes

10/2/16

Them & Us

Them & Us

10/2/16

DWP

Cushy government job for Amazon boss

10/2/16

Legal aid

Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts

10/2/16

Mental health

Mental health: system in crisis

10/2/16

Momentum

Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum

10/2/16

Local government

No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

10/2/16

NHS

Tories bankrupting NHS

10/2/16

Council

Fight council cuts!

10/2/16

EU

Cameron's EU renegotiation charade

3/2/16

Water

Zika: Another healthcare system failure

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

triangle11 Feb Public meetings show readiness of workers to fight back

triangle10 Feb Lack of strategy - and exclusions - threaten Momentum

triangle10 Feb Doctors' strike 10th February - photos and reports

triangle10 Feb No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

triangle10 Feb South London: Library workers strike to save services

triangle10 Feb Cameron's EU renegotiation charade

triangle9 Feb Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts

More ...

triangle15 Feb Leeds Socialist Party: Sanders, Trump, and the US elections

triangle16 Feb Plymouth Socialist Party: Democratic Centralism

triangle16 Feb Harrogate Socialist Party: How can we get rid of Trident?

triangle16 Feb Manchester Socialist Party: Technology, the internet and freedom of speech

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

February 2016

January 2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice