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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 June 2008

Unison witch-hunt hits Northern Ireland

THE WITCH-HUNT of members of the Socialist Party in Unison has now extended to Northern Ireland. Pat Lawlor, Unison convenor for nursing in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, who has continually campaigned for Unison members in opposition to low pay, cuts in services and privatisation, is currently under 'investigation' by the union's national executive.

Eileen Keenan, Northern Ireland Unison member in education, personal capacity

This is after a spurious complaint was made against Pat for sending a message of solidarity to striking classroom assistants on 27 November 2007.

The dispute by classroom assistants to defend their pay, terms and conditions became a protracted and bitter struggle between the striking workers, the management of the Education and Library Board (ELB) and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The proposed deal by the ELB amounted to a pay cut of up to 18.5% through extending their working hours and taking away special allowances from those workers.

The classroom assistants refused this derisory offer and looked to their union leaderships. Unison's leadership, who organise the second-largest number of members next to NIPSA, initially accepted the offer but were forced to back-track when their membership rejected the deal.

Instead of balloting their members and calling for coordinated strike action amongst all the unions involved, the Unison leadership continually refused a ballot.

Pat expressed solidarity with workers and highlighted the disgraceful role of the right-wing leadership in Unison. He now faces disciplinary action.

Since January 2008, the Northern Ireland regional leadership have attempted twice to suspend Pat. He was democratically elected to represent the members' interests, in contrast to an unelected regional leadership. Pat has continually demanded that all officers of Unison should be regularly elected and accountable to their members.

Contact Pat Lawlor for further information on: 02894470415 / 07810522111

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In The Socialist 11 June 2008:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the NHS sell-off

Banking on NHS profits

My pain - and privatisation


Anti-racism

Racist BNP have no solutions!


Socialist Party editorial

Will Obama win?

Obama declares victory, and shifts to the right


Socialist Party campaigns

"Anti-terror" laws are no solution


Defend Tommy Sheridan

Stirring rally backs Tommy Sheridan

Unison witch-hunt hits Northern Ireland


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Come to the Campaign for a New Workers' Party Conference

New Labour's parallel universe

Waltham Forest protest

Them & Us


Socialist Party youth and students

Underfunding youth facilities: It makes no sense!


Socialist Party feature

Oil price shock - the chaos of capitalism

Sudan's poor paying the price for oil

Fast news


Socialist Party review

Immortal Technique at the Coronet, London 4 June 2008


Socialist Party workplace news

Usdaw needs a fighting leadership

Organise to fight the public-sector pay robbery

National Shop Stewards Network second conference

Fujitsu workers strike to save jobs

The costs of privatisation

Brighton bus drivers strike


 

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triangleIreland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

triangleIreland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

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triangleLivingstone's smear of Militant

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triangleSupport the campaign to readmit expelled socialists

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triangleLeeds college pay protests

triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

Classroom assistants:

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