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Posted on 8 December 2009 at 15:21 GMT

John Mcdonnell, Unison-backed MP, calls for inquiry into unison full time officials

John McDonell MP is backing the call for an independent inquiry into allegations made in court against senior UNISON full time officials.

Opposing the on-going witch-hunt's of socialist activists in UNISON, John McDonell stated:

"I am horrified, shocked and quite frankly outraged, especially when I heard of the detail of the allegations against the individuals concerned. I am a Unison member myself and I therefore want to go on record as pledging my support to those activists now being witch-hunted by a section of the Union."

John McDonnell MP will address a meeting at Parliament in Committee Room 6 on Tuesday 8th December at 7:30pm about the witch-hunt's and the call for an inquiry into actions of UNISON full-time officials.

There will also be a protest lobby on Wednesday 9th December at 8:30am outside of the UNISON NEC meeting at Mabeldon Place, off Euston Road.

Background:

In a recent employment tribunal bought by four elected UNISON branch officers, all members of the Socialist Party, a London full time regional officer has alleged that the London Regional secretary Linda Perks, the head of London local Government Vicky Easton and London Head of health Chris Remington are all engaged in a conscious policy of undemocratically seeking to remove elected branch officials who they viewed as being in "hotspot branches" or those elected officers who had "been around too long" and those who were "causing political trouble In the union".

Under legal discovery Documents were presented to the court, (which the union had previously denied existed or told the court were irrelevant). These showed that in 2006 the regional officer Tom Snow was removed as the regional officer for the Bromley Branch because he "had failed to deal with Glenn Kelly [Bromley UNISON Branch Secretary]" and was told by Linda Perks that "a firm decision had been made that the problems posed by Glenn Kelly political loyalties needed someone fresh".

On the witness stand Tom Snow also revealed that in April 2008 he attended a two-day training course for London officials. He said on day two of the course it became clear that the real agenda was as stated by Linda Perks as "dealing with the problem of Trotskyism activists" and that "these people needed to be castigated" according to Chris Remington.

These allegations that went uncontested by the senior officials are extremely serious as they reveal a conscious policy of unelected officials seeking to remove democratically elected branch officers whose views and politics they don't agree with. These allegations add to the growing concerns amongst members that there is a political witch-hunt taking place inside unison.

It is vital for union democracy that these allegations by a regional officer of 30 years standing are independently investigated and if found proven then appropriate action is taken.

This Employment Tribunal resumes on 15th December, where four witch-hunted UNISON activists are claiming that they are being discriminated against because of their philosophical beliefs (i.e. being members of the Socialist Party).

An Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently ruled in favour of Tim Nicholson who argued he was sacked for his environmental beliefs - this makes the case the four have taken to the Employment Tribunal even stronger.

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