Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/611/8821
Greenwich Unison backs victimised branch secretary
THE 2010 annual meeting (AGM) of the Greenwich Unison branch has unanimously backed Onay Kasab, the witch-hunted secretary of the branch who currently faces a three-year ban from holding office in the union.
Members angrily denounced the ban at the packed meeting - yet Unison claims that it is taking the action against the four Socialist Party members in the name of ordinary members!
As though to rub salt in the wound, that same morning the union office received a leaflet from current general secretary Dave Prentis asking that the branch nominate him in the general secretary election. Prentis says in his statement that the union is a "democratic and member led union that takes its lead from our members". So why has he ignored the deluge of protest letters sent to him demanding an end to the witch-hunt?
The AGM heard from Onay about the huge fight ahead against the expected attack on public services and how we need strong, campaigning, militant unions to defend jobs and services. He told the meeting that despite the ban, the priority was the union branch. He asked members who were ready to resign in protest not to do so and instead to stay and fight on.
The meeting heard about the outstanding history of the branch over the past 13 years, winning new recruits and activists by fighting and winning campaigns for members.
Members praised the work done by Onay and the branch under his leadership. One shop steward stood up on behalf of his members in grounds maintenance and said: "From everybody on our section we want to say thank you because without you and what you have done for us we would not be here today."
This was an extremely emotional meeting, with many members moved to tears. It ended with a standing ovation by every single person.
See also Trotskyism on Trial and Fighting Leadership needed - nominate Roger Bannister.
In The Socialist 10 February 2010:
Unison general secretary election
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
PCS young members
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
War and occupation