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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 January 2016

Reinstatement victory for John Vasey

John Vasey, CWU unit rep, Wakefield delivery office (personal capacity)

When I was dismissed over the issue of not completing my delivery I was taken by surprise.

The dismissal came after being removed from my duty and suspended for three months (on 1 May 2015) Like everyone around me at Wakefield delivery office, I never thought the matter would go any further than that. Big mistake, I should have prepared for the worst.

Long haul

It turned out to be a long haul - eight months! However, I appealed against my dismissal to the national appeals panel (part of a procedure dealing with the conduct of CWU unit reps).

Changes in the delivery office had been ongoing for months while this was unfolding and as far as members were concerned, it was these changes and my opposition to the removal of paid hours that was the reason for my sacking. Not the issue over completing my delivery.

Despite CWU members at the office being very much under the cosh they still gave me tremendous support.

This was largely kept alive by the National Shop Stewards' Network (NSSN) and the Socialist Party who launched into the campaign from the word go - acting as a line of communication between members and the campaign.

A very important boost came in Brighton! At the NSSN rally at TUC Congress on 13 September 2015, CWU General Secretary Dave Ward publicly backed my fight to be reinstated, which brought national backing. Dave has built a reputation of backing CWU workplace reps when they are under fire and I am grateful for it.

Back in Wakefield the momentum continued with a CWU members' motion passed in favour of industrial action. The issues were opposition to delivery office changes and for my reinstatement.

But the processing of this motion became painfully slow. The NSSN and Socialist Party responded by rallying members, which avoided demoralisation. CWU members had not lost their fighting spirit!

Gratitude

More gratitude must go to Wakefield Trades Council, Leeds Trades Council and Ashton-under-Lyne CWU works committee who added their backing. There were some salt of the earth trade unionists at those meetings.

Other messages of support I've had are too numerous to list but were greatly appreciated. I was disappointed however, by Wakefield Constituency Labour Party who did not even reply to my appeal for support.

In the end, my case finally went to the national appeals panel, at Leeds Mail Centre, in November 2015. Of course there were NSSN and Socialist Party members protesting with placards outside which was inspiring!

The decision took seven weeks to come through and I was reinstated with attached conditions but that can't dent the victory.

My CWU representative at the hearing did an excellent job and the CWU member on the three person panel was also decisive.

Thank you all!

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In The Socialist 20 January 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Unite the fightback: Coordinated strikes needed

United workers' action can save NHS

Water firms' 1.2bn in profit off human need

Political policing: Met spy targeted socialists

Trident debate: socialist programme needed

Housing crisis reaches level of 1960s

Civil service: 1bn on consultants

Outrageous attacks on Corbyn for 'sexism'

Them & Us


Socialist history

1986 Wapping strike - Defeat of the print unions


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

People's Budget meeting success

Carmarthenshire Unison campaigns against council cuts

Unite the Union local government committee votes for no-cuts budgets

Preparing a no-cuts people's budget

Momentum and democracy in Hackney and beyond

Angry Labour meeting puts councillors under fire

Gateshead carers oppose respite centre closures

Celebrating Eleanor Marx's birthday


Socialist Party workplace news

Nationalise Tata to save steel jobs!

Tube workers to strike again to defend jobs and conditions

Reinstatement victory for John Vasey

Shop workers lobby council against Sunday opening

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Fight the billionaire class!

China: Financial turmoil spreads fear across global markets

Northern Ireland: Defy anti-abortion laws


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Letters to the Socialist


 

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