Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/557/6625

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 November 2008

Drop the witch-hunt in Unison fight to Defend trade union democracy

Lobby of Unison disciplinary hearings against the four Socialist Party members, here joined by the Hackney Unison branch secretary, photo Alison Hill

Lobby of Unison disciplinary hearings against the four Socialist Party members, here joined by the Hackney Unison branch secretary, photo Alison Hill

The Socialist has reported extensively on the witch-hunt in Unison. In June 2007, the Unison bureaucracy launched a disciplinary investigation into five union officers. They were attacked for daring to print and publish a leaflet criticising the union leadership for blocking the union conference's right to debate issues such as the funding of the Labour Party, the election of full time officials and control over strike action.
Four of the five under investigation - all Socialist Party members - are now facing a disciplinary hearing. These are: Glenn Kelly, national executive member, Onay Kasab, Greenwich branch secretary, Suzanne Muna, Housing Corporation branch secretary and Brian Debus, Hackney branch chair. Onay Kasab ('Kaz') spoke at the opening rally of the Socialist Party's Socialism 2008 weekend. This is part of his speech:
Onay Kasab, facing a witchhunt in 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Onay Kasab, facing a witchhunt in 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

"On 24 November myself and three others will be facing a disciplinary hearing. Not from our employers, from our own trade union. I expected that at some point, after twelve years as a branch secretary, my employer might have a go at me. But I didn't expect my trade union to do it.

But I will say this, we are guilty of something. We are guilty of demanding that trade unions break from New Labour. We are guilty of demanding the election of all union officials. We are guilty of demanding democracy not bureaucracy.

But we are not guilty of the slurs. We are accused of racism because we used the ancient Buddhist proverb of the three wise monkeys to describe our union leaders. How dare they level charges of racism against Socialist Party members? It's our comrades who time after time have led campaign after campaign against racism and the fascists.

Lately we found out that the union leadership themselves have been using the image of the three wise monkeys. When I said I wanted to use that union leaflet as part of my case, I was told that they would not admit that evidence!

The hearing on 24 November will take place at the Hilton Metropole hotel. Once again union bureaucrats will be put up at a cost of thousands of pounds to hear our case over five days.

Why is this witch hunt happening? It is happening because the trade union bureaucracy, the right wing, New Labour, have no answers. They have no answers to the economic crisis that the bosses want us to pay for.

And it is happening because Socialist Party members articulate the anger felt by union members as a result of the failures by trade union officials. And it is happening because there are elections next year for the national executive and they are petrified they will lose their seats.

We are guilty of fighting for our members. We are guilty of fighting for services and saving jobs. The right wing have much to fear, there is a mood to fight."

>>View video of Onay Kasab's speech (10:05 mins)


An extract from one letter of support sent to Unison leader Dave Prentis by members of Greenwich Unison:

"We are particularly grateful to Kaz this year. As team leaders we have been fighting a campaign to get an upgrade in our pay scale... We are very happy to say that our employers finally caved in... and made us an offer of a 3,000 lump sum which we were happy to accept. Kaz was at the forefront of these negotiations and although the money was offered in April it took Kaz threatening to take this to members before our money was finally paid on 3 October 2008. It has been a long and arduous battle and without Kaz's unfailing good humour, advice and support we may have given up.

We have much to be grateful to Kaz for and we strongly urge you to allow Kaz to remain as our branch secretary - he is committed to his job, is fair and honest and a brilliant negotiator."

The team leaders, Greenwich Neighbourhood Services

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


In The Socialist 19 November 2008:


No Job Cuts

'We're not taking these job cuts'

Programme of action to fight unemployment is needed

JCB: Pay cuts haven't saved our jobs!


Post office closures

U-turn over post office card account

Stroud post office saved!

Coventry fights post office closure

Lewisham housing: Arguments against privatisation win

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Drop the witch-hunt in Unison fight to Defend trade union democracy

Scotland: Unison local government: Close vote on pay

Dover port workers strike

Unite/Amicus general secretary election

In brief


International socialist news and analysis

World food crisis: A systemic failure of capitalism

Democratic republic of Congo: Civil war erupts once again

G20 conference: Summit for nothing

USA: Challenging the two parties of big business

First ever all-Germany school students' strike

Eyewitness report: Italian students occupy


Socialist Students

Student democracy under attack

Privatisation = FE college students suffer


Interviews

Social workers say: investment needed

Sacked for being pregnant!


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 November 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Unison:

triangleBlairite Birmingham steps up union-busting and two workforces plan strikes

triangleVictory! Dinner ladies' strike beats job cuts

triangleBradford uni strike

triangleUnison HE ballot: Anti-union rules block action

triangleCall to arms by Southampton council unions

Witch-hunt:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleLivingstone's smear of Militant

triangleThe Socialist Party and support for the Corbyn movement

triangleSupport the campaign to readmit expelled socialists

Greenwich:

triangleNo to the Woolwich monster block

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMcStriker addresses Greenwich trade unionists

Socialist:

triangleNorth West Socialist Party regional conference

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Marx's theory of alienation

The Socialist:

triangleFor a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!

Socialist Party:

trianglePCS AGS election: Where now after the Left Unity conference?

Onay Kasab:

triangleNewham finance staff fight pay and grading insult

Labour Party:

triangleIslwyn Labour Party calls for council no-cuts budget

Socialism:

triangleThe growth of artificial intelligence technology

Labour:

triangleFight Cardiff Council's school cuts

Strike:

triangleMidwives go on strike in New Zealand

Election:

triangleVictory for left in RMT union president election

Hackney:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: France - the Gilets Jaunes eruption

Housing:

triangleArrogant landlords can be beaten

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/12/18

CWU

WHSmith: hands off our Post Offices!

5/12/18

Grimethorpe

Victory! Dinner ladies' strike beats job cuts

5/12/18

Socialist Students

Socialist Students conference date set

5/12/18

West Midlands

West Midlands Socialist Party women's meeting: our role in changing society

5/12/18

Leeds

Leeds TUC conference to organise fight against austerity

5/12/18

Tyne and Wear

Socialist Party argues against fire service cuts at Tyne and Wear consultation

5/12/18

Merseyside

Fighting NHS and fire services cuts and closures in Merseyside

5/12/18

Surrey

Join the march through Woking against austerity

5/12/18

Cardiff

Fight Cardiff Council's school cuts

5/12/18

Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire council crisis continues

5/12/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

5/12/18

Bradford

Bradford College joins #FEfightback strike for decent pay

5/12/18

RMT

Victory for left in RMT union president election

5/12/18

Birmingham

Blairite Birmingham steps up union-busting and two workforces plan strikes

28/11/18

Benefits

Nat West's benefit-claimant eviction policy

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999