Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/571/7067

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 March 2009

Stop the witch-hunt

Build a fighting Unison

Demonstration outside Unison HQ against witchhunt of four unison members, photo Paul Mattsson

Demonstration outside Unison HQ against witchhunt of four unison members, photo Paul Mattsson

Four Socialist Party members are facing expulsion or a ban from holding office in their trade union Unison. Disciplinary hearings are being held against Glenn Kelly, a member of Unison's national executive, Onay Kasab, Greenwich Unison branch secretary, Suzanne Muna, Housing Corporation branch secretary and Hackney Unison chair Brian Debus.

This is just the latest in a long line of witch-hunts against activists who are vocal in their opposition to Unison's leadership.

All four have a proud record of standing up for their members and leading struggles against their employers. They are fully supported by their branches. They have received overwhelming support from members who have protested against these attacks, especially at the 2008 Unison conference.

Unison conference 2008 anti-witchhunt protest, photo Paul Mattsson

Unison conference 2008 anti-witchhunt protest, photo Paul Mattsson

The disciplinary investigation was instigated a year and a half ago and the four have already faced a three-day hearing in May 2008.

In June 2007 the union bureaucracy launched a disciplinary investigation into five branch officers. Their 'crime' was publishing a leaflet attacking the 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.

A third of all motions were ruled out of order at the 2007 conference and nearly half for the 2008 conference. Five members were investigated but only the four Socialist Party members are facing disciplinary charges, underlining the political nature of this attack.

Within weeks of the first hearing where the four were accused of causing racist offence for using a cartoon of the three wise monkeys, paid national officials of the union held a protest outside the local government employers' conference over the pay offer - during which they handed out peanuts and bananas to delegates, some of whom were black and Asian!

Then it was discovered that the Unison South East regional disabled members' committee used a cartoon of the three wise monkeys on one of their leaflets. An officially sanctioned leaflet was distributed to Unison national women's conference, which again used the three wise monkeys!

These examples highlight the hypocrisy of the union and show that this case has never had anything to do with the issue of racism and everything to do with a political witch-hunt.

As the recession bites, public sector workers will be amongst those who are made to pay for the economic mess, if the government gets its way. This makes a fighting trade union leadership even more important. Yet these Unison leaders are trying to silence any voices of opposition through witch-hunts, taking over branches and banning the right to campaign. They hand over millions of pounds to New Labour whilst jobs, wages and conditions are being attacked by the same Labour government.

Unison members will soon have an opportunity to change the leadership of the union when the elections for a new National Executive Council open in a few weeks time.

In the meantime, Unison members and other trade unionists are lobbying the disciplinary hearings on 19 March and will continue to campaign against victimisation of union activists.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 19 March 2009:

Fight tuition fees: fight for jobs: fight for a future!

Youth march for jobs


Unison witch-hunt

Stop the witch-hunt


International socialist news and analysis

Worldwide protests at killings of Tamils

Rosa Luxemburg - still relevant today

Ireland: Make the rich pay

Tibet: The 1959 uprising


Socialist Party campaigns

The miners were right!

End the 'benefits trap'

Liverpool University: Stop the cuts!

Tube strike ballot

Crisis in the legal aid system


Socialist Party congress

Socialist Party congress reports

Videos of Socialist Party Congress 2009

Perspectives for Britain and the world 2009


Socialist Party election campaign

The European elections and working-class representation

Lessons of the 2004 election

Campaign for a New Workers' Party

CNWP website


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike threat wins job back

Isle of Grain - Low-paying contractor exposed

2.5 bn profit, but BT still announces pay freeze

Rhyl: One-day teachers' strike

Rooftop protest wins apology from Royal Mail

Airwave Solutions: Striking against job cuts

Salford university


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 March 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Witch-hunt:

triangleBirmingham Uni: Standing up to racism is not harassment!

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleLivingstone's smear of Militant

triangleThe Socialist Party and support for the Corbyn movement

triangleSupport the campaign to readmit expelled socialists

Unison:

triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleTower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

triangleTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

triangleElectricians pay victory

Labour:

triangleLabour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

triangleTime to relaunch TUSC

Socialist Party:

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

triangleSocialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

Socialist:

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

Pay:

triangleCampaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

5/8/20

BT

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

5/8/20

Hospital

Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999