BROMLEY COUNCIL’S vicious attack on Socialist Party member and UNISON branch secretary Glenn Kelly has plumbed new depths.
Glenn was suspended by the council on 7 August for campaigning against their plans to cut the night care service for the elderly living in sheltered accommodation. Council officials started off last week’s investigation hearing by announcing the date for his disciplinary hearing as 31 August!
Effectively, they have already decided to punish him for daring to expose publicly the council’s plans to deprive elderly residents of an essential service.
The union side suggested in the three-hour hearing that because the council had no existing code of practice for union officers to campaign amongst service users in defence of members’ jobs, then arbitration service ACAS should be brought in. The council said they would answer in two days.
But they later phoned Glenn to say they would only tell him of their decision at the end of next week. In the meantime he was told to go on holiday! But Glenn pointed out he had already cancelled his holidays and had no intention of allowing the council to sack him behind the backs of the membership.
At the lobby of the investigation hearing people came from all over London and as far as Gloucester to show their solidarity with Glenn. Protest messages and messages of support have been flooding in from UNISON branches and sister organisations of the Socialist Party internationally, like the Democratic Socialist Movement of Nigeria.
There have been weeks of activity in Bromley, with regular leafleting of the dozens of council workplaces and publicity in the local papers.There can hardly be a single Bromley council worker who does not know what is at stake as the campaign now reaches a critical stage.
The council has signalled its intent and Bromley UNISON members now need to do likewise and be decisive in preparing industrial action to defend Glenn. However, if there is any attempt to sack Glenn council workers should stop work immediately.