Thursday, November 16, 2006
Stop the victimisation of Yunus!
Yunus Bakhsh, a former member of the UNISON National Executive Council (NEC) and current member of the UNISON Health Service Group Executive (SGE) has been suspended by his employers in what looks to an impartial observer like a pretty clear cut case of victimisation of an effective (if somewhat bolshy) union representative.
Some details are available online in a leaflet. The latest news is available in Socialist Worker, to which I would not normally blog a link but this case warrants it. Trade unions have to be prepared to defend our activists against the employers. We also have to be alive to the risk that sometimes divisions in our own ranks will embolden the employers to victimise an activist. I hope that this is not one such case and that we can rely upon all colleagues to close ranks against the employer.
I was concerned to hear at yesterday’s meeting of the UNISON NEC Development and Organisation Committee that the branch of which Yunus is a member (and joint Branch Secretary) has, along with other branches involved in a recent reorganisation, been placed under regional supervision as part of a “shadow” merged branch. It is important that this step towards unity is not also a step away from principled support for a victimised activist – and I very much hope and expect that UNISON will continue to fight hard against the victimisation of Yunus Bakhsh.