Sunday, March 11, 2007

A tale of two victimisations

A couple of years ago UNISON responded vigorously to the victimisation of two of our activists in Sefton, Nigel Flanagan and Paul Summers who were victimised by their employer for their union activities (specifically for their opposition to the privatisation of Council housing).

In a classic employer’s trick the two, and four colleagues, were accused of having been threatening and intimidating. When they were sacked our General Secretary condemned the dismissal and UNISON supported members to take industrial action.

The Union’s support for our activists was determined and consistent. The eventual settlement did not secure all UNISON’s objectives, but was far more than would have been achieved without UNISON’s campaign.

Now, another leading lay UNISON activist, Yunus Bakhsh, is under attack from his employer. Yunus visited Sefton to speak in support of Nigel Flanagan when he was under attack. However, although we have had some time to prepare to defend Yunus, who has been suspended since the autumn, the same level of public campaigning by UNISON is not yet in evidence.

It is time for that to change.

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