Friday, September 21, 2007

Defending Michael Gavan - defending our Union

I was very pleased this evening to attend the UNISON rally at the Stratford Picture House in support of victimised activist – and UNISON Newham Branch Chair – Michael Gavan.

I am not sure I have been on the same platform as Ken Loach before – he was there to introduce his excellent new film “It’s a Free World” and pledged his wholehearted support for Michael. Last time I saw Ken Loach at a UNISON event it was at the Ritzy in Brixton in aid of the Hillingdon hospital strikers!

This sort of innovative initiative is precisely what UNISON needs and it was good that victimised Manchester mental health nurse, Karen Reissman was at the meeting too. It was also good to see a representative of the UNISON Regional Council officers alongside Ken Loach on the platform!

As we move into a period of relatively greater industrial struggle we can anticipate further employer victimisation of activists, and we shall need to find every way we can to defend our brothers and sisters!

For those of you reading this who are - as I am - a Labour Party member, then you need to press your MP to support us on this and to put pressure on the Governnent


Sarah Ruiz said...

At the excellent rally held for Michael, Ken Laoch hoped the the Union would "not cut and run". Perhaps readers of your very entertaining Blog would be interested to know that despite the fact that UNISON officers from our regional officer right up to Linda Perks and involving Chris Remmington(why)? have been as helpful as we knew they would be. The ballot that the branch called for has only just gone in - region ran out of excuses - and there is a real feeling that the Council could only be doing this to Michael with the fulll support of region. Now quite clearly if Newham get away with this then many of you will be next - Dave Prentice should intervene and stop this nonsense. There is no point in celebrating the fact that Irene Stacey recruited 400 members, if Michael is sacked Newham UNISON are likely to lose 4000 members - afterall why belong to a union that doesn't even defend their own.
On a happier note the collection for Karen Reissman at the Michael Rally came to almost £600 - well done to all who generously donated.

Rarah Ruiz

scoots said...

And why not congratulate Irene ?? Is that sour grapes or what ?? She works damn hard going round our schools to recruit new members, and is entitled to a bit of respect for it. Well Done Irene, We are all so proud of you and are behind you and the branch.
Yeah if they are really gonna lose 4000 members....wake up...smell the coffee lady....

Anonymous said...

yep..I agree with you there Jon...I believe they do work together as a team, and thats surely what the Newham Unison Branch work and support. But lately its all rather a bit one sided wouldnt you agree ??. The branch is made up of members, stewards and officers. and not just one person. And maybe...just maybe...too many people stick their nose in and create more issues, rather than concentrating on what is the main issue here.. I am fully behind the Branch in any actions what they take....but lets look at the whole picture hey......4000 members would not forfeit their union membership....surely we are NOT THAT STUPID.....

Anonymous said...

1. I aplogise for insults meant.
2. Yes I agree that the whole of the unionshould be behind Michael Gavan and support his re instatement. This is paramount to the futures of any unions. It must not be seen that councils are allowed to decide who they like and who they dont to speak, and the ones they dont like they think they can just out them.
Michael Gavan is a fantastic person, and what he does for the union is amazing. I salute him, and resepct him for defending the truth. Which I am sure you will agree with me on.

I think you will be aware that there is a one day strike for next week in support of Michael in Newham, and I hope he gets huge support. Just like he has supported those in the past.
Lets all support him in this strike,
he deserves it.

Ps I like being anon, lolol