Saturday, June 13, 2015

UNISON Conference venue sacks UNISON activist - how shall we respond?

It’s odd to be preparing for the start of a UNISON National Conference at  a Conference Centre which not only does not recognise trade unions for collective bargaining, but has just dismissed a UNISON activist. I have just signed a petition in protest at the treatment of Robert O’Donnell by the SECC (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre). Please sign it too!

As the petition, promoted by the local UNISON branch, puts it;

We believe that Robert, a gardener and UNISON representative, was unfairly sacked by the SECC Management on 25 May. He was dismissed following an alleged unwitnessed incident with his supervisor. UNISON is totally convinced that this was a trumped up charge and that the dismissal relates to Robert’s role as a trade union activist. Over recent years the SECC, which is 91% owned by Glasgow City Council, has refused to recognise trade unions for collective bargaining purposes and has been hostile to trade union recruitment activities.

Robert has twelve years’ service with the SECC during which time he has never been the subject of a complaint, investigation or disciplinary action.

Whilst it is true that Conference venues are booked up years in advance (so we can hardly just walk out now and hold our Conference in the street), I am disappointed that we have failed to use the leverage which comes from the considerable value of trade union bookings to try to secure a better outcome for our members employed by the Conference Centre. I hope that we now shall.

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