Thursday, October 29, 2015
Stand up for Sandy
I took a detour on my way to work this morning to stand in solidarity with Sandy Nicoll, UNISON Branch Secretary at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), and with the workers at SOAS who have walked out in protest at Sandy's unjustified suspension by the employer.
Sandy, who represents UNISON members across London on the Higher Education Service Group Executive, is an effective branch activist who has played a key role in campaigning for the rights of outsourced workers. The SOAS UNISON branch has played an exemplary campaigning role alongside the lecturers' UCU union and students.
Most recently, this Tuesday, Sandy supported a solidarity protest to express support for students occupying the College in protest at cuts proposals and bullying management.
Yesterday afternoon he was suspended from work.
This gross provocation from management has been met this morning with an appropriate response as workers have walked out of work to join the growing protest outside the main building.
Management don't have to give notice, or organise ballots before they act - and if they abuse that power then sometimes workers need to react promptly and with determination.
I hope that voices of sanity are heard within SOAS and that management reinstate Sandy and work with, rather than against, the vibrant, creative and resourceful SOAS community.
The entire trade union and labour movement must stand firm against the victimisation of Sandy Nicoll.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.