Defending victimised workers and trade unionists
By Mark Sandell
Extreme bullying and intimidation have led to postal workers at Oxford's mail centre walking out.
A group of part-time staff has been using threats and intimidation while clocking up massive overtime with the active support of one manager. Senior management did nothing about the situation, despite the union raising it several times in the last six months.
Rail union RMT suspended strike action by Metronet maintenance and signal workers, scheduled for 12 March.
RMT members had voted 5:1 for action in support of colleagues sacked despite the lack of evidence linking them to beer cans allegedly found in a mess room at Farringdon station.
West Midlands FBU will be protesting on 22 March to demand that the Fire Service reinstates Steve Godward.
Steve was sacked over allegations arising from the FBU strike a year ago. He has successfully pusued a campaign to clear his name. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has concluded that Steve should not have been sacked. And yet his employer has not given him his job back, and is instead trying to appeal.
Below is a letter from Steve's FBU branch giving details of the case, and inviting you to support the protest.
By a Tubeworker
RMT members employed on track and signal maintenance by Metronet on the London Underground will stage a 24 hour strike from 6 am on Friday 12 March. RMT members employed by Metronet on track and signal maintenance on London Underground voted by 5 to 1 to strike in support of sacked colleagues.
RMT members employed on track and signal maintenance by Metronet on the London Underground will stage a 24 hour strike from 6.00am on Friday 12 March.The RMT rail union issued the following press statement on 1 March:
Voting is still going on on about industrial action to defend London Underground maintenance workers who were sacked after empty beer cans were found in their mess room. The workers were employed by Metronet, a private sector consortium. This week another worker was sacked, bringing the total to eight.
Victimised firefighter Steve Godward, who was sacked from his job in the West Midlands Fire Service during the 30k pay dispute, has won his final appeal (made to John Prescott) against the sacking.
By a tubeworker
Five London Underground maintenance workers have been sacked after empty beer and cider cans were found at their Farringdon messroom. But they are going to fight for their jobs at industrial tribunals and the RMT union has announced a strike ballot over the dismissals.
The Labour council in Newham, east London, has launched an attack against the borough branch of the public service Unison. The mayor of Newham, Robin Wales, is also the chair of the all-London association of local government employers.
By Stan Crooke
The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) is to ballot CWU members in Cambridge (and members in any other offices who also wish to be balloted) on industrial action if local CWU rep Paul Turnbull is not re-instated. It has agreed to pay Paul the equivalent of his wages while campaigning for his reinstatement, and it is calling on trade unionists to sign a statement in support of reinstatement.
Hackney Trades Union Council is holding a meeting on Wednesday 12 November at 7.30pm at Marcon Court Community Hall (junction of Amhurst Road and Marcon Place).
John Page will give an update on his case (click here for details and background). There will also be a speaker from Lambeth Unison about their recent successful campaign in a very similar case in defence of a council union rep sacked for campaigning against his employer's racism.
Postalworker of 28 October 2003 reports: "After the official 24 hour stoppages over London Weighting, managers have... victimised union reps and instructed postal workers to do work outside their duty description... They can be stopped".Download the bulletin.
Hammersmith & City drivers: Vote YES to strike!
London Underground has sacked Tube driver Chris Barrett after claiming to have filmed him visiting a squash court when he was off sick with an ankle injury. Despite Chris' doctors saying his action was wholly appropriate, LUL is determined to uphold its 'right' to persecute its staff who are ill or injured.
Chris' union, RMT, is balloting its members at Edgware Road and Barking depots for strike action to demand his reinstatement. The deadline for voting is Wednesday 29 October. This special issue of Tubeworker encourages all Chris' colleagues to vote Yes, and sets out some ideas for developing the fight. Download it here.
Janine Booth reports
John Page continues to fight for reinstatement following his sacking by Hackney Council for drafting a report exposing racism in the Council.
His appeal against dismissal is on 14 November, and Hackney TUC is planning a major public meeting exposing the Borough's racism two days beforehand.
You can read some background to the case here.
Firefighters win Home Office appeal - more await justice
By Vicki Morris
Four Basingstoke firefighters have won their Home Office appeal against their sacking on charges of bullying. The four - Barry Kearley, Steve Dunbar, Bernie Ross and Dick Thoroughgood - suspended from duty in 1999, and sacked thereafter, have spent over four years trying to prove their innocence and get their jobs back.
By Janine Booth, RMT Stations & Revenue Grades Committee
London Underground workers have been shocked by several incidents in which Police officers have abused, threatened, assaulted or persecuted our colleagues.
Tubeworker of 28 May calls for station staff to get better organised across the combine. Attempts to divide workers, infraco against infraco, will probably come in the wake of PPP. The bulletin also brings an update on the fight against the victimisation of Glenroy Watson. Download as pdf: front page and back page.
An Employment Tribunal has forced South West Trains to give train driver Greg Tucker his old job back, two years after demoting him to ticket inspector on a trumped-up speeding charge. The company has also been forced to repay all Greg's lost earnings and a substantial additional award.
For more than twenty years, Glenroy Watson has been a train driver on London Underground. In that time, he has also been an RMT representative, and the most persistent champion of black workers on the Tube. London Underground Ltd (LUL) would love to get rid of him - or, at least, to undermine him and what he stands for.
By Janine Booth, President, Hackney Trades Union Council
Tubeworker of 25 April 2003 looks at the final introduction of PPP (Public-Private Partnership) on 8 April 2003 in the context of Workers' Memorial Day, 28 April, the day of commemoration for the two million people killed at work around the world each year. It calls for action against the victimisation of union activist Glenroy Watson.
Download here as pdf (36K).
The 11 April 2003 issue of the Tubeworker bulletin calls for solidarity with a fight for democracy in Iraq. It condemns the London Underground bosses' move to charge union activist Glenroy Watson with "gross misconduct" for a routine mishap. And it reviews proposals which the bosses are discussing for the Tube now that PPP is fully installed. Download as two pdfs, front page (30K) and back page (423K).
By Kate Ahrens
(Leicestershire Health UNISON, personal capacity)
Candy Udwin and Dave Carr, Unison activists and SWP members, have been expelled from the union. The two were branch officers in the University of London Hospitals (UCLH) branch of the union and were finally expelled following a lengthy appeals process on charges relating to a leaflet that they produced during the dispute at the hospital over PFI.
Support Steve Godward!
By Vicki Morris
Firefighter Steve Godward was sacked in early February from the West Midlands Fire Service on trumped up charges relating to the FBU pay dispute.
By Charlie McDonald, PCS DWP East London branch secretary
Over 1,000 PCS members across 18 locations in London are currently balloting for strike action in defence of victimised union rep, Chris Ford who has been sacked.
Phil Billows, secretary of Barts and the Royal London NHS Trust UNISON Branch has been sacked for "insubordination" and "unauthorised absence" in a blatant piece of Trade Union victimisation.
The charges in fact relate to Phil's use of agreed facility time for union activities and the "insubordination" was that he asked for a full time union official to be present at a meeting where the trust tried to remove his facility time!