UNISON: defend Caroline Bedale

Submitted by Matthew on 19 November, 2009 - 12:08

The political witch-hunt inside the public sector union Unison has intensified with the banning from union office for eight years of leading Manchester branch activist Caroline Bedale. Caroline was the Secretary of the Manchester Community and Mental Health Branch of the union.

Caroline’s crime was to continue to support victimised activist Karen Reissman (from the same branch) after Unison withdrew legal assistance her.

Despite the union stating that it also supported Karen’s case (despite the withdrawal of legal support), Caroline has been found guilty of “acting in a manner prejudicial to the union”.

Unison’s Disciplinary Committee heard a number of charges against Caroline: these involved activities Caroline did in her own time, with her own resources.

Unison’s leadership are now seeking to not only stifle all dissent within the union, but also to control what union activists can say or do in a private capacity!

Since Caroline is less than eight years away from retirement, this ban from holding office is effectively a lifetime ban.

A support group for Caroline has been established which can be contacted at supportcarolinebedale@googlemail.com.

All Unison members should write to protest against this decision to Dave Prentis, General Secretary and to Gerry Gallagher, UNISON President at UNISON, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9AJ.

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