If you attend the “Not the Unison Social”, be prepared to disciplined by Unison, your union! That was the bizarre message from Unison to its members at Tyne and Wear Hospital Trust, where leading activist Yunus Bakhsh is facing the sack by his employers and a witch-hunt from his own union.
Yunus, who is a psychiatric nurse, is suspended from work following anonymous allegations. Last Thursday’s social brought together around 100 workers at the trust to defend their union joint branch secretary who has also been suspended from office without charge since January.
An email from Unison’s Northumberland, Tyne and Wear branch to all stewards at the hospital alleged that the social was, “against the interests of Unison and anyone participating could face action under Unison rules”.
Unison is increasingly fearful that the left in union will upset its relationship with the Labour government and has sought to isolate Yunus.
The plan by trust managers to use anonymous witnesses, who cannot be cross-examined by Yunus’s defence team, in order to provide justification for his sacking, is provoking outrage across the union.
A lively lobby of the ongoing management investigatory hearing, attended by workers at the trust and local trade unionists, took place on Wednesday of last week.
Activists across the country are worried that if NHS bosses get away with using these methods to sack key militants, there will be many more victimisations in the future.
Email messages of protest to Alan Hall, director of North of Tyne Health Trust firstname.lastname@example.org