Socialist Worker

Campaign against Yunus Bakhsh in disarray

Issue No. 2051

Management at Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Trust were in disarray last week as their attempt to victimise leading health union activist Yunus Bakhsh started to unravel.

Yunus, who has worked as a psychiatric nurse in Newcastle for the past 19 years, was suspended from work last autumn following a union meeting several months previously.

Management said that they had received an “anonymous” letter of complaint against him and were now looking to find others who would back up its contents.

Last Thursday, disciplinary proceedings against Yunus had to be suspended as his defence team pointed out that bosses had failed to consider a possible racial motivation for the complaint and statements made against him.

Yunus explicitly mentioned racism as a reason for the complaint when he was suspended, and failure to fully investigate such a possibility in a disciplinary hearing is an offence under the Race Relations Act.

There will now be grievance hearing at which management will have to explain why their report makes no assessment of racism in their case against Yunus.

If it is proved that Yunus’s bosses could not discount racism as a motivating factor for the anonymous complaint, the future of the entire disciplinary case is in doubt.

The anonymous letter is the only complaint that management have against him.

The Unison union, which fears the left in its own ranks, has used the bosses’ attack as the basis for their own assault on Yunus.

In January Yunus was suspended from his elected positions in the union, and he remains suspended without charge. If management’s case were to falter, the basis of the union investigation into Yunus should also be fatally flawed.

For more details contact the Defend Yunus Bakhsh Campaign c/o 46c Lawe Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear NE33 2EN. Phone 07958 171 205. Send messages of support to Yunus at

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 15 May 2007, 18:31 BST
Issue No. 2051
Share this article

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.