Newham Council has launched on an attack on the Unison Union. Michael Gavan, Unison branch chair has been suspended by the council and banned from any contact with union members.
The council say that Michael is suspended for meeting with members of the union in the dust depot and not informing on a member who has been alleged to have committed a criminal offence and which the council claim Michael was aware of.
Neither of these accusations are true and both are under attack on the members and the union as a whole. In these false allegations, the council are trying to break Unison as an independent trade union.
The suspension comes a few days after the Mayor of Newham launched an extraordinary attack on our union, saying that the union stood in the way of total flexibility and pay cuts.
According to Irene Stacey, Newham Unison branch secretary, “Michael is an honest and hard working branch chair and would never do anything that is not in out members interests,
“This is not the first time that the council have attacked our union and it is no co-incidence that Michael has been suspended. It comes shortly after the union started a campaign against the privatisation of the refuse and cleansing service and Sir Robin Wales publicly declared that Unison stood in the way of his plans to cut pay and increase working hours for our members.”
The terms of the suspension are outrageous and underline the nature of the attack on the union. Michael is a well respected representative and now he is banned from assisting anyone who faces sickness or disciplinary charges.
It is clear that the council intend the suspension to drag on for as long as possible – no investigation officer has been appointed and no date for the investigation meetings has been set.
We expect the full support of our national union in fighting this attack on our union branch organisation. We will be asking for a ballot for strike action. We will be asking for you full support in fighting for the reinstatement of our branch chair because if the council gget away with picking and choosing who represents our members, then the council will feel confident to smash through wages, terms and conditions and push through more and more redundancies.
For more contact Newham Unison phone 020 8555 9351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org