More than 300 trade unionists from the north east of England last week packed into a social to defend the NHS.
Yunus Bakhsh, a leading activist in the Unison union, has been suspended from his job as a psychiatric nurse for over a year while management at the Tyne and Wear NHS trust attempt to ram through cuts.
The social was attended by delegations of trade unionists from all the main unions. They gave Yunus a great response at the event.
His tribunal is set to meet at the end of March next year. “More Unison members attended this social than any Unison organised event in the north of England for the past year,” said Yunus.
Ironically, numbers at the social were swelled by an email sent to all branches by the northern region of Unison warning that the event was “in contravention of the ‘Democracy in Unison’ guidelines”.
Some branch officials even received personal phone calls to instruct them not to attend the event, as it was not “official”.
The leadership of the union, fearing the growth of a powerful left wing, have continually sought to undermine Yunus’s fight.
“This turnout at the social overwhelmingly comprised of Unison members I have represented as their branch secretary. It shows that people want unions that fight, and that they support their activists when they are under attack,” said Yunus.
Send messages of support to Yunus at firstname.lastname@example.org
Send donations to Defend Yunus Bakhsh Campaign c/o 46c Lawe Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE33 2EN