Unison union activist John McDermott is facing an attack from his employer.
John is a member of Unison’s national executive and local government service group executive for Yorkshire and Humberside and is a full time convenor for Leeds local government Unison.
John has successfully organised and represented workers on a wide range of collective an individual issues.
John’s employer is East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL), a housing Almo, set up as part of New Labour’s privatisation agenda. It is wholly owned and funded by Leeds City Council.
ENEHL has unilaterally terminated the agreement to release John full time for convenor duties and is refusing to grant paid release for national duties. In addition the employer is trying to restrict the number of stewards and separate ENEHL workers from the Leeds branch
John has been warned of “personal consequences” by ENEHL.
Union members are being balloted for industrial action following an indicative ballot that showed 80 percent of members were prepared to take action.
John has also lodged a complaint of victimisation because of trade union activities.
John said, “When the Almos were set up we were given concrete guarantees that workers would be treated fairly. The same guarantees were given about trade union representation. This attack shows the guarantees to be a lie.
“I have major concerns about the restrictions ENEHL have placed on the ability of the workers to organise and protect themselves.
“The personal attacks on me I believe are also an attempt to intimidate other workers. ENEHL is a very bullish and uncompromising employer and is trying to push through unacceptable policy changes.”