Last week saw further important developments in the case of Yunus Bakhsh.
Yunus was sacked from his job as a nurse and suspended from his union positions following a number of anonymous allegations of bullying made against him.
Last week Yunus’s former employers set a date next month for an appeal hearing against his sacking. Yunus is confident that this appeal will vindicate him and expects a result in early April.
The Unison union chose the same week to announce that they were postponing their appeal hearing into Yunus’s expulsion. This has long been a demand of his supporters.
The move comes as trade unionists continue to raise questions about links between the far right and the attacks on Yunus.
They are demanding to know how the Nazi website Stormfront obtained detailed information about Unison’s charges against Yunus months before he was informed of them himself.
It is clear from Unison’s report of its disciplinary investigation that the union had planned strict security for its inquiries.
The report states that in February 2007 Unison obtained secure office accommodation and that “all materials pertinent to the investigation were to be held in a lockable filing cabinet in a secure room”.
Such was the level of caution that, “Only the investigation team held the keys for this room… The room was locked on exit when leaving for any purpose, including a toilet or coffee break.”
Yet a message posted on the Stormfront website on 28 January 2007 commented on Yunus’s suspension from union office, saying, “Why was the branch put into administration? Could it be financial aspects or misuse of branch computers and or printing facilities?”
The posting describes exactly charges that Unison would put to Yunus some six months later – and are very different from those presented as the reason for his suspension from office.
Some union activists believe that the language is so specific that it must have been “copied and pasted” from a Unison document.
Unison must now ask itself some difficult questions: Did the Nazis gain access to securely held information? If the Nazis did get this information, how was this possible given the security arrangements?
If Unison’s anti-racist policies are to be at all credible, Yunus must be restored to full membership of the union immediately and the charges against him dropped.
Email messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Defend Yunus Bakhsh Campaign, c/o 46c Lawe Road, South Shields, Tyne and Wear NE33 2EN