Well-known Unison union activist John McDermott has been notified that a formal disciplinary hearing will be convened to hear allegations arising out of his attempt to take up the national executive seat he was elected to.
John received the highest number of votes in the Unison national executive election for the Yorkshire & Humberside region male seat last June. But he was notified that he had been “withdrawn” as a candidate on the day the results were announced.
John, with support from some Unison members, has launched a legal challenge against the decision.
A lengthy attempt by Unison to prevent the eight complaints being heard in court has failed, and a hearing date has been set for 23 March.
Despite the legal challenge, and John stating he wanted to be consulted about the dates of a union hearing because he has changed jobs, Unison has now set disciplinary dates for 6 and 7 January.
John told Socialist Worker, “If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny. It appears that Unison will stop at nothing to prevent internal critics from being elected or holding office.
“I received the greatest vote. I have been a Unison member for over 27 years and was eligible to hold office from the date the result was declared.
“I have said I am not available on the dates proposed for the disciplinary hearing but so far that has been ignored.
“I am facing seven charges, all of which revolve around the democratic process and treating members with respect and dignity.
“The members who voted for me have been shown no respect by Unison officials.
“An attempt to discuss this at regional council was prevented because I have complained and because I am being disciplined.
“It’s a disgraceful attempt to prevent debate.”