Socialist Worker

Defend Abdul Omer: Don’t let Sovereign break the bus union

Issue No. 2196

Bosses at Sovereign Bus company have sacked Abdul Omer, the Unite union convenor for Harrow and Edgware garages.

Management have accused Omer of being disrespectful towards a witness at a disciplinary hearing for a worker the union was representing. Yet no witnesses has made a complaint.

His real “crime”, in the eyes of the bosses, is robustly defending a Unite member against a charge. His sacking is a clear attempt to break union organisation.

Drivers at Sovereign used to have the worst pay and conditions in London. That has changed, and the bosses hate it.

Strengthened union organisation at Sovereign’s two garages, backed up by strikes, has resulted in gains for drivers over pay and conditions.

Omer, as convenor, has been central to all this.

The Unite branch at Harrow passed a motion calling on the union to hold a ballot for action to reinstate Omer. It was also signed by all the reps at both Sovereign garages.

If Sovereign can get away with sacking the union convenor it will encourage other companies to attempt to weaken union organisation elsewhere.

Every bus garage across London should call on the union to act on the branch demand for an official ballot.

Drivers can’t wait, however, for a ballot to start. There needs to be immediate action to demand Omer’s reinstatement.

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Article information

Tue 6 Apr 2010, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2196
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