Socialist Worker

Walking out wins job back

Issue No. 2248

A council worker in Ashfield , Nottinghamshire, has got his job back—with a little help from co-workers who walked out as his appeal was being heard.

The Unison union member was appealing against their redundancy notice on Tuesday of last week. A well attended union meeting agreed to call a protest on the day.

The council workers usually start between 8.30am and 9am, but can clock in any time before 9.30am and not be counted as late.

They decided to meet in the morning and “walk out” before starting work, cheekily dodging the anti-union laws.

“People were a bit nervous of doing it individually,” said Ashfield Unison branch secretary Richard Buckwell. “But then someone suggested we all met in the canteen and walked out together, so that’s what we did.”

The trade unionists protested outside the council offices in Kirkby in Ashfield, as councillors prepared for the appeal to start.

“It meant we didn’t need permission for a ballot or anything like that,” said Richard.

“It’s something people could do in lots of places.”

They stayed to show their support past the time that they would normally have started work. A worker then blew a whistle and they all went to clock in together.

“Everyone felt great—what a victory,” Richard added. “We all felt a little bit taller when we learned they had won their appeal.”

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