Socialist Worker

Yunus Bakhsh turned away on first day back at work

by Yuri Prasad
Issue No. 2259

Yunus Bakhsh

Yunus Bakhsh


Health bosses in Newcastle are flouting an Employment Tribunal and refusing to re-employ Yunus Bakhsh, a nurse they unlawfully sacked.

Yunus won his case for unfair dismissal against Northumbria Tyne and Wear NHS Trust last year.

In a scathing judgement, the panel concluded that he had been sacked for his trade union activity and discriminated against because he suffers from depression.

The panel derided much of the Trust’s evidence as “not credible”. And, in a rare move, the judge ordered the Trust to “re-engage” Yunus by 30 June 2011.

Comply

Initially, it seemed as though bosses would comply with the instruction as they set about making normal pre-employment checks.

But, as Yunus reported for work last week, bosses suddenly declared they would not obey the ruling.

Instead, he was left waiting in the Trust’s reception for more than an hour.

Eventually, they brought Yunus what appeared to be a hastily written letter informing him that they would not re-employ him. Ironically, it was signed Liz Latham, the Trust’s head of human resources.

Latham was heavily criticised by the Employment Tribunal.

The panel dismissed her statements to them as “not credible” and suggested that Latham was part of a well-laid plan to get rid of Yunus.

“I think the whole thing was a charade designed to humiliate me,” Yunus told Socialist Worker.

“By turning up to work and providing the necessary documentation, I’ve obeyed the Tribunal’s orders.

“But now I find that the Trust, which unlawfully suspended and sacked me, is refusing to obey the Tribunal. It’s an outrage.”

Trade unionists across the north of England are rallying around Yunus.

They have launched a financial appeal to ensure he gets good lawyers for his on-going battle with the Trust.

They also want to help with the costs of having taken the Trust to the Tribunal.

Although the panel decided decisively in Yunus’s favour and heavily fined his former bosses, they do not have the power to award him legal costs.

That means that Yunus is in need of money.

Davy Hopper of the National Union of Mineworkers is one of many senior trade unionists who have backed Yunus’s appeal. “We urge people to give generously,” he says. “You never know, it could be you next.”

John McDonnell MP has also backed the fund, saying, “Yunus stood up for what is right and he deserves justice.”


The history of Yunus’s case

  • August 2006
    Yunus speaks out against his bosses awarding themselves pay rises as they cut the budget for patient food.
  • September 2006
    Managers suspend Yunus after receiving an “anonymous” letter alleging he was a bully.
  • January 2007
    Unison leaders suspend Yunus from elected office while launching an inquiry into identical allegations with identical “witnesses”.
  • June 2008
    Management sacks Yunus.
  • November 2008
    Unison expels Yunus.
  • January 2009
    A key accuser is revealed to have joined racist-inspired Facebook groups and be “friends” with BNP members.
  • July 2010
    Tribunal rules that bosses unlawfully sacked Yunus for trade union activity and discriminated against him on grounds of disability.
  • April 2011
    Judge fines Trust bosses and orders them to reinstate Yunus.
  • June 2011
    Bosses write to Yunus saying they will not re-employ him.

Send donations and request standing order forms by writing to: Defend Yunus Bakhsh Campaign, c/o 46c Lawe Road, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE33 2EN


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Article information

News
Tue 5 Jul 2011, 16:31 BST
Issue No. 2259
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