Support is growing for Abdul Omer Mohsin, the sacked Unite convenor on Sovereign buses.
Robert Laird, Unite rep at Sovereign’s Edgware garage in London, went to the heart of the dispute in his message of support for Abdul: “Mr Omer is guilty of nothing more than caring too much about what he does and trying to do the best for his members, often while dealing with hostile managers.”
Sovereign bosses are desperate to get rid of Abdul, who led the campaign across London for one rate of pay for all bus drivers. He also fought to improve the pay and conditions of Sovereign workers who were being paid £6,000 less than the average for London drivers.
Unite has always said that Abdul was sacked and victimised for his trade union activity, and it is right.
But Unite has allowed the case to drag on for too long.
Abdul has been fighting for his reinstatement for over a year. Drivers have voted to be balloted for his reinstatement, but no ballot has been organised.
Drivers have also agreed not to appoint a new convenor until Abdul’s case is resolved.
“The union can’t stand back and let leading activists like Abdul Omer be sacked for leading a dispute on London buses,” say Wullie Boyle and Dave Sherry, reps from Unite SC151 branch in Scotland.
They join the call on Unite branches to get behind the campaign for Abdul’s reinstatement and to demand that Unite organise to win Abdul his job back.
Being unemployed for over a year has taken a massive toll on Abdul. But he wants to fight to get his job back.
“Sovereign drivers have just rejected management’s latest pay offer—they want to fight,” Abdul told Socialist Worker.
“And I want to get back to work to join them. Management is pretending that it is offering a pay increase but it is a pay cut.
“The increase is being funded by cutting drivers’ rest time. And it is a worse deal for new starters.”
Bus workers need militant reps who will stop management attacks.
A special leaflet has been produced for the campaign. These should be distributed across bus garages and Unite branches.
Send messages of support and donation pledges to Abdul at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations payable to Mr A.I. Omer, Barclays, account 20408859, sort code 20-69-15. Copies of Unite branch cheques should be sent to Peter Kavanagh as the union has promised to match donations: Unite, Woodberry, 218 Green Lanes, Finsbury Park, London N4 2HB