ACTIVISTS IN Unison have been shocked by the decision of a disciplinary appeals panel to expel Candy Udwin, London Region deputy convenor and University College London Hospital (UCLH) branch secretary, and Dave Carr, UCLH branch chair, from union membership.
They were accused of producing leaflets without permission during a strike at their hospitals against PFI four years ago. This can only be seen as a politically motivated and vindictive sentence, since informal discussions outside the hearing had focused on the length of any temporary ban from holding office.
No reasonable person could have expected expulsion. Geoff Martin, Unison regional convenor, appeared officially at a hearing on behalf of London Region Unison to argue for mitigation.
The NEC member who had first proposed a disciplinary investigation also appeared on behalf of Candy and Dave because she believed expulsion was an injustice. Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, has appeared to signal the end of the political witch-hunt in the union.
Now Unison activists will be looking to him and the National Executive Committee to immediately readmit Candy and Dave to membership of our union and to set up an investigation into the circumstances that led to this decision.
JON ROGERS, branch secretary, Lambeth Unison (personal capacity) and representative of Candy Udwin