COUNCIL workers in Glasgow could be set to hold a strike ballot to win the reinstatement of sacked shop stewards Pat Maughan and Iain Fergus. The two were sacked by the city's Labour council last year after standing up in defence of union social work convenor Roddy Slorach, who was under attack from the council. Workers in the council's social work department voted for action to win the two their jobs back last year, but officials of their UNISON union refused to call it.
Earlier this year an employment tribunal found that the two had been unfairly dismissed and ordered the council to reinstate them. Just over a week ago the tribunal rejected an appeal from the council. But the council still shows no sign of reinstating Pat and Iain. Workplace meetings are taking place this week across the social work department, and UNISON branch officials were due to meet on Thursday to consider the next move.
UNISON leaders may have to be pushed hard to call for a strike ballot. The union's leaders have been continuing their witch-hunt against activists and the left in the union. Roddy Slorach, who Pat and Iain were sacked for defending, has learned that his expulsion from UNISON has been upheld after an appeal. He has been expelled for leading successful but unofficial strike action two years ago in Glasgow's social work department.
In Sheffield eight former UNISON branch officers also face disciplinary proceedings from the union's leaders. Over 100 people joined a lobby to defend the eight outside the first day of the hearing two weeks ago. The hearing was adjourned until July.