Socialist Worker

Support grows for Unison's John Burgess

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2471

It is increasingly likely that there will be a left wing challenge to the leadership of Britain’s biggest public sector union, Unison.

John Burgess, a lay official in Barnet, north London, is standing in the general secretary election.

His campaign is gathering widespread support.

Last week socialist film director Ken Loach gave John his backing. 

He said, “I have been pleased to support John and the Barnet Unison branch on several occasions. 

“Our public services are being wrecked and we need strong leadership to defend them. 

“We need people like John Burgess to give us new energy in that struggle.”

And crucially John is being nominated by branches that indicate he has a wider appeal outside the left in the union.

Large branches are pledging their support.

John is just one branch nomination short of the 25 he needs to get on the ballot paper.

The more support he gets before the nomination period ends on 9 October the better organised and more effective his campaign will be. Any branch of the union can nominate him at a quorate union meeting.

The campaign also needs individual donations.

London Met bosses reject Max Watson appeal

Bosses at London Metropolitan University have rejected an appeal against compulsory redundancy by Unison union branch secretary Max Watson.

Unison believes that management used the latest round of redundancies to target Max as he has led many campaigns against cuts. 

Max was the only worker in his faculty to be made compulsorily redundant.

He is now considering his response.

Mark Campbell is a UCU union rep at London Met. He told Socialist Worker, “I’m disgusted at this decision. 

“Whatever Max decides to do next I’m confident he will have the complete support and solidarity of London Met UCU.”

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Article information

Tue 15 Sep 2015, 17:31 BST
Issue No. 2471
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