The campaign to defend victimised Unison union rep Sandy Nicoll escalated today, Friday. Workers from two unions at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) walked out unofficially in protest.
And up to 400 workers and students joined a rally this afternoon.
Sandy is the Unison branch secretary at Soas. He was suspended on trumped up charges of “gross misconduct” linked to supporting a student protest.
Members of his branch met this morning and voted to refuse to go into work for the second day running to demand bosses reinstate him.
“We’re disappointed management hasn’t seen sense and dropped the intimidatory threat of dismissal against Sandy,” one Unison rep told Socialist Worker. He called the charges against Sandy “ludicrous”, adding that “Sandy’s colleagues stand behind him 100 percent.”
Workers in the lecturers’ UCU union also met this morning and voted to support Unison’s stance. One UCU member, who has refused to go into work for the last two days, said, “Management want large scale cuts at Soas, that’s what is behind all of this.
“It’s a spurious charge to victimise an effective trade unionist.”
A Soas library worker told Socialist Worker, “I’ve seen Sandy support so many people in the past – we need him to continue to do that. That’s why it’s the right thing to do to walkout.”
As Sandy told this afternoon’s rally, “Solidarity is one thing that helps you get through when your job is under threat.”
Every trade unionist needs to build solidarity for Sandy now.
This can help keep up the pressure on management and force them to back down.