Socialist Worker

Defend Karen Reissmann—It’s no crime to disagree with the union’s leaders

Issue No. 2632

Defend Karen (right)

Karen (right) on the tens of thousand-strong NHS demo in February (Pic: Socialist Worker)

The Reinstate Karen Reissmann campaign is set to hold its official launch meeting in Manchester this Saturday.

Unison union members are demanding that health worker Karen is reinstated to her democratically-elected union positions.

Karen was elected to Unison’s national executive committee and health service group executive committee.

She was an outspoken critic of the NHS pay deal that was missold by the leaders of 13 health unions and left many health workers feeling out-of-pocket.Attack

Karen’s suspension from holding office is an attack on the right of all union members to speak out if they disagree with the leadership.

The Reinstate Karen Reissmann campaign said, “For all those who want to defend democracy in our union we cannot allow them to silence Karen.

“We must come together to campaign for a Karen’s reinstatement to all union bodies immediately.”

A statement initiated by Unison members in Karen’s support has gained nearly 500 signatures. It said, “We are opposed to disciplinary action being threatened or instigated against individuals or branches for simply expressing a different view from the national leadership.

“Unison needs healthy debate, not the silencing of opposing views.

“Whatever our own personal view of the NHS pay deal, or if we have no view at all, we believe that if Karen is suspended for having views different to that of the national leadership, her suspension should be immediately lifted.

If the Unison leadership is allowed to get away with silencing Karen, it will move against other left wingers and rank and file initiative.

Activists should get people in the union branches and workplaces to sign the statement to demand Karen’s reinstatement and democracy in Unison.

Go to Facebook event Reinstate Karen Reissmann. launch meeting 2pm, Saturday 1 December Friends Meeting House, Manchester M2 5NS.
Sign the statement at bit.lyReinstateKarenReissmann and like the Facebook page Reinstate Karen Reissmann

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