Council workers in the Unison union in Sefton, Merseyside, are to start an escalating series of selective actions in their battle against the victimisation of two union reps.
Nigel Flanagan and Paul Summers have been suspended since May and are facing disciplinary hearings on 17 October on trumped up charges of gross misconduct.
The council’s attack follows a successful campaign led by the union and Defend Council Housing against the privatisation of council housing in Sefton.
Nigel Flanagan told Socialist Worker, “We’re giving notice on Tuesday of the start of selective all out action. We’re starting with the finance department next week. Every week a new group of workers will be added.”
The TUC in the north west region has agreed to back the dispute, Nigel adds, and is sending out a financial appeal to all unions in the region. The regional TUC is also calling on unions to boycott Southport conference facilities, which are managed by Sefton council.
“We had superb support from the TUC conference in Brighton,” says Nigel. “Sefton council was there with a stall to promote Southport as a conference venue for trade unions.
“But after the employment rights debate many unions cancelled bookings, including the Fire Brigades Union, the National Union of Journalists, and Unison’s black members’ and retired members’ conferences. It’s quite a blow to the council.”
Nigel and Paul have also been invited to speak alongside sacked Gate Gourmet workers at meetings in Manchester and Liverpool.
Sefton Unison is calling a general meeting to agree a £10 a week levy on members to support those out striking. The branch is also looking for donations from other unions.
Send messages of support and financial contributions to Sefton Unison, Mersey Seaman’s Mission, Colonsay House, 20 Crosby Road South, Liverpool L22 1RQ. Phone 0151 928 9911