Socialist Worker

Action to win Eileen Short’s reinstatement

Issue No. 1983

Eileen Short

Eileen Short

Pressure is mounting in east London against Tower Hamlets council’s disgraceful treatment of Eileen Short.

She was fired from the job she had done for 14 years after private consultants Verve were brought in to review the section of the council where Eileen works.

She is a council tenant and one of the leading members of Defend Council Housing both locally and nationally. Her supporters say Eileen’s treatment is clearly politically motivated.

The council normally has a nine-week period during which it considers whether a sacked worker can be redeployed.

The nine weeks came to an end in December.

Under pressure, management extended this period to next Monday, 16 January.

Members of the communications department where she worked were due to strike for half a day on Wednesday of this week — their second half-day of action.

Tower Hamlets Unison branch will widen their action if Eileen is not re-employed by the end of this week.

This is about more than one person’s job — it is about the right of council employees to campaign in their own time without interference from the council.

Support for Eileen’s case is growing with an article published in the Guardian, as well as a number of MPs — including Michael Meacher and Austin Mitchell — publicly supporting her reinstatement.

The East London News chapel (union branch) of the NUJ union passed a resolution in support of Eileen saying that this was a politically motivated sacking.

They then published their support in local papers.

All this is happening in the shadow of a series of defeats for the council’s housing policy.

The past few weeks have seen Tower Hamlets council lose five of the seven housing ballots held and suspend three others because of the “mood” on the estates.

Messages of support to Eileen Short c/o Tower Hamlets Unison, 41-47 Bow Road, London E3 2BS. Fax 020 7364 5033 or e-mail [email protected]

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