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‘Why we support Candy Udwin – and why you should too’

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Issue 2455
Victimised PCS union rep Candy Udwin fighting National Gallery bosses
Victimised PCS union rep Candy Udwin fighting National Gallery bosses (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Campaigners and trade union leaders explain why the fight to defend Candy Udwin matters for every trade unionist in Britain.

Jane Aitchison, PCS DWP Leeds branch:

“Candy Udwin is just the kind of union rep we all need and the Tories and the bosses hate. 

“When she was suspended on the eve of the first National Gallery walkout, she didn’t apologise and she fought harder for her members.

“Now she’s sacked, she is determined to win.

“Sacking Candy on the eve of PCS conference was designed to put fear into every PCS rep—it hasn’t worked.

“We’re all inspired by Candy’s fight and that of her members.”

Sally Hunt, UCU union general secretary:

“Candy Udwin’s dismissal is another example of management’s attempt to silence dissent.

“We have seen attacks at the University of Bolton where UCU’s branch secretary and his wife, a Unison member, have been dismissed for talking to the press—despite the press confirming that neither of them actually spoke to the press.

“UCU wholeheartedly supports PCS in its fight to stop trade union victimisation.”

Marianne Owens, PCS union executive:

“The only reason Candy was sacked was because bosses are scared by how good she is at organising and engaging workers.

“This is a fight for everyone.”

John McDonnell MP:

“Candy Udwin is a hero of the movement in that she has stood up against victimisation. We’ll be putting a motion in parliament in support of Candy, our members and calling for the end of the victimisation.”

Ian Hodson, Bfawu union president:

“What’s happened to Candy is a disgrace. Our union offers its full solidarity and support.

“The PCS is right in calling for her reinstatement and the charges against her to be dropped.”

Ken Loach, film director:

“I absolutely support Candy. I’ve known her over a number of years and I’ve been very impressed by her principled arguments. 

“Everyone who meets Candy respects her. It’s typical that the gallery will go for somebody who is articulate, clear and committed to the good of the people that she represents and works with.”

Mark Serwotka, PCS union general secretary:

“Candy’s victimisation is an example of what we can expect from the new Tory government.

“But the action at the National Gallery is an inspiration to all of us for how we can fight back.”

Eileen Short, Defend Council Housing:

“The first rule of tenant organisation is that you stand together under attack. 

“Candy is a tenant in DCH as well as a trade unionist and the same rule applies. The fight for our homes and the fight for jobs is one we have to win.”

Mark Serwotka and John McDonnell were speaking at this year’s PCS conference


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