The following statement has been issued by John McDonnell MP regarding
attacks on left wing activists in Unison by the bureaucracy. Follow the
links below for articles explaining the background to this disgraceful
"I recently attended a meeting and heard from Unison activists who
are being attacked by the leadership of their own union. As with other
individuals who attended the meeting I am horrified, shocked and quite
frankly outraged, especially when I heard of the detail of the
allegations against the individuals concerned.
"I am a Unison
member myself and I therefore want to go on record as pledging my
support to those activists now being witch hunted by a section of the
Union. I want to pledge my support in particular to Yunus Bakhsh, Glenn
Kelly, Onay Kasab, Tony Staunton, Suzanne Muna and Brian Debus.
members at present are fighting against pay cuts and having to cope
with the consequences of inflation, they are fighting attacks on their
jobs and terms and conditions as well as countering the threat from the
"While witch hunts should never take place, how can the
union justify this political attack on long standing trade unionists,
anti racists and black activists, while at the same time there is so
much work to do for our members?
I say a political attack, because that is what I believe this to be.
I stated at the meeting I attended it is the case that in order for
free market policies to flourish, for wages to be held back, for
privatisation to continue unopposed and for workers to be made to pay
for the crisis in the economy then it is equally necessary for the
organisations of the workers, our parties, our trade unions, to be made
"One way to do that is to clear out fighters and
militants. That is what this is. UNISON’s leadership are doing the
bosses a favour.
"It is a political witch hunt.
"If it is successful then the losers will be ordinary Unison members.
"That is how important this campaign against the witch hunt now is.
"That is why I support those being attacked.
"I ask all Unison members to do the same and I call on the Union leadership to end this witch hunt today.
hope that all UNISON members who believe that our union should be an
effective force fighting for our members and not against our activists
will unite in a campaign for democracy in our union.
unions belong to their members. It is us ordinary members who make up
the union. Our voice should be heard and our views listened to. Closing
down the right of members to have a democratic say in our union by
attacking and hounding individual members and manipulating the
structures and rules of the union is increasingly undermining the
confidence of our members in their union.
"Eventually this will
damage and undermine the effectiveness and the very existence of our
union. I believe that all those that want to save our union should
stand up now and demand a democratic union".
John McDonnell MP
Hayes and Harlington