Keith Henderson, Essex Labour Party member and former Regional Organiser of the GMB Union, was dismissed from the GMB last December. Keith has always believed that the real reason for his dismissal was because of his socialist beliefs and the manifestation of his beliefs, something that has recently been proved in an Employment Tribunal.
Keith Henderson, Essex Labour Party member and former Regional Organiser of the GMB Union, was dismissed from the GMB last December. Keith has always believed that the real reason for his dismissal was because of his socialist beliefs and the manifestation of his beliefs.
It has now been proven in a recent Employment Tribunal Judgment that a substantial part of the reasoning behind Keith’s dismissal was because of his socialist beliefs and was an effective cause of his dismissal.
LRC chair John McDonnell MP has written to Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, to express his concern about Keith’s dismissal and to call for his re-instatement.
In the letter, John said:
“I have been really shocked at what has happened to Keith.
As you know, Keith was a tremendously hard working GMB officer who was totally committed to the union and the interests of its members.
On the day of the co-ordinated industrial action on pensions in November 2011 Keith did a great job in organising picket lines at Parliament and I joined those picket lines. The atmosphere on the picket line was good natured and in the best traditions of the trade union movement of solidarity. Many Labour MPs supported the strike and rightfully respected the picket lines. This appears to have upset some in the office of the Labour leader.
Since then, as you know, Keith has experienced real problems in both the union and the Labour Party. Keith was eventually dismissed from his post within the union and within the party he was prevented from standing as a councillor.
It has now been found at a recent Employment Tribunal that “a substantial part of the reasoning behind” Keith’s dismissal “was because of his philosophical belief and was an effective cause of his dismissal.”
Keith’s philosophical belief is described by the Employment Tribunal as being “left wing democratic socialism.”
This must be the first time a trade union, and possibly any employer, has been found to have considered a person being a left wing democratic socialist as part of the reasoning for sacking him.
I am sure you agree that the union would not want to be associated with any finding of discriminatory treatment of an employee on the basis of his belief in democratic socialism.
I am writing therefore to appeal to you to review this matter and reinstate Keith as an officer of the union.
I believe that talented, hard working trade union officers like Keith are the future of our movement.”
Readers can express their support for Keith by writing to Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary (Paul.Kenny@gmb.org.uk) to urge Keith’s reinstatement and an end to witch-hunts against socialists in the GMB. Alternatively, you can sign a petition in support of Keith.