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October 23, 2008

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October 10, 2008

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Unison expels socialist activist

October 10, 2008

Re-instate Pat Lawlor

By Peter Hadden, (taken from The Socialist, Oct 08)

THE LEADERSHIP of Unison have just trampled on the democratic rights of every member of that union and indeed of trade union members generally.

A specially established sub committee of the union’s National Executive met in Belfast at the start of October and decided to expel the nurse’s convenor in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Pat Lawlor. Read the rest of this entry »

Re-instate Pat Lawlor leaflet

October 8, 2008

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Unison expels union activist for supporting striking Classroom Assistants

October 8, 2008

“Unison members will be outraged that, at a time when they should be concentrating all their efforts on defending our jobs and our pay, the Unison leaders are, instead, spending time organising witch-hunts against shop stewards.” Pat Lawlor
 
The leadership of Unison has just taken a decision to expel one of its most active shop stewards in Northern Ireland from the union.
 
Pat Lawlor is the union’s nursing convenor in the Royal Victoria Hospital. Unison’s right wing leadership decided to take disciplinary action against him, giving as their grounds the fact that he sent an email offering support to NIPSA Classroom Assistants during their strike last year.
 
His email criticised the local Unison leaders for not bringing Unison Classroom Assistants out on strike alongside their NIPSA colleagues.  This created a ridiculous situation where trade unionists were crossing each others’ picket lines, allowing the employer to divide and rule
 
The Unison leaders have now used this as a pretext to expel Pat. It is unprecedented that a union leadership should expel a shop steward because he gave support to another group of workers in struggle.
 
The real reason for this expulsion is that Pat is an outspoken shop steward and also an active member of the Socialist Party. It is part of a general attack by the current right wing Unison leadership, who clearly cannot tolerate either criticism or opposition, against Socialist Party members and on the left within the union.
 
Four other members of the Socialist Party in England along with several other prominent stewards who have dared to speak their minds are also currently facing disciplinary action and possible expulsion on similarly trumped up charges
 
Pat Lawlor has the support and backing of the nursing membership of Unison who elected him as their shop steward.
 
A “Re-instate Pat Lawlor” campaign has today been launched to demand that the expulsion decision be reversed. The case is also now being referred to a Fair Employment Tribunal where the Unison leadership will face a charge that they have discriminated against Pat Lawlor on the grounds of his political opinions.
 
Pat Lawlor today commented:
 
“By deciding to expel me the Unison leaders are trampling on the democratic rights of the membership. I have a democratic right to hold views that are different from those of the union leadership and to put those ideas forward.
 
“The people who decided to expel me have never set foot in the RVH. I was elected by Unison nurses in the RVH. They are the people who should take the decision whether I continue to represent them.
 
“My members are extremely angry at what has happened. We are now launching a campaign within Unison in Northern Ireland and in Britain to have this decision reversed.”
 
END
 
For interviews contact Pat Lawlor on 07810522111