More explosive conclusions as UK’s leading labour law expert says right-wing Unison staff can be fired without notice if they disobey instructions from union’s left-majority executive
As Skwawkbox has reported in recent months, the right-wing staff of the giant Unison union have been accused by the newly dominant left on the union’s national executive (NEC) of constant manoeuvres to prevent the left exercising its democratic mandate on Unison’s sovereign body.
As one of the largest Labour-affiliated unions, the conduct and votes of Unison play a key role in the entire direction of the party and the movement – and the right know that a left-run Unison spells disaster for Keir Starmer, for his war on Labour members and for his rush to neutralise any threat to the Establishment and its interests.
As a result of the staff’s tactics, Unison ignored its own official policies at Labour’s annual conference to support Keir Starmer’s changes to the party’s leadership and disciplinary rules and, most recently, saw staff tell the NEC that they have the right to ignore NEC resolutions – passed by it to enforce union rules and ensure staff carry out its instructions – because, according to the advice of a ‘junior counsel’, the resolutions broke the union’s rules and were therefore unlawful.
But yesterday, the conclusions of Lord John Hendy, the UK’s leading labour law expert, emerged and his findings were clear: the resolutions are entirely lawful, the junior counsel’s advice is almost entirely nonsense – and the NEC and only the NEC is entitled under union rules to decide how to apply those rules.
The Unison right continues to ignore the union’s elected body, claiming that the junior counsel’s opinion trumps the findings of the top labour lawyer in the country.
But Hendy was also explicit about something else in his conclusion – if staff continue to disobey the NEC, they can be summarily sacked for gross misconduct:
Unison’s NEC must not hesitate to exercise its rights if right-wing staff continue to obstruct the democratic will of the union’s million-plus members and the union’s rules making clear that the NEC is sovereign and staff are there to carry out what it says.
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