Analysis Breaking News

Official apologises for defaming Unison Pres Holmes ahead of Kirklees Council announcement next week

Employer’s dragged-out disciplinary against Unison president Paul Holmes ends next Wednesday after more than two years. Unison’s management gave no support to its elected president and banned branches from supporting him, but has now reinstated him

Unison’s elected president, left-winger Paul Holmes, will at last see the outcome next week of what his supporters say has been a coordinated stitch-up between the Unison right and the Labour right in Kirklees Council – one that has been dragged out for more than two years.

Unison reinstated Holmes in November from a lengthy suspension for which it never gave a reason, though it didn’t get round to informing him for another month, finally allowing Holmes to take up the duties of his elected office alongside the rest of the left majority on the union’s national executive.

Kirklees Council’s own disciplinary against Holmes – again, it has never publicly stated why it suspended him – comes to its conclusion next Wednesday when it will announce its conclusions. But a possible hint at the outcome has been seen today when a senior paid Unison official admitted defaming Holmes and sent him an unconditional written apology:

Allies of Holmes say that the council’s disciplinary process against Holmes could have been completed in a fraction of the time but was dragged out in a coordinated attack on Unison’s democracy and its most senior elected official. Unison’s right-dominated management gave Holmes no support – there have been allegations that Holmes’s defence was bureaucratically obstructed – and branches that wishes to support him were banned from doing so in an unprecedented shredding of any notion of union solidarity.

The union’s management also performed contortions to avoid implementing instructions from the newly-elected left NEC, leading the country’s top Labour lawyer to say that they were liable to instant dismissal if they continued.

Pandemic circumstances permitting, Skwawkbox will be in Huddersfield next Wednesday to cover the announcement live on Socialist Telly.

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  1. Great News!

    As an employee of the council and of Unison, does Paul Homes have any right to see/receive any appropriate file(s)/ records maintained by either employer on his suspension, and the reason(s) for it? Maybe he knows already and it simply isn’t opportune for him to publicise any details – i.e. he might have issues to address before publicising any details? I’d understand and respect him for that, if so.

    In either case, Paul, well done, brother. Unions and the working class need more people like you to succeed in more and more ways. Proud of you.

      1. Look at the date of the YL ’report’, Sherlock, then work-out the timeline for when Paul Holmes’ suspension was lifted by Unison, noting there was a month between it occurring and him being informed about it, then tell me that the brave and fearless functionary pretending to be a journalist (Robert Sutcliffe) was certainly reporting pertinent facts rather than providing PR and distraction for a soon-to-be embarrassed Union/District Council.

        Smoke and mirrors stevieh, they’re the only symptoms of c*vid that don’t apply to the common cold. Maybe the entire District Council should be put in lockdown?

        Talk Sense SteveH.

      2. qwertboi – It obviously escaped your notice but I haven’t made any comment about the veracity of the complaints against Paul Holmes.

      3. Was he found guilty of this smear campaign that someone has just writ a note of “apology”? No wonder you’re such an idiot, coming with bollocks like that!
        You are totally Zombified MSM Sheeple! How does someone like this educate children and get away with such Chronic Ignorance for how ever long!? I bet the kids ripped you and your Sheeple propaganda to shreds daily.

      4. nellyskelly – someone has just writ a note of “apology”, someone wrote this letter 7mths ago in May21.

      5. SteveH – “– It obviously escaped your notice but I haven’t made any comment about the veracity of the complaints against Paul Holmes.”

        It obviously escaped your notice but I haven’t made any comment about what you might believe (or not beleve) about fabricated charges against Paul Holmes, just that you seem to aiding and abetting an obvious Deflection drive.

        There’s none as blind as them that choose not to see.

      6. Steve H You have posted this link or similar previously. As I responded at that time it would not take 2 years to investigate complaints which were easily verifiable by witnesses as is alleged in this case. Such delays in concluding investigations is unfair and therefore contrary to the ACAS guidelines of which the Council will be well aware. Therefore the only possible explanation for the 2 year investigation is that the Council could find no evidence of wrongdoing on Pauls part.
        Also some of the complaints absurd are clearly without foundation – Paul’s alleged refusal to allow staff to use Council email facilities or use their mobile phones during working hours is not bullying or harassment – it is simply a manager managing( probably within the parameters set by the employer)
        Also it is unbelievable that Paul’s two TU colleagues were simultaneously suspended with him, presumably on the same basis. We are expected to believe that he and the 2 Branch Officers/reps consistently bullied and harassed the people who then voted them on to the Branch committee at the Branch AGM- no earthly chance of that happening.
        I recently retired but spent all my working life as a lay TU representative reaching senior elected positions within my union. To me the whole thing screams “set up”. This is reinforced by Unison suspending Paul and the other two Branch reps in connivance with the Council and carrying out a similar protracted investigations.
        I await Kirkless announcement next week and hope that Paul and the others get legal advice on what sort of legal redress they can expect after being put through two years of hell by their employer and their excuse for a “union”.

      7. Smartboy – I too look forward to this matter being resolved, but unlike you I am not pre-judging the outcome.

      8. Yes Steve H you already said that in your previous comments to an earlier posting.

    1. Yes Quertboi Paul can use the Data Protection Act to ask for all documentation held by the Council about him. He can also use Freedom of Information to request general files minutes etc but the Information Commissioner is a toothless tiger and if the Council does not hand over the documents or redacts them to the extent that they make no sense then there is no further action Paul will realistically be able to take.
      Unless the legislation has changed recently he will not be able to access Unison files but as President he should be able to access minutes etc.
      However in my experience anything useful to Paul held by either the Council or Unison will have been “lost”, “misplaced” or “accidently shredded” so I doubt if he has get very far with it.

      1. Smart boy, thanks for all of your info. I am finding this difficult. Do you have any links which can help me understand this whole thing? What is the chain of command? Is his position in the union dependant on a management committee? Couldn’t the members have a say? Was he elected, for how long, what were his duties; he ran an office so we’re they the source of accusations and how was it allowed to take so long. It’s all very murky to an outsider. Where were his supporters and what forms of defence did they commit to? Johnny Nash, More questions than answers. Whatever, this is nu-blue labour and it reeks. Best wishes.

      2. Wobbly – I suspect that like the rest of us you are going to have to wait until next week for any further details.
        I have only seen two news reports in the local press that give any details of what he has been accused of. Like everybody else on these pages I don’t know enough about this case to make any claims either way about the veracity of these accusations.
        There is a link within the text to the earlier report.

      3. Reply to Wobbly
        I’m an outsider too Wobbly. I’m not and never have been a member of Unison but I do know how Trade Unions work – the same basics apply to them all.
        A member is allocated to a workplace Branch. The Branch is usually determined by workplace location but in some cases its determined by Job. The local Branch is run by a committee and is subject to the Union rules contained in the Rule Book.
        The rule Book specifies how the Branch Committee is elected – normally at the Annual General Meeting of members- and sets out procedures for the election, notice required for the AGM etc. Candidates must be nominated and seconded by members and agree to serve on the Branch committee either as an officer ( Chair Secretary, Organiser Treasurer) or as a rep . The members are then balloted at the AGM and the successful candidates are announced to the meeting
        Paul and the other two reps went through this process to become Branch Officers/reps. Paul then was nominated by his Branch for President of the Union. This nomination would probably have been made at a General meeting of the Branch and again his nomination would have had to be seconded and he would have had to agree to serve as President.
        The entire Unison membership then would have received voting papers naming Paul and any other Candidates for president and a short election address/ manifesto from each candidate saying why a member should vote for them would have been included with the papers. The voting papers are send to each member at the address held by the union for them – home or workplace
        The completed voting papers are placed in an envelope provided and the member sends it to an independent scrutineer who counts the votes and issues the results.
        The President is the most senior Lay ( unpaid) official of any union. The President presides at conference and all senior committees e.g. NEC, Conference Arrangements Equality Committees etc. The General Secretary is the senior fulltime (paid) official.
        Paul won the election and shortly thereafter was suspended from his job and the union. I find it hard to believe he would have had the support of his branch and passed all the hurdles he had to go through to become president if he was behaving in the workplace as alleged.
        Hope this helps

  2. You really are a horrible mean spirited little man arnt you mr Steve H centrist
    That sort of garbage of “he said she said is pure hersay and no decent rag would publish it.Piss off back to your rat hole Tory boy 👦.your comments are gutless.

  3. Joseph – Calm down, you’ll blow a fuse. 🤯

    There was another article a couple of days earlier. It is worth noting that his accusers are also members of an affiliated Trade Union (Unite). Surely it is better that everyone is aware of what the accusations are rather than just leaving it to speculation. The alleged victims also have a right to be heard.

    Kirklees senior union rep faces allegations of bullying.

    1. Did it slip your mind that his accusers may just have fabricated this in the same way as Panorama, Neo-Labour Party Parasite TORIES, etc, etc, etc Fabricated Antisemitism? Called a Smear Campaign, but of course you were part of the Propaganda and Smear that Cost The PEOPLE GE2017 and GE2019, so you cannot for the life of you……..!
      Bring it up with The RAT he doesn’t, CAN’T, defend with facts then he will fling his dull, mundane pieces of shit like “Calm Down, you’ll blow a fuse!” or Trumpian, blah, blah, blah, Victim Blaming, on and on and on and on, he will not, CAN’T, ever come back with facts or an argument, always just more DULL BS that is mostly nonsensical MSM smear, or he will ask you to provide his proof for him.
      Of all the most miserable bastards I had the misfortune to meet in my life this one takes Number One Spot, Then again occasionally it is fun to toy with him like a cat toys with a mouse.

      1. nellyskelly – On what basis are you dismissing out of hand the accusations and concerns of the 14 complainants

        She said: “I am friends with the people who have put the complaints in who are mainly staff and local reps.
        “They are mostly women and one man, (of the evidence given against him there were 13 women and one man). This is not a witch hunt by the council as he claims.
        “The truth has to come out. He has got away with this for 30years!

      2. “The truth has to come out. He has got away with this for 30years! Oh yes it will and it will be so sweet! How do you substantiate Guilt? By Allegations made? An Allegation is not Guilt!!!
        Send me the links to the CPS Guilty Verdicts, it would be a most interesting Read, As far as I am concerned all he and so many like him has committed is being of The Left. I really wish The Left was far nastier, to take all theses bastards to court and set the records straight!

      3. nellyskelly – Like you I think that it is time this matter was resolved (Holmes has been languishing at home on full pay for 2 years now) but unlike you I am not pre-judging the outcome on the basis of sectarian alliances. His alleged victims have a right to have their grievances heard. We’ve all seen how badly things can go wrong when the voices of victims are ignored.

      4. “languishing at home on full pay for 2 years now” You couldn’t be any more TORY if you fucking tried and hung bells and whistles on it!

      5. nellyskelly – Really? If I’d said that he had been lazing around at home on full pay for 2yrs then you may have had a point, but I didn’t.
        I used the word languishing in an attempt to express the futility and sense of frustration that both Hughes and his 14 accusers must feel at the apparently excessive delay in resolving this case. Hopefully we will all be wiser about the whole long drawn out affair on Wed 12/01.

      6. nellyskelly – I’ve corrected your perverse misinterpretation of what I said above by giving you a truthful explanation, whether you choose to accept it or not is of little consequence.

      7. nellyskelly – Whatever gave you that idea? I don’t feel in the least bit like a victim, do you?

      8. Steve H NellykSkelly can speak for themselves but if there is an overwhelming pile of evidence against Paul -at least 14 witnesses to his unacceptable behaviour which it is alleged stretches back 30 years- the why did it take the Council and Unison 2 years to investigate it.
        I have been involved in similar cases over the years as a lay TU rep. Normally complaints have to be made with a stipulated timescale of the alleged incident- usually about six months in accordance with ACAS guidelines.
        Therefore if the council spent a week ( unlikely but lets say they were very thorough and a bit slow) interviewing each complainant about events which they allege took place in the previous 6 months plus they interviewed Paul the other 2 reps and any witnesses they may bring each for a week too, say 30 people in all, the investigation should have taken no longer than 7 months – instead it took 2 years.
        Unison allegedly went through the same process and found no evidence to substantiate the complaints .
        Now on top of everything else we have a Unison Regional Organiser – a senior fulltime official – admitting he bad mouthed Paul without justification.
        The whole thing stinks – typical Unison- classic stitch up.

      9. Smartboy – Like you I have no idea why this has taken so long. Maybe we will find out next week.

      10. We’ve all seen 14++++ Strong Organised Smear Campaigns, 2015 to 2020, if there is no guilt it is heresy, It is odd that 30 years of unacceptable behaviour has had no consequences!
        I think people have become so fucking prissy over “Unacceptable Language” in one of my own experience people went mad at my Language but never mentioned the 27 Yemeni Children blown to fucking bits!
        That is what we have become!
        So either they find him Guilty or STFU. “The Left” really do need to start counter suing!

      11. Nellyk – a good point re the dreadful Panorama Programme which was skewered by the brilliant Jewish Dissident website at the time.
        JD showed that the vast majority of accusers were officers or ex-officers of The Right Wing Anti-Corbyn Jewish Labour Movement (from his research).
        Perhaps the greatest political stitch up since the Zioviev letter?
        Perhaps sometimes accusers may have ulterior motives?
        My union branch discussed a resolution on supporting Paul quite a few months ago and some of the speakers had known him personally for many years; it was carried 30-0.

      12. Steve H
        We may not “know” why it has taken 2 years to complete an investigation into events which took place over period of approx 6 months but I can categorically state that where there are multiple witnesses to unacceptable behaviour in the workplace whether it be bullying smutty jokes or anything else investigations are invariable quickly concluded, the evidence of multiple witnesses enabling the employer to decide on the “balance of probabilities” that the complaint is well founded.
        There is only one logical reason why this did not happen in Paul’s case – they found no evidence to uphold the complaint and they deliberately dragged the investigation out in order to continue his suspension .

      13. Wasn’t there a story on SB about this that they simply did bot let him know the Not Guilty verdict for 10 month (I think)

    2. Steve H Hall….too late I have already blown a fuse at your comment and the hypocrisy is “fuse blowing” So when a union boss wants to show his authority with plotters and malingerers then its bullying and when “Evans help us” puts the boot into decent socialists and flouts all the rules including human rights its just another day at the office.Do you think that we don’t realise that you are a establishment troll as you say in your bot sentinal peice of propaganda .?.
      Start a new year properly and try to be honest and sincere although I know for you right wingers its a difficult concept.I say that it must be time for the union President to have a early spring clean of plotters and learn from what the parasites did to Corbyn and have failed with our very own “Holmes”

      1. Reply to Joseph O Keefe
        There is nothing in the article or elsewhere to justify your comment about a “union Boss” wanting to show his authority with “plotters” or ” malingerers”
        For a start Paul is not a Union Boss. He is an elected officer of his Branch and was also elected by the Unison membership as President. They elected him in a free secret ballot and it is unlikely they would have done so if he was, as you imply, throwing his weight around in his workplace.
        Neither is there anything to suggest that the complainants were “malingerers” though given the Regional Organiser has admitted to bad mouthing Paul it is likely the complaints against him were orchestrated and sanctioned at a high level within the Union.

  4. As usual, most of the comments here are moronic. Let’s wait till next week and the situation about the Council and about UNISON will become clearer. The letter published here is seven months old, so probably doesn’t have much bearing on the current situation.

    1. Brian Robert Smith…..I very much doubt any Comments section would survive very long if they were wait and see and show the same amount of passion as you do.Nobody forces you to read the comments section and you very rarely comment anyhow so show some respect and just stick to boring us all with your Views on “moronic” ..At least Steve H Hall centrist Dad does a good job of winding us up and his personality or lack of it portray his very own unacceptable face of capitalism…

      1. Believe it or not, Joe, I won’t be asking your permission to contribute. And keep in mind, your chaotic remarks don’t help Paul, or democracy in UNISON, one whit.

      2. Brian bob smiff ……We are talking about the comments section and your insulting remarks about those that contribute to the “moronic” despite you having nothing of value other than criticism on the few times you make the effort to comment..IF you cant make helpful or constructive comments and the kitchens too hot for you then you know what to do…!

    2. BRS, thank you very much for being decent and sharing that with us on our humble comments section. Sir I remain your etc etc.

  5. Another sterling result for Max Headroom’s Labour Party…..

    Cavendish (Gedling) council by-election result:

    LDEM: 35.5% (+15.8)
    LAB: 30.8% (-24.8)
    CON: 25.4% (+0.6)
    IND: 5.7% (+5.7)
    GRN: 2.6% (+2.6)

    Votes cast: 985

    Liberal Democrat GAIN from Labour.

    1. Don’t cry for Keir Guardianista’s
      The truth is that the RW Blairites never left you
      All through his establishment serving days
      His corrupt existence
      He kept his promises to the 1%(but not members)
      Don’t keep your distance

      The economic inequality that’s built up over the last 40 years is safe under Starmer & Reeves. The ‘choose the red sheep pen or blue sheep pen’ fake democratic choice offered by the FPTP system, only serves the corrupt elite. Way past time it was binned and we had real democratic choice under PR, as in every other European country.

    2. I wonder if multimillionaires like Starmer & Reeves accept or indeed even recognise how such inequality has distorted the political landscape over the last 40 years. Through privatisation, tax cuts and financial deregulation wealth has been massively transferred upwards. Much of the previous social progress from Victorian workhouses onwards slowly reversed. Bosses and CEOs have seen pay rise exponentially while everyone else stood still, a huge loss in real terms. The US ‘the home of inequality’ sets a pernicious ‘dog eat dog’ free market example which UK politicians wish to ape.

      I’ve heard nothing from Labour under Starmer that suggests they will remotely reverse these trends, their VAT cut on fuel was rightly dismissed last night on Newsnight, as a ‘sticking plaster’ solution to the upcoming cost of living crisis. The Blairite elite and Tories seem to hold the view ‘western values = unfettered market capitalism’ , but it increasingly looks like western values = chronic inequality’. Who will want to defend such values? Security, prosperity and respect… he must be fuckin’ joking. You can’t build solidarity behind inequality.

      1. @Andy

        On the bright side, both America and the UK are about to be neutered soon. America is close to collapse and possible civil war, and we’ll be soon behind them as we do everything the yanks do.

        Main reason I’m commenting is the line at the end of your post;

        …You can’t build solidarity behind inequality….


      2. @Nvla

        I think the lousy state of politics in both countries are in is down to a lack of genuine democratic choice. Proportional representation in both countries would quickly cut through the malaise of the two-party system and low grade careerist politicians and allow new thinking to emerge.

        Would anyone argue that the analogy of sheep (people) being herded into ‘red and blue sheep pens’ every election in the US and UK. Merely to give the veneer of participatory democracy – while really nothing is allowed to be fundamentally changed, isn’t fair and accurate?

        The US faces a wholly avoidable politically inspired calamity, as does the UK. The 1% elites will probably try to blame it all on Russia and China rather than facing their own culpability in creating the conditions.

      3. Can’t see anything I disagree with Andy. You are correct in that democracy is a sham here in the West.

        Been reading a blog by a poster known as metallicman. Would post a link, but this will disappear.

        Has some fantastic facts about China. Well worth a gander to compare to Western countries.

        As for your last paragraph, war is the get out of jail free that the elites have used time and time again throughout history.

      4. @Nvla

        China and Russia’s authoritarian undemocratic approach certainly isn’t a model to be envied. Too many assume that those on the left who don’t like the US’s approach, must prefer China and Russia’s, this assumption is wrong.

        Scandinavia still has the best examples of what egalitarian western democracy should be imho.

        The US and UK aren’t good democratic examples; the US elite seeks only world hegemony and dominance with the UK tagging along like the bully’s sidekick.

        Putin(Russia) and Xi (China) aren’t Bilderberg clubbable – or controllable – so they are seen as a problem to these western elites. The US has no problem with dictators per se either, as Egypt’s brutal el-Sisi with his 70,000 political prisoners, KSA’s murderous MBS, Bahrain’s brutal king et al, can all attest

        That which the US can’t control, it seeks to destroy. I dislike the special relationship for this reason, and think NATO is a dangerous organisation that gives the US too much say and influence in Europe.

  6. Hope Paul wins on Wednesday and I know some of my union comrades will be demonstrating outside in support of him (I would too but live too far away).
    Paul sounds like a Republican Socialist, he believes in democracy from below, accountability, and as a representative he is in favour of such being paid the average workers wage – all very dangerous perhaps from the perspective of the Labour and Unison Right?
    Hope he wins. Solidarity with Paul.

    1. I hope that both Holmes and his accusers all get a fair hearing and that those adjudicating reach a fair and just verdict.

      1. Paul has not been fairly treated to date Steve H so although I hope he will be totally vindicated and reinstated I would not be surprised if the Council with Unison’s help pulled some other stunt to avoid this

    2. Bazza, thanks. These snippets are helping me to paint the picture. Unfortunately, I think that I know already what it will look like.

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