After more than two years‘ suspension, employer still dragging out process against Paul Holmes – and now postpones conclusion without even preparing a press statement about why it has done so
Kirklees council has again dragged out the suspension of Unison president Paul Holmes, delaying a meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning to conclude its disciplinary process – apparently without even thinking ahead far enough to have a press statement ready about the reason for the delay.
Holmes’s supporters have long claimed that the left-winger – who enjoys mass grassroots support, would have won Unison’s general secretary election had other left candidates not divided the vote and was elected as the union’s president last summer – is the victim of a coordinated move between the Unison right and the Labour right on Kirklees council to sideline him from reforming the union.
Neither the union nor the council ever publicly gave any reasons for their relative suspensions. Unison’s management even banned branches from supporting the union’s own president.
But the alleged coalition started to wobble when Unison ended its own suspension of Holmes last November – though it didn’t inform him of the fact for another month – and last week a senior Unison official apologised unconditionally for defaming Holmes in comments she had made.
So Holmes’s supporters were confident that the Kirklees suspension would be lifted tomorrow morning when the disciplinary panel was due to announce the outcome of its extraordinarily-long process – but now that has been delayed for an as-yet unknown period after the council suddenly pulled the meeting, apparently without giving those involved any explanation.
Skwawkbox contacted the Kirklees Council press office, expecting that council leader Shabir Pandor would at least have a ‘line for the press’ ready about the decision to prolong the suspension of the president of the country’s largest union after more than two years.
But none was ready. The press spokesperson said she was unable to say anything about it and Skwawkbox was asked to send an enquiry by email, but without any promise of how quickly a reply would come or whether one would come at all.
So the following has been sent to the council:
As just discussed, please advise:
1. why the conclusion of the disciplinary against Paul Holmes has again been delayed
2. why the council has taken more than two years to reach its conclusion and now that it’s supposedly ready has pulled it at the last minute
3. why the meeting to conclude a disciplinary against the president of the UK’s biggest union has been pulled without the council having a line ready for the press on why
4. why the council needed more than two years to complete its process and months for the actual hearings, keeping the Unison president suspended all that time
The story will be going to publication imminently so please respond by return.
Any answer received will be added here.
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