Rally Saturday morning in support of dismissed union head
In news likely to have blindsided the union’s right-wing management, the national Unison organisation’s lawyers are backing elected president Paul Holmes, who was dismissed earlier this week by the Labour right at Kirklees Council, where Holmes had worked for almost five decades and served as a union rep for almost as long.
The union will now back Holmes’s application for ‘Interim Relief’ against his dismissal on the grounds that he is a victimised union rep. A statement just released by the union left’s ‘Time for Real Change’ group explains:
National Union Backs Paul Holmes’s Legal Case
UNISON members and many in the wider Labour Movement will be shocked at the decision of Kirklees Council to dismiss UNISON president Paul Holmes from his post with the Council. Paul has 48 years of unbroken and unblemished service with Kirklees stretching back to 1973.
A lifelong Trade Unionist, Paul has been Branch Secretary of first NALGO and now UNISON Kirklees Branch for 32 years, during which time he has represented hundreds of members in disciplinary cases, led strikes and defended the interests of all 10,000 plus members of the branch. Paul is one of the longest serving NEC members, having first been elected in 2007; and subsequently re-elected seven times. His track record as a Trade Unionist speaks for itself.
Paul was suspended from work in November 2019 and although the Council’s investigation, carried out by an external consultant, was completed 18 months ago, and the disciplinary case was completed in early December 2021, the decision of the Council was only relayed to Paul on Wednesday 2nd February 2022.
Paul will not let this issue rest. He could have left quietly and retired with 48 years’ service but he is determined to clear his name and let everyone know the real reasons behind his dismissal. It is his intention to appeal against the decision taken by Kirklees. UNISON is supporting Paul’s case against Kirklees Council.
UNISON nationally is supporting an application for Interim Relief to an Employment Tribunal on the grounds of Trade Union Victimisation. There is no substance to the allegations against Paul, and he entirely refutes them. This is clearly a case of an employer targeting a leading Trade Union activist.
Until now, neither the Council nor Paul have publicly commented on the details of the case. We understand that a number of libellous allegations are being shared on social media. Copies of these have been sent to Paul Holmes and his legal Team.
Paul is unable to make any public statement due to ongoing legal process.
Supporters of the Labour right have circulated a number of smears and innuendo on social media since the dismissal, even though union figures had already apologised for defaming Holmes in earlier comments.
The union’s right wing has previously banned Unison branches from voting through resolutions of support for their president and has been accused by Holmes’s supporters of obstructing his defence.
A rally in support of Holmes will take place tomorrow morning (5 Feb) at 11am. Register here to attend.
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