Circulated by National Shop Stewards Network, please act on this if you can.
Vik Chechi, the Unison Branch Secretary of Queen Mary University in east London has this afternoon been suspended by his employer. We suspect that this is with a clear view to sack him because management wants to weaken the union and the anti-cuts campaign in the University which has united staff and students. They have been alarmed because Vik and other union activists have managed to reinvigorate the Unison branch. This is a classic attempt to smash a fighting union branch to allow management to drive through significant cuts including over 100 redundancies at the same as students face a tripling of tuition fees. By disarming the union, this would be just the start of the attacks on staff and students alike.
This is also an attack on Unison in particular and trade unions in general, just as we build up towards the massive pension strike on November 30th. Plymouth City Council has recently attempted to de-recognise Unison and many employers in both the public and private sector are looking to cut back on union facilities. Workers cannot afford to see their union strength weakened at this critical time when jobs, terms & conditions and pensions are on the line.