Thursday, 21 March 2013

LMU Update: The Fight Continues


I had hoped to add Steve Jeffries' name to that of Max and Jawad in having the suspension lifted.

However, even though that did happen, in it's place has come further draconian action by LMU.

Here is a statement which has just been released by Steve:

My suspension for 'potential gross misconduct' was lifted last Wednesday, as was Max Watson, the UNISON chair. This followed Malcolm Gillies deciding that Jawad Botmeh, the victim of a major miscarriage of justice who served nearly 14 years in jail before he joined the WLRI, should be welcomed back to the university.

I have no doubt that our return to work was the result of the huge international campaign against the victimisation of trade union and staff representatives and in defence of academic freedom at Londonmet. UCU and UNISON were 100% in support, some 600 letters were written to Gillies and 2,500 people signed the petition.

Sadly, though, the university has not entirely put this affair behind it. Both Max and I were charged last Friday with 'serious misconduct' in relation to Jawad's appointment to a casual three-month admin post in 2008. My hearing is now scheduled for April 17.
To add to this Jawad has been dragged into the ensuing 'investigation' involving these allegations.
I shall keep you updated but please use the links provided in other LMU posts to follow the on-going campaign.
In Solidarity

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Our Movement Must be a Safe Space for Women


Launched in parallel to Women's TUC this week this statement provides a platform on which all British trade unions should revisit policy and practice in the area of violence against women.

I encourage all readers of this blog to follow the link below, sign up to support the statement, and investigate what this statement means in relation to your own union.

We the undersigned labour movement activists stand in solidarity with all women opposing all forms of male violence against women. We recognise that male violence against women is endemic in society, and that our movement is obviously and unfortunately not exempt.

We believe that our trade union and labour movement has the potential to transform society for the better. Therefore we have a particular responsibility to confront and challenge male violence against women within our movement.

Male violence against women is not acceptable in any case. It must not be tolerated from those who hold office or power in our movement.

We recognise the enormous challenges faced by women victims of male violence, and the pressures which women face, including from abusive men, not to complain about violence and abuse. We therefore believe that, when women complain of male violence within our movement, our trade unions and political organisations should start from a position of believing women.

We believe that all women who complain of male violence have the right to be listened to and supported.

All labour movement activists have a responsibility to work to ensure that our movement is a safe space for women. Because we stand in solidarity with all women opposing male violence we accept that we have a responsibility to women throughout our movement, whether or not we are members of the same trade union or the same political organisation.

We therefore address these demands to all trade unions and political organisations which are part of our labour movement.

Marshajane Thompson and Cath Elliott

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

LMU Update: Max Watson Reinstated


Further news from the LMU debacle that yesterday the suspension of Max Watson (UNISON Branch Chair) was lifted. It is not always the case that we can report on a management withdrawal in such a scenario, but is perhaps a reflection of the abitrary, wilful nature of the suspension in the first place, that dismissal would have proved a profound injustice. Fingers are crossed now then for the lifting of the third suspension of Steve Jeffries.
I am at LMU on Friday coincidentally for a doctoral weekend and do hope that we can look forward to a mighty celebration of the lifting of all three suspensions and the success of what has been a fantastic campaign. The latest news on Max is here:

In Solidarity


Thursday, 7 March 2013

LMU Suspensions: Update


Over the next few days LMU governors will be making a decision on whether to lift the suspensions of Steve, Jawad and Max or move to dismiss - so please keep an eye on the campaign and support these colleagues in any way you can - the link to the campaign is in the last post on this item.

Above is a short video of a fantastic public meeting last week which featured as part of a write-up by those fine journalists at Union News:

In Solidarity