Camden Unison held a demonstration outside Haverstock School, north London yesterday in support of the school’s Unison shop steward William Westwell who has been victimised as a result of the November 30th one day pensions strike.
The demo was ahead of a disciplinary hearing on charges of gross misconduct.
Westwell, a senior technician in the schools science department, could face dismissal as a result.
Unison is demanding Williams’ suspension is lifted and the disciplinary charges be dropped.
Camden Unison schools convenor Hugo Pierre said: ‘I’m here to defend William and present his case against these charges.
‘He faces three charges: that he insulted strike breakers; that he was part of a campaign of intimidation against these strikebreakers; and that he has not been doing his job.
‘William was called on as a shop steward to make sure that the November 30 strike to defend our pensions was successful.
‘In his role as shop steward he was issuing the national Unison instruction to strike.’
Pierre added: ‘This is a case of William being victimised for his trade union duties.
‘Unfortunately, management have chosen to swallow these trumped up charges and are prepared to take all of the strikebreakers’ “evidence” without criticism.
‘They are even making accusations without evidence to support them.
‘William has the support of Unison members in the school and also shop stewards throughout Camden Unison.’
The Camden Unison newsletter says one of the strike breakers ‘has accused William of racism. William has a long record of opposing racism. . .
‘William has represented members at Haverstock without regard for his career.
‘The disciplinary action against William is an attack on Unison organisation in the school.’
Camden Unison warns: ‘If the school dismisses William it will send a signal to Unison members who strike for basic rights that they can be sacked by those who don’t strike.
‘This could have implications for action over pensions, cuts and the many attacks we face over the next few years. They cannot be allowed to win.