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Antrim - Event Notice
Wednesday September 03 2008
09:30 AM

Protest outside High Court against attempt to jail Gordon McNeill

category antrim | worker & community struggles and protests | event notice author Monday September 01, 2008 14:21author by d Report this post to the editors

Protest Wednesday 3rd Sept 9.30 am outside the High Court, Belfast. Bring placards and banners

Unite Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly, issues Gordon McNeill with a court summons for protesting outside an empty building!

Sacked airport shop steward, Gordon McNeill, who has been campaigning for over six years for justice from him employer. ICTS, and from his union, now faces imprisonment.

Gordon, along with 23 other workers, was sacked in 2002 for going on strike for a 50 pence per hour pay rise. ICTS were only able to get away with this because the leadership of his union, the T&GWU, co-operated with them by repudiating the strike.

The sacked shop stewards this year won a landmark legal case against ICTS in which they proved that their sacking was discrimination on grounds of their political views as active trade unionists. This was a victory won for all trade unionists.

The union leadership, meanwhile, has done all it can to cover up the truth about its role in this dispute. They have paid two of the three sacked shop stewards Ł40,000 each on condition that they never again speak about the role played by any union official during this long sttruggle.

Gordon McNeill has refused to accept this bribe. He has demanded that the union pay him the Ł40,000 compensation as a right, not as payment for his silence.

Last Friday Gordon was protesting outside Transport House demanding that the gagging clause be lifted. This was a peaceful protest that did not interfere in any way with Unite officials – Unite has moved to the Antrim Road and Gordon was protesting outside an empty building!

Yet Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly served Gordon with a summons to appear in court on Wednesday and be charged with breaking an injunction barring him from protesting in Transport House. This is a serious charge that could end up with Gordon being jailed.

There have been many lows in terms of the role of union officials in this long struggle, but this attempt to jail an activist for protesting outside an empty building must be the most disgraceful episode to date.

Union leaders should be defending the right to protest as well as the right to freedom of speech. Instead we have Unite officials trampling on both these rights.

Don’t let them away with this. Build the campaign to defend Gordon McNeill. Contact Jimmy Kelly and Tony Woodley and demand that they lift the injunction and remove the gagging order. Move resolutions in your union branch condemning their actions.

author by Unite memberpublication date Tue Sep 02, 2008 21:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Reminder to protest outside the Belfast High Court 9.30am Wednesday 3 September against Jimmy Kelly's attempt to jail Gordon McNeill.

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