Independent Media Centre Ireland

Stop the witch-hunt in UNISON

category antrim | worker & community struggles and protests | opinion/analysis author Thursday April 03, 2008 12:04author by Defend Pat Lawlor

Defend Pat Lawlor, Defend Democracy - Oppose Bureaucracy

Pat Lawlor, Nursing Convenor at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast is currently 'under investigation' by the National Executive of UNISON. Pat's alleged 'crime' is that he spoke out in support of striking classroom assistants and for daring to criticise the actions of the leadership of UNISON.
During the classroom assistants strike, Pat did what any decent trade unionist should have done - publicly supported workers on strike. The regional leadership of UNISON refused to do so. Their actions actually undermined the classroom assistants pay and conditions. Because Pat chose to express solidarity with workers in struggle, he now faces disciplinary action being taken against him. He may even be expelled from UNISON.

An attack on every UNISON member
The real reason for this witch-hunt against a UNISON shop steward is to strangle at birth any opposition to the right-wing leadership of UNISON. They are relying on intimidation tactics to silence those who disagree with their 'leadership'. Pat was democratically elected by UNISON members to represent their interests. In contrast, the regional leadership of UNISON has NEVER been elected! Pat has energetically campaigned for UNISON to oppose Agenda for Change, fight low pay, cuts in services and privatisation.

Every member of UNISON should have the right to criticise the actions of the leadership. Any disciplinary action taken against Pat Lawlor is an attack on the democratic rights of all UNISON members.

That is why we are appealing for your support.

You can defend democracy in UNISON
You can help defend democratic rights in UNISON by signing the petition (attached) in support of Pat Lawlor. Even better, you can also ask your workmates to also sign the petition. Please print off the poster attached and put up in your place of work to help publicise this attack on democratic rights.

Send messages of protest against any action taken against Pat Lawlor to the following:
Patricia McKeown , UNISON, James Gallway House, 4th Floor, 165 York Street, Belfast BT15 1AL
E-mail messages of protest to : p.mckeown at l.kerr at p.dooley at and defenddemocracy at
Tel: 028 9027 0150 Fax: 028 9077 9772

Contact the Defend Pat Lawlor Campaign
c/o Hazel Devine, 7 Parkmount Gardens, Belfast BT15 6HT
Tel: 07740541917 e-mail:defendemocracy at

PDF Document Download Poster 0.08 Mb PDF Document Download leaflet 0.06 Mb PDF Document Download petition 0.01 Mb

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