September 06, 2007

No solidarity with the BNP

People may have read recent events surrounding action being taken by Sunnydale Community College in Shildon, County Durham. The action relates to a teacher who is suspended for "misuse of technical equipment" while at school.

The individual concerned is a member of the far right, racist British National Party and the BNP organised an intimidating demonstration outside the school on Monday, effectively preventing the investigatory hearing from taking place. The TUC condemn this as wholly disgraceful, however, it is a clear indication of how the BNP view rational, legal processes where there is a grievance to be resolved. This is the kind of behaviour we could expect from any violent, anti-democratic organisation.

Any independent trade union would not seek to defend someone guilty of racism, but they would respect a process that ensures a fair hearing. The BNP-Solidarity organisation is not an independent trade union, despite describing itself as one, and its actions clearly show no respect for such processes. BNP-Solidarity should not be permitted to represent any individual in any workplace, though it claims it will consider establishing a picket, which it would expect other trade unions not to cross. As BNP-Solidarity is not an independent trade union, merely a front for a racist political party, I would expect all trade unions to in fact be opposed to any actions they take, especially if they include defending racism.

The statements around this issue indicate that the case seems to revolve around the right to be racist - a right that everyone has. However, it is illegal to incite or promote racial hatred. I very much doubt that any decent parent would want individuals expressing racist views anywhere near their children.

A fair hearing will be held, despite the usual BNP intimidation, but whatever the outcome we certainly don't want racists teaching in our schools.

TUC

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

the BNP organised an intimidating demonstration outside the school on Monday, effectively preventing the investigatory hearing from taking place.

The demo was good natured and no one was prevented entering or leaving the School. Many parents and ex-pupils joined the picket

The hearing took place. It was the employer who acted in an aggresive and high-handed way not the Union. Your hatred of the BNP is blinding you to the facts of the case.

You should understand that the School is a workplace too.

Fair hearing? The facts are against you!

If you cross a Union picket line you are a scab. No exceptions.

Dan the Anon Proxy Man said...

Got to be Harrington!

So what are you going to do when Walker gets the push? Call a national strike? Fund a legal appeal? That'll be good. How much is in the kitty? 700 quid? Knock off the price of your laptop and expenses and that'll probably leave 50p.

Fact is your "union" is as duff as you are and all you're gonna do is go whining around saying it was the commies and the establishment and poor little us had no chance.

You were stuffed on your first case by a head teacher who treated you with the contempt you deserve. And she didn't send Walker's flowers back. It's making me cry FFS!

Anonymous said...

So what are you going to do when Walker gets the push? Call a national strike? Fund a legal appeal? That'll be good. How much is in the kitty? 700 quid? Knock off the price of your laptop and expenses and that'll probably leave 50p.

I see that you have already assumed that the outcome of any process will be that Mark Walker is dismissed. What was that about a fair hearing? Don't make me laugh!

Please also note the word process. You will just have to wait and see what happens. 'No plan survives the battlefield'.

You might also like to explain why you assume that everything posted in support of Mark Walker is by Pat Harrington. You seem a little paranoid. On another thread he is accused of posting under 'Purging the Droid'. He obviously doesn't sleep much and is permanently hooked into his laptop - there's value for money!

Anonymous said...

Any independent trade union would not seek to defend someone guilty of racism, but they would respect a process that ensures a fair hearing.

Mark Walker hasn't been found guilty of anything. It has not even got to the formal disciplinary phase yet (although he has been suspended since March). Solidarity wants a process that respects his rights to a fair hearing, privacy and freedom of expression. These are universal principles and the Union upholds them for all. The pick and choose policy of some of your posters is logically untenable and morally bankrupt.

Old Sailor said...

Actually I've just thought up a way to raise money for UAF.

Lets have a sponsored cross the 'Squalidarity' Picket line - say a £1 for every time we cross !

Anonymous said...

Following letter from today’s Northern Echo.

Suspended teacher
IN your report of the protest in support of teacher Mark Walker at Sunnydale Community College, Shildon (Echo, Sept 4), headteacher Sue Byrne said: "We are happy to state categorically that Mr Walker has not been suspended because of any political affiliations he may hold."
Such statements would be more convincing had I not sat opposite her at the investigatory meeting and noticed that the file in front of her contained the election address issued by Mr Walker at the last local elections where he stood as a BNP candidate.
They might also have been more believable had she not questioned Mr Walker on his political affiliations at previous investigatory meetings. Now she is seeking to downplay this because she has been challenged by our union about this discrimination.
I had hoped the suspension could have been lifted even if Mrs Byrne felt disciplinary charges should be brought and answered.
Unfortunately, questions I sought to put were not answered prior to Mrs Byrne deciding to refer the case to the governing body and argument that would have developed did not take place.
Normal procedure seems to have been ditched. Mr Walker has not had a full and fair investigation.
Patrick Harrington, General Secretary, Solidarity Trade Union, Spennymoor, Co Durham.

If Harrington wants to protect Walker’s privacy why is he revealing what went on in the meeting with the head teacher? Why reveal details of Walker’s mental state? The “stress” he’s allegedly suffering didn’t stop Mark leafleting in Bishop Auckland yesterday or heading up Spence’s (remember him?) campaign in Sedgefield a few weeks ago.
Has Harrington moved in with one of the Walker brothers now that he’s signing his letters from Spennymoor? Or is it an acknowledgement of how important the Walker brothers are to the snide Solidarity “union”? Adam was elevated to the expanded 7 strong executive following the split with Potter and Mark is in charge of the teachers/lecturers section. Since he’s probably the only member of that section it shouldn’t be overly stressful for him.
The Walkers are gullible patsies. Neither brother is capable of reflecting upon the catastrophic impact that their entanglement with the bnp has had on their lives and careers. Mark told the Sunday Sun recently that he would stand in front of machine gun bullets for the bnp. He doesn’t have to do that. He has, as a result of his stupidity, thrown away his career and damaged his mental health in the process. They’re not good adverts for the bnp and Harrington’s pomposity won’t help them one bit.

Anonymous said...

Harrington really hasnt got a clue has he, by putting that letter in the paper he has done the head teachers and governors job for them. He should be applauded. Breeched every rule in the Employment Law handbook. If and its a big IF Walker had any chance at all of saving his job and his career Harrington by his actions has just killed it stone dead.

I cant believe the muppets actually pay to join this 'union'.

Pete said...

Anonymous forgot to mention that the following letter also appeared in the Northern Echo, below the one from Harrington:

I WAS rather surprised at the tone of your report headed "Supporters of teacher say they may step up protests" (Echo, Sept 4).

It is difficult in reporting, I agree, to strike a political balance, but it might have been pointed out to readers that the Solidarity trade union which organised this demonstration is in truth a part of the fascist BNP, of which the suspended teacher is a member, and election candidate.

Solidarity, like its "parent" BNP, does not have a record of supporting workers' action, but it will seek to join in disputes for its own ends.

Patrick Harrington, the union representative you quoted, set up this union after being expelled from the railworkers' union (RMT).

Although his union has been registered with the authorities it has not sought any affiliation with the Trades Union Congress.

Bill Lawrence, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.

Anonymous said...

Although his union has been registered with the authorities it has not sought any affiliation with the Trades Union Congress.

There are quite a few Unions who don't affiliate to the TUC. Solidarity has chosen not to affiliate to the TUC as:-

1. It advocates 'One Big Union' covering all industries and professions.

2. It does not support the policy and political direction of the TUC. In particular the captiulation of the TUC and its affiliates to global captialism.

3. It does not wish to be bound by TUC rules on 'poaching' members from other Unions.

The TUC in supporting scabs for political reasons has again shown that it is morally bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

Has Harrington moved in with one of the Walker brothers now that he’s signing his letters from Spennymoor?

The Union PO Box is in Spennymoor.

If Harrington wants to protect Walker’s privacy why is he revealing what went on in the meeting with the head teacher?

Comments made in the letter were in response to a claim by the Headteacher that there was no political motivation involved in the suspension. The Headteacher also issued public statements condemning the protest.

In the face of an uncaring and irresponsible attitude on the part of management to health concerns our GS has every right to speak out.

Monitoring emails and internet use without express consent or taking reasonable steps to inform those involved that this might happen is, I think you will find, a different matter.

Breeched every rule in the Employment Law handbook.

I think you mean 'Breached' but in any case you are wrong. What handbook are you reading? Please see Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Anonymous said...

Although his union has been registered with the authorities it has not sought any affiliation with the Trades Union Congress.

The TUC have said they would cross a Solidarity picket line. Solidarity says it will respect the picket lines of other Unions. In the 70s the TUC tried to lead a 'back to work' March to break the Ulster Workers Council strike. When it suits the TUC and their Labour Party 'allies' politically they are quite happy to scab.

Anonymous said...

Old Sailor said...
Actually I've just thought up a way to raise money for UAF.

Lets have a sponsored cross the 'Squalidarity' Picket line - say a £1 for every time we cross !


You don't seem to be down with this Union thing. Unless you worked at the school it wouldn't matter how many times you went back and forth. People object to those crossing Union picket lines only if they are supplying goods or services or going into work (scabs).

I think that whatever anyone thinks of Solidarity it is very dangerous to encourage the crossing of picket lines.

Anonymous said...

You were stuffed on your first case by a head teacher who treated you with the contempt you deserve.

Mark Walker at least currently has a job unlike the 8 Unison members in South Wales sacked for looking at Ebay!

Anonymous said...

Solidarity has posted the following article on their website:-

TUC: - 'Scabs are us'

The TUC has called for Trade Unionists to ignore the new independent Union’s (Solidarity) action in support of one of its members, including crossing any picket line (see TUC Press Release 6/9 'No solidarity with the BNP' from Kevin Rowan - Regional Secretary)

Solidarity has supported one of its members (suspended Teacher Mark Walker) in a dispute with his employer over Internet use at work. Because Mr. Walker also happens to be a member of the British National Party some TUC bureaucrats have a political bias which is in conflict with traditional Union values in encouraging the breaking of picket lines.

A Solidarity spokesman commented: -

"Solidarity will respect the picket lines of other Trade Unions. We regard anyone crossing an official Union picket line to work or provide services as a Scab. The attitude of some other Unions and the TUC in lining up behind the employer is a disgrace. They have forgotten whose side they are meant to be on."

"This is yet another indication of the depths to which the TUC has sunk when they refuse to defend workers and even their own members if they disagree with their personal political position. Solidarity refuses to go along with this New McCarthyism. We fight for the rights of our members regardless of their individual political positions. We shall continue to support the rights of our members and will continue to assist Mr. Walker in his case. Anyone thinking of crossing a Solidarity picket line should examine their conscience and think again."