|Jimmy Warne - illegally expelled|
If you ever wondered why we need election of officials in this union, read this story. If you ever thought that reports of the union being controlled by a small, paid, 'General Secretary supporters club' were exaggerated, read this story.
Jimmy Warne was chair of the 'lay' (unpaid) Broad Left in the union (Amicus) from 2001-2006. This was the 'Gazette' group which fought hard to topple the corrupt Right wing regime of Sir Ken Jackson . We won that battle and put in place the supposed Left winger Derek Simpson, who claimed 'election of officials' was his guiding principle. Clearly it turned out not to be. Jimmy Warne stood up to Simpson and was instrumental in exposing 'Baylissgate'.
In return Simpson sacked Jimmy from his union job. Jimmy won an unfair dismissal settlement at an Employment Tribunal. Not content with this, Simpson's paid staff continued to harass Jimmy and eventually expelled him in May 2009, with a typical mixture of incompetence and malice. They did not tell Jimmy until December 2009. In January 2010 Jimmy took the union to another Employment Tribunal (ET) claiming the expulsion was unjustifiable discipline. Last week the ET gave its unanimous and damning judgement which we publish in full here.
It is an extraordinary decision. Jimmy's counsel Jody Atkinson told us
"I am pleased to report that we were successful on every point, despite the employment by Unite of expensive London counsel to take every technical point under the sun, and constant threats of costs from the Union's own solicitors Thompsons, who should know better. Davey Hall and Jeff Tate were found to have acted maliciously by seeking to victimise Jimmy for his previous Tribunal claim made during the Baylissgate Affair."
Jimmy himself told us:
"Tate and Hall and therefore Unite have had a vendetta against me and my Branch since the Union dismissed me for whistle blowing. Finally I have been vindicated and I call upon the General Secretary elect to suspend both Hall and Tate immediately and have an independent inquiry into this affair. I am confident that if Hall and Tate are questioned they will tell us that they were acting under instruction."
The plot is a little Kafkaesque but in essence it was -
- Sack Jimmy.
- Wait for him to make an application for exemption from union subs due to unemployment.
- 'Lose' the application (and 'lose' a follow up one) and let him mount up arrears without telling him.
- When he is 26 weeks in arrears expel him as per the rules (but don't tell him).
- Now wait until 6 months have passed before informing him. This will make any application he makes to an Employment Tribunal (ET) 'out of time' .
Fortunately the ET saw through this. The tribunal consists of a Judge, an ex union