Unite Goes Messenger Hunting

Unite Chief of Staff Murray
Rather than investigate the proven breaches of union rules by Los Angeles Liz illegally staying on the Executive , by her branch making illegal nominations to the Executive and the whitewash Prof Ewing report into it all, last week the Unite Executive decided instead to investigate member David Beaumont.

 

David, jointly with Executive candidate Lesley Mansell and with the help of many BASSA branch members, had made the initial complaint which brought the illegal activity to light.

 

Andrew Murray, McCluskey's chief of staff, wielded the lead piping on 12th June:

David wrote back:

"Dear Andrew

I refer to your letter dated 12th June 2015 commencing an investigation against me and threatening disciplinary proceedings against me under rule 27 1.5, which I received today.

I have had no previous notice of this. I have not seen or heard any complaints made against me. The Executive Council decision was taken without any consultation with me or notice to me. At no time have I been asked to respond to any complaints. In short the decision is peremptory.

Please immediately forward to me:

1) Copies of all complaints made against me.

2) The minutes of the Executive council meeting where this decision was made.

3) A copy of the decision itself and any supporting materials provided to the Executive Council in the making of that decision.

4) All the EC guidance you rely on, and/or were considered by the Executive Council and/or you intend to use against me. It is not good enough to say that 'you know I am familiar with the Unite rule book'.

David"

Colonel Murray has 'previous' on threatening members, having written to Executive candidate Lesley Mansell  back in July 2014:

"To be clear, I do not wish to initiate disciplinary action against you, nor to refer this matter to the Executive Council under rule, particularly given your distinguished history in the movement. However, I am required to protect the integrity of our procedures, which your false allegations against myself have clearly compromised. I would therefore be grateful if you could send me an acknowledgement of your mistake in respect of the three statements listed above, and a commitment not to repeat such false allegations to the Election Commissioner or anyone else in future."

Lesley refused to apologise and the Certification Officer subsequently found in her favour.

LA Malone
BASSA Secretary Smith
David finally received sight of the complaints on 26th June. The complaints dated from 26th May and were from BASSA ex-chair Lizanne Malone , BASSA secretary Adrian Smith and current BASSA chair Sean Beatty. The complaints were personal and had not been endorsed by a BASSA branch meeting.

David commented "It's embarrassing to be part of a union where the bureaucracy behave like this.  How can they honestly confront the worst employers who treat their staff the same way?"


He responded by trying to get the union to investigate the rule breakers, rather than the messengers. Unlike the union bureaucracy, he is happy to make the complaints in public rather than in secret:


"Dear Andrew

Please find below complaints against members of my union. I trust they will be investigated in the same way and timescale as complaints made against me.

Complaint against member Keith Ewing, Unite Election Commissioner.
 

I assume Prof Ewing is a member of Unite, if not please let me know and I will withdraw this complaint. Assuming he is a member, I note that he is not an employee of the union and therefore does not obtain the immunity afforded to you by rule 28.1.

Rule 27.1.1 Acting in any way contrary to the rules or any duty or obligation imposed on that member by or pursuant to these rules whether in his/her capacity as a member, a holder of a lay office or a representative of the Union.
Prof Ewing by his own admission failed to investigate BASSA branch:
 "I did not investigate further whether 7 days’ notice was given to members, whether nominations appeared on the agenda, or whether there was a request for endorsement or a vote on the nominations. This is because on the basis of the investigations already conducted (including in particular my conversation with the branch secretary), it was not necessary to do so for the purpose of dealing with this complaint."
It was subsequently found at the Certification Office that the branch had not complied with these basic requirements of rule. Prof Ewing clearly had an obligation and duty under rule 16.28 to investigate the complaint against BASSA branch. By his own admission he failed to do so. 


Rule 27.1.3 Knowingly, recklessly or in bad faith providing the Union with false or misleading information relating to a member or any other aspect of the Union’s activities. Prof Ewing came to the wrong conclusion in his report on the issue of invalid nominations by the BASSA branch in the Executive Elections. This is evidenced by the Certification Office ruling 15th May 2015. As per the complaint above, Prof Ewing knowingly did not investigate the issues which BASSA branch was subsequently found guilty of, despite them being brought to his attention by candidate Lesley Mansell. Therefore I believe his report to the union was false or misleading relating to BASSA branch's activities. If am wrong that Mr Ewing knowingly provided a false or misleading report than I maintain that he was reckless in providing it without proper investigation of the complaints made by Lesley Mansell.

Rule 27.1.5 Bringing about injury to or discredit upon the Union or any member of the Union.
By his breaches above I believe Prof Ewing resulted in the union losing a case at the Certification Office which was then publicly reported in Private Eye magazine, which brought discredit and injury upon the union.


Complaint against member Lizanne Malone, ex-chair BASSA branch.

Rule 27.1.1 Acting in any way contrary to the rules or any duty or obligation imposed on that member by or pursuant to these rules whether in his/her capacity as a member, a holder of a lay office or a representative of the Union.  
a) Ms Malone held office on our union's executive illegally from about 1 May 2014 to about 15 December 2014 in breach of rule 6.2. See the Certification Office ruling 15/5/15 to this effect.

b) According to the Certification Officer ruling of 15/5/15 the BASSA branch meeting of 13 January 2014 to nominate candidates to the union's executive was not properly convened in breach of rule 16.8. The branch did not give notice that nominations would be included in the business of that meeting. The branch breached rule 16.8 of the union rules when the BASSA branch convened a nomination meeting without having given correct notice of that meeting. As branch chair at the time Ms Malone is responsible for the actions that gave rise to those breaches.



Rule 27.1.2 Being a party to any fraud on the Union or any misappropriation or misuse of its funds or property.
Ms Malone continued to claim expenses from the union for the period 1 May 2014 to about 15 December 2014 which is, I believe, either fraud, misappropriation or misuse of union funds.

Rule 27.1.3 Knowingly, recklessly or in bad faith providing the Union with false or misleading information relating to a member or any other aspect of the Union’s activities.
Ms Malone failed to tell the union she was ineligible to hold office on the executive for the period from about 1 May 2014 to about 15 December 2014. Therefore by omission I believe she knowingly, recklessly or in bad faith provided the union with false or misleading information.

Rule 27.1.5 Bringing about injury to or discredit upon the Union or any member of the Union.
By her breaches above Ms Malone resulted in the union losing a case at the Certification Office which was then publicly reported in Private Eye magazine edition 1395 June 2015, which brought discredit and injury upon the union.


Complaint against member Adrian Smith, secretary BASSA Branch. 

Rule 27.1.1 Acting in any way contrary to the rules or any duty or obligation imposed on that member by or pursuant to these rules whether in his/her capacity as a member, a holder of a lay office or a representative of the Union.
According to the Certification Officer ruling of 15/5/15 the BASSA branch meeting of 13 January 2014 to nominate candidates to the union's executive was not properly convened in breach of rule 16.8. The branch did not give notice that nominations would be included in the business of that meeting. The branch breached rule 16.8 of the union rules when the BASSA branch convened a nomination meeting without having given correct notice of that meeting. As branch secretary it is Mr Smith's actions that gave rise to those breaches.

Rule 27.1.3 Knowingly, recklessly or in bad faith providing the Union with false or misleading information relating to a member or any other aspect of the Union’s activities.
Mr Smith in his witness statement at the Certification Office hearing stated that "No mention is made of the nomination process in the agenda as this is not necessary under the Rules." This statement is untrue and incorrect. It is I believe false and misleading. The statement was provided to the union by Mr Smith and used by the union at the hearing. Mr Smith made it knowingly. He repeated it as a witness at the hearing and under cross examination. If I am wrong that it was made knowingly then it is surely reckless for a Branch Secretary to wrongly pronounce on the rules of the union relating to his branch's conduct.


Rule 27.1.5 Bringing about injury to or discredit upon the Union or any member of the Union. By his breaches above Mr Smith resulted in the union losing a case at the Certification Office which was then publicly reported in Private Eye magazine edition 1395 June 2015, which brought discredit and injury upon the union.

Please confirm receipt of these complaints and keep me updated with their progress.

David"


LA Malone is clearly on first name terms with 'Lenny' McCluskey, see this extract from her complaint:




Unite Election Commissioner Ewing
Meanwhile the hunt for the £1/2 million in BASSA branch 'sundries' continues, as well as for other huge amounts of expenditure by the branch. 

A new Certification Office public hearing is set for 29th July.


 

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