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Dai Powell's Blog Part 3 - Time for an end to Unite’s mixed messages

Why are the Union striking? A question I posed last week. Well, as far as we have been told and the public in Jersey led to believe, they are striking to force us to take back an employee that we sacked after having an accident that injured a passenger. We think we were right and fair, the Union think otherwise.

However, this is not then end of the process. The ex-driver, via the Union, is taking LibertyBus to an Employment Tribunal. This is where this issue should be resolved - this is the reason for Employment Tribunals and we would honour the outcome of due process.

But is this the real reason for the strike? On Friday, a Union Shop Steward put a letter into the lockers of all drivers saying this was not the reason for strike – even though the driver dismissal was on the official notification sent to us by the Union.

The Unite regional office swiftly disavowed the letter – they know as well as we do that it’s not lawful to change your formal grounds for strike action at this stage. However, when a Shop Steward aims to deliberately mislead his colleagues about the reasons for strike action, it is a cause for serious concern.

If we are to avoid the inescapable conclusion that Unite are striking from simple militancy, we need to know, and everyone needs to know, what the Union’s reason is for the strike. It cannot be right to put people through so much hardship when they do not seem to know why they are striking!

If this about a driver sacked for injuring a passenger, we call on Unite to avoid disrupting the public and let the Employment Tribunal take its course. If it is about other issues, then Unite needs to be honest about its motivations so we can bring them into the light and explore them. The public of Jersey deserve better.

Dai Powell



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