N Ireland: Sacked airport shop stewards hunger strike for justice

Workers’ health deteriorates dangerously – Urgent protests needed!

Three sacked airport shop stewards, Gordon McNeill, Madan Gupta and Chris Bowyer, began a hunger strike at Transport House Belfast on Monday 7 April demanding justice from their union, Unite. Rather than attempt to resolve this issue through direct dialogue with the shop stewards, the union’s answer has been coercion – in the form of instructions to the police to forcibly remove them from the building – and misinformation – in the form of a Unite public statement that completely falsifies what has happened in this dispute and misrepresents what the protesting shop stewards are demanding.

Six years on from the decision by their employer, airport security firm, ICTS, to sack them for striking for a pay increase, the shop stewards who led this dispute are still campaigning for justice.

Two of the shop stewards, Gordon McNeill and Madan Gupta, have decided to begin a hunger strike at Transport House demanding that commitments given to them last September by  UNITE General Secretary Tony Woodley and other senior officials of the union, including Irish Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly,  be honoured in full.

Toay, both Gordon McNeill and Madan Gupta have been rushed to Belfast City Hospital in a critical condition. This is the second time today that Mr McNeill has been hospitalised. Quickly after returning to Transport House, Mr McNeill took ill and was joined by 72 year-old diabetic Madan Gupta back to Belfast City Hospital. UNITE still refuse to meet with the workers who have been fighting for over 6 years for justice.

Protests to Unite are urgently needed!

Please send email letters of protest to tony.woodley@unitetheunion.com & jkelly@tgwu.org.uk. Fax letters to Belfast: 02890 240 133. You can also phone protests to the Belfast union offices: 02890 232 381.

For more details see socialistpartyni.net

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April 2008