Northern Ireland: Airport workers suspend hunger strike to await offer

Legal bills understood to be paid – Unite union promise to make compensation offer

PRESS RELEASE – Friday 23rd May

Decision whether to recommence the hunger strike under review

The sacked airport shop stewards, Gordon McNeill and Chris Bowyer, who have been on hunger strike on the balcony outside Transport House [Unite union offices, Belfast] suspended their action at 9 am this morning.

The men have come off the Transport House balcony. Gordon McNeill, who went five days without food and water, and a further three days without food, was suffering from chest pains and had to be assisted off. Chris Bowyer has been suffering bowel problems. Both men have now gone for urgent medical assistance.

The hunger strikers had made clear earlier in the week that they would temporarily suspend the hunger strike if the union made good its promise to pay outstanding legal bills and to cover the costs of legal representation for the Court of Appeal case now pending.

The shop stewards now understand that the legal bills are now being paid and the terms on which barristers will be engaged to handle the appeal have been agreed. All that remains is the outstanding issue of compensation and the protest has been suspended to allow urgent discussions on this.

Gordon McNeill today said:

"We are pleased that Unite now appears to have paid our legal costs and that we can now have a legal team in place for the appeal.

"We have suspended our action because we said that if Unite showed good faith by paying these bills, we would allow a space for an offer on compensation to be made and negotiated.

"I expect Unite to act with urgency on this so that I will be able to announce a final settlement of this long running issue. This will depend on them offering an amount of compensation that realistically reflects the six years of hardship and suffering that our families and ourselves have been put through."

Special financial appeal to all readers of socialistworld.net

Support building alternative socialist media

Socialistworld.net provides a unique analysis and perspective of world events. Socialistworld.net also plays a crucial role in building the struggle for socialism across all continents. Capitalism has failed! Assist us to build the fight-back and prepare for the stormy period of class struggles ahead.
Please make a donation to help us reach more readers and to widen our socialist campaigning work across the world.

Donate via Paypal

Liked this article? Please become a Patron! and support our work

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


May 2008
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031