Wednesday 15 July 2015

Cowardly attack on Barnet Unison rep car

Local Unison rep John Burgess had his car vandalised and a homophobic note left on his windscreen on Sunday.

The vandals dug a nail into his tyre and left an abusive note on his car

This is clearly the work of a cowardly and rather sad individual. John assumes that the note refers to his support of the recent Pride march, where John carried a UNISON banner. I am sure everyone in Barnet will deplore such revolting behaviour. A letter is being sent to local and national newspapers deploring this attack. The text is as follows

Dear  Editor, 

We, the undersigned, wish to convey our disgust at the act of hate crime vandalism carried out on the car of Barnet UNISON branch secretary John Burgess on 8th July. We note this  attack  took place  two  weeks after his name appeared in support of a planned anti-fascist protest in Golders Green and 10 days after John and the Barnet UNISON banner  featured prominently in the trade union block on the Pride March.  Given this background we do not think  either the manner of the attack or the homophobic language used  were  coincidental . We also believe that the way in which  some sections of the media and some politicians  have chosen to vilify trade unions,  has played  a role  by  seeming to legitimise such an individual attack as has been suffered by John Burgess. John is an elected official who enjoys the support of his branch membership. If this attack was an attempt to silence the work of John or the branch he represents, then it has failed. We will not stand aside and allow a fellow trade unionist , who has set an outstanding example over several years, to be intimidated in this way. We call on all supporters to join the Barnet UNISON branch on the community demonstration 12thSeptember in Barnet to save Barnet Libraries at 11.15 a.m. Church End Library N3 1TR.

Helen Davies
Branch Chair
Save Barnet Libraries March September 12th 2015

If you wish to add your name to this, please email me and I will pass on your details to Helen. As I listen to the radio this morning, I cannot help but despair at the fact that the Trades Unions are under attack by the government as well as by sad nutcases. It is an undisputable fact that one of the reasons the UK has a safe workplace and a prosperous economy is due to the Trades Unions. Measures such as a living wage, now adopted by George Osborne, were first proposed by Unions. Many sensible health and safety at work measures, keeping us safe on buses, trains and air transport, as well as building sites and even offices have come about because of unions working hard. There is a myth that strikes are called by militant Union bosses. This is a nonsense. Since the days of Thatcher, members have to vote in favour of a strike for it to take place. They lose pay going on strike, so it is clear that no one would do it for trivial reasons. Whilst we have an elected Conservative government, which is clearly hell bent on stripping workers rights, every sensible person who thinks working people should get a decent rate of pay and a safe working environment must show solidarity with people such as John at the cutting edge of the struggle for their members. Let us not forget that Johns members take care of most of the most vulnerable people in Barnet. They get low pay and have a difficult and important job. They deserve our support and our solidarity. If you know who the nutcase was who vandalised Johns car, please tell the police.

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