By Pat Markey for the Education Solidarity Network
When trying to keep your workplace safe during the pandemic, when what you do could save lives, how would you expect your boss to respond? Maybe with some appreciation or a grudging “thank you”?
Unfortunately, in far too many cases is that union reps are facing bullying and harassment for trade union activity during the pandemic. Louise Lewis of Kirklees National Education Union [NEU], John Boken of Shropshire NEU, Tracy McGuire of Darlington NEU, and Kirstie Paton of Greenwich NEU are just four activists who are currently facing victimisation for supporting staff and raising safety issues during the pandemic.
The NEU needs to act urgently in defence of these union activists, supporting local defence campaigns, helping to link up the campaigns so we can provide mutual support, and seeking to rouse the membership to take whatever action is necessary to force the employer to back off.
We might not expect the boss to thank us for saving lives, but neither should we put up with bullying and victimisation.
• Pat Markey is secretary of Northampton District NEU, writing here in a personal capacity