Petition passes 1,000 signatures
Employment tribunal in the pipeline
New action outside Friends House on 27th August
After a quiet few months, our campaign is back. Why the period of silence? At the end of April we called off a large action planned for Britain Yearly Meeting (the annual conference of British Quakers), which happened to coincide with International Workers’ Day. We did this because, at the last minute, we received written confirmation that, while they still refused to negotiate with the IWW, Friends House management were willing to negotiate with Unite on all three of the sacked workers’ cases. Acting in good faith, and hoping for a resolution to over half a year of torment, we suspended our actions while negotiations were going on.
But management did not keep their word. After a few fruitless meetings with Unite they revealed their real position: despite their written commitment, managers admitted that they would not negotiate on all of cases, insisting instead on excluding a specific one of us.
Management have released a tendentious statement saying that they ‘engaged in an active process with Unite’ and that Unite ‘does not intend to pursue this matter further.’ What they fail to explain is that negotiations have failed because they broke their commitment and refused to negotiate over one of our cases, in what is clearly an attempt to divide-and-rule us.
So it’s time to put on the pressure again. We have been greatly encouraged by the fact that since our last action we passed the 1,000-signature mark on our petition. And we’ve received more kind messages of support, some of which we have now published on here.
We still believe we lost our jobs unjustly, so intend to continue pursuing reinstatement, lost wages, and compensation for material hardship and mental and physical ill-health caused by the decisions of the Friends House Hospitality Company.
We are pursuing the formal avenue of an employment tribunal, which will take place in the next couple of months. Since changes to the law by the last government, tribunals are (deliberately) very expensive; and Friends House management retain the services of expensive professional lawyers. If you have the funds to donate to our crowdfunding campaign, this will help us afford the material and legal costs of our fight for justice.
Until then we will be continuing our campaign of direct action. If you want to help us in the meantime, you can:
- keep signing and sharing the petition, and
- most importantly, keep an eye on this blog for announcements regarding actions, and then come along!
Thanks to everyone for your support so far.