4 May 2010

Tony Benn backs Abdul Omer

Former Labour MP Tony Benn is one of dozens of trade union and political figures that are backing the campaign for the reinstatement of Abdul Omer Mohsin.
Abdul Omer is the Unite union convenor at London Sovereign buses, owned by the giant multinational Transdev. It is a subsidiary of France’s state-owned Caisse des Dépôts, and is the fourth largest private operator of public transport networks in Europe.
“I have been sacked for being an effective union rep,” says Abdul Omer. “My union representative did an excellent job at demolishing the company’s case when I appealed against the sacking, but this has been ignored.
“I am determined to fight on for justice, and it is wonderful to have solidarity from so many people. I appeal to the company to see sense and to reinstate me.” Abdul Omer spoke at London’s May Day trade union march where he received a very warm welcome.
Company management claim they sacked Abdul Omer because he acted in an unacceptable and intimidatory way towards a witness at a disciplinary hearing. But Abdul Omer says he was not offensive, that the witness made no complaint, and he was simply standing up for a fellow worker.
The Unite union has fully backed Abdul Omer’s campaign against sacking, and his colleagues at the Harrow and Edgware garages are discussing possible industrial action in response.
The Defend Abdul Omer campaign, a broadly-based group, is supporting Unite’s campaign to win reinstatement. It is also demanding that London Mayor Boris Johnson intervenes to investigate charges of union-busting at London Sovereign.
He’s responsible for the operators that run the capital’s bus services. He should be forced to come out against this outrageous attack on a union.

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