150 - 200 people marched through Hastings on Saturday to demand the reinstatement of victimised reps at CSA Hastings and a Parliamentary enquiry into the actions of Area Management. The crowd chanted “Reinstate Sam” inbetween hearing speakers explain how a person dying of cancer was sacked for exceeding their sick days and a black union rep was sacked for asking if he was being discriminated against.
Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council spoke, giving his full support to the campaign and in a surprise move a message of support from the prominent Labour MP John McDonnell was read out, stating “I will do all I can to help. I will raise this at the Parliamentary Group and we will use every mechanism we can to expose what has happened and seek redress.”
John McDonnell is a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee that oversees the CSA and Chair of the PCS All Party Parliamentary Group.
Sam Buckley, PCS CSA Hastings Secretary, the latest sacked branch officer, challenged the Area Management team to support the demand for an enquiry if they truly believed their actions had been right.
The march also heard from Tony Mulhearn, former Liverpool City Councillor who said he was “proud” to support reps dismissed for fighting for their members, while other speakers emphasised the public sector cuts coming up and urged the public to attend the Trades Council’s meeting against cuts on October 7th.
Other speakers included Dave Richards and Dominic McFadden from the PCS National leadership, Eddie Fleming, the first union officer to be sacked, Alex Richardson of the student group Youth For Jobs and Corrine Lotz of the campaigning group ‘A World To Win’
Delegations had come from London, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Dover, Oxford, Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bristol and Newcastle as well as from Hastings and its neighbouring towns. The rally ended with a pledge to step up the pressure and build the campaign