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St Mungo’s balloted amidst victimisation row

JANUARY 13, 2020

Unite is urging Robert Napier, the chair of the board of the homeless charity St Mungo’s, to carry out an immediate investigation into an allegation of victimisation of a lead Unite representative.

The call comes in response to emails, obtained under a subject access request, which make reference to the trade union activities of Unite’s lead trade union representative at St Mungo’s, Aftaar Malik. One of the emails includes the line: ‘He [Malik] will make a pretty poor martyr.’

The victimisation allegations by Unite centre on emails it obtained under a subject access request, in which the union claimed that its lead trade representative, Aftaar Malik, was referred to as a "martyr". 

The union said the email came after a meeting at which Malik was "aggressively" asked to leave a managers’ forum meeting and left feeling "humiliated".

A statement from St Mungo’s said the charity was looking into the trade union’s complaint.

"We’ve received an allegation of victimisation from a Unite official," the statement

Tabusam Ahmed, regional officer for Unite, said: "Unite is profoundly concerned about the way St Mungo’s appears to be victimising a lead trade union representative. Threatening to make a ‘martyr’ of a union rep is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"Any attempts to victimise our representatives or stop them from speaking up for members and carrying out legitimate trade union activities will be met with the full force of our union."

The union said it believed the treatment of Malik was "part of a bid to undermine our union reps ahead of the strike ballot".

Unite began balloting over 500 members at the charity for strike action yesterday and is profoundly concerned that the lead rep is being targeted for his trade union activities in the run up to the union’s industrial action ballot.

The Charity Commission is also examining information it has received about the staffing and pay and conditions dispute between St Mungo’s and Unite and is "assessing the situation".

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