29 July 2020

Racism, Bullying and Abuse: A Timeline of Events Featured

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May 2018:  Unite the Union and its London and Eastern Region lose yet another legal case of sexual harassment and race discrimination.


August 2018:  Five senior Jewish rabbis resign their membership of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch in protest at antisemism within the Union.


October 2018:  Revd Dean Henley, a gay Officer of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch Executive Committee for equalities, resigns following his experiencing homophobic bullying and abuse in the Union.


March 2019:  Revd Steven Saxby, Executive Committee Member of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch, caught and subsequently suspended for his extra-marital sexual relationships.  He is later suspended for sexual harassment.


12 and 19 July 2019:  Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini, Muslim academic and Officer of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch Executive Committee, publishes two articles in the Church of England Newspaper, concerning bullying of clergy by the Church of England hierarchy and interfaith industry, and victimisation and abuse of whistleblowers of sexual abuse within the Church of England.


17 July 2019:  There takes place a meeting between Revd Peter Hobson and the Executive of Church of England Clergy Advocates (CECA), the Anglican sub-group of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch, with authorities of the Church of England at Church House.  At this meeting, the Church of England authorities complain and apply pressure in relation to Muhammad Al-Hussaini's newspaper articles on bullying, sexual abuse and victimisation within the Church.


2 August 2019:  Peter Hobson publishes a statement falsely claiming to be issued "On behalf of the Executive of the FWB of Unite", despite his doing so in the face of objection from the Anglican Chair, Revd Stephen Trott and the black Anglican Secretary, Revd Dr David Isiorho, and without any consultation with the Executive Committee including Muhammad Al-Hussaini himself as an Executive Committee Officer.  On the same day, Stephen Trott resigns in protest at this behaviour and due to the ongoing "vendetta" perpetrated against Muhammad Al-Hussaini by another Anglican Executive Member, Revd Steven Saxby at the "agitation" of William Campbell-Taylor, a controversial fellow Labour Party vicar also within the City of London.  The Church of England confirms that both Steven Saxby and William Campbell-Taylor are currently the subject of legal action for alleged sexual abuse and harassment and other offences under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003.


3 August 2019:  A mutlifaith letter from Christian, Hindu and Jewish clergy is sent to Officers of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch expressing strong concern at these events, and furthermore raising objection to Revd Ruth Oates, Peter Hobson and others involved in this incident of dishonest media statement, bullying and victimisation from taking over leadership of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch.


August 2019:  Nicole Charlett, Regional Officer of Unite London and Eastern Region, is abusive to David Isiorho, Secretary of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch, on his attempting to broker a mediation and also she shouts at Muhammad Al-Hussaini, Officer of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch Executive, when approached for mediation.


September 2019:  Despite formal complaints and written objections, Ruth Oates, is voted by the white Christian majority as "Acting Chair" of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch at its Branch Meeting.  Muhammad Al-Hussaini is silenced from raising a point of order under the Unite Rule Book, by Vice-Chair, Revd Terence Young banging on the table.  Muhammad Al-Hussaini is also blocked from attending a training course of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch.  Hindu scholar and theologian, Pandit Satish Sharma, raises objections about racial and religious discrimination at the same meeting.  In the same meeting, Ruth Oates makes false statements, claiming that Stephen Trott resigned as Chair entirely due to work commitments elsewhere.


January 2020:  Satish Sharma and Muhammad Al-Hussaini submit constitutional documents and formal application for recognition of the two BAME and non-Christian Workplace Groupings (sub-groups within the Unite Faith Workers' Branch), the Association of Hindu Faith Workers' and Muslim Faith Workers.  Both Workplace Groupings have been constituted with a governance document and Executive Committees which have been meeting, and meet all the requirements of the Unite Rule Book.  These are properly entered on to the Agenda of the meeting and no query is raised or received by any Officer of Unite the Union.


28 January 2020:  At the meetings of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch Ruth Oates, unilaterally blocks any vote taking place on these two BAME and non-Christian Workplace Groupings for Hindus and Muslims.  She falsely claims that the two Workplace Groupings have not met the minimum numbers and other requirements, and calls out Donna Williams, Unite Regional Officer and David Isiorho from the meeting room.  David Isiorho, clearly objects that there is no evidence for Ruth Oates's false claims, but is overruled.  In the same meeting, Ruth Oates repeats the lie that Stephen Trott resigned entirely due to the reasons she had given at the previous meeting in September and claimed falsely to have correspondence to support her claim.  Ruth Oates further blocked any vote taking place on the co-option of Satish Sharma as the first Hindu Representative on the Executive Committee.


May 2020:  The applications and constitutions for the Hindu and Muslim Workplace Groupings are resubmitted for placing on the Agenda of the next meeting, together with a request for Unite the Union and the Faith Workers' Branch to offer any queries or further requirements with plenty of time between then and the subsequent July meeting.  No questions, queries or requests for further information are forthcoming.  Instead, a letter is sent to the Executive Committee by Siobhan Endean and Neil Gillam of the Unite the Union Legal Department stating that the Hindu and Muslim Workplace Groupings do indeed meet the requirements for recognition and that this full recognition should take place at the next meeting.  In the intervening period there is considerable bullying, undermining and victimisation of black and ethnic minority Officers, in particlar the Branch Secretary, David Isiorho.  The resolution for recognition of these two BAME and non-Christian Workplace Groupings and co-option of Satish Sharma to the Executive is again entered on to the written Agenda by the Branch Secretary.


June 2020:  There is an agenda-setting teleconference in which Neil Gillam gives the clear assurance that at the next Executive Committee meeting in July the Association of Hindu Faith Workers and Muslim Faith Workers will be presented for vote for full recognition as Workplace Groupings of the Unite Faith Workers' Branch -- emphatically not merely partial or embryonic recognition.


July 2020:  Despite this clear legal advice from Unite the Union, on the date of the Executive Committee Meeting, Peter Hobson, objects to and opposes the resolution for recognition of the Hindu and Muslim Workplace Groupings with the support of Ruth Oates, and then she forces Peter Hobson's change to diminish recognition only to recognition of the constitutions as part of a process of future recognition, despite protest by Muhammad Al-Hussaini who reads out the relevant paragraph from the Unite Legal Departments' letter.  In any event, the white Christian majority Executive Committee rejects even the constitutions of the two BAME and non-Christian Workplace Groupings, which have already been approved by Unite the Union Legal Department.  Peter Hobson states that he has been observing Satish Sharma since his joining the Unite Faith Workers' Branch and does not consider him suitable to be co-opted to the Executive Committee, while others raise the fact that Satish Sharma has presented complaints and taken legal action for race and religious discrimination as matters to consider when deciding whether to co-opt him.  The white Christian majority Executive Committee reject Satish Sharma's co-option.  A few days later, Ruth Oates, who has clearly faced concerns from Unite about rejected the Union's own legal advice, writes an urgent e-mail proposing to partially backtrack on these racist and sectarian decisions, but still making false and dishonest statements to delay the recognition of the Hindu and Muslim Workplace Groupings.  These are condemned by the Executive Committees of both Hindu and Muslim Workplace Groupings and rejected.

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    Len McClusky’s Unite Union Officers accused of racial and religious discrimination against BAME Faith Workers.

    Asian Hindu, Afro-Caribbean Christian and Arab Muslim ethnic minority religious leaders and academics are taking legal action against Unite the Union, the UK's biggest trades union for serious racial and religious discrimination, harassment and bullying.

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