Dispute update

Madan Gupta and Chris Bowyer sign up to deal

Gordon McNeill suffers serious ill health and faces emergency surgery as a result of his hunger and thirst strike.

Madan Gupta and Chris Bowyer have accepted the union offer of £40,000 in return for their complete silence about the dispute. They can no make any comment on any aspect of what happened.


We are now posting a copy of the agreement that they signed so that all Unite members can see how their union leadership is prepared to bribe members to keep them from speaking out. This is an early version of the agreement that was eventually signed. The only difference is that the amount of the bribe was increased from £35,000 to £40,000. Clause (h) is the gagging clause.


To read agreement click here.

Gordon McNeill has refused to sell his right to tell the truth about what happened and is determined that his campaign for justice will continue. However a series of meetings and public events that had been planned have had to be postponed because of health problems caused by his hunger and thirst strike.


Gordon has been immobilised and is awaiting urgent surgery to fuse vertebrae in his neck. Doctors have confirmed that discs in his neck that were dried out and damaged during the hunger and thirst strike have herniated and will have to be removed.


Gordon is adamant that his campaign for justice will continue as soon as he has recovered and can travel.  He commented today:


The most important thing for me now is to make sure that the true story of our dispute is told. I will never accept the bribe that Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly have tried to get me to accept in return for my silence.


“Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly both said that a confidentiality clause is a “standard” requirement of an agreement. It is no such thing. I could have taken the union to court and would have won the case. I would have been compensated and there would have been no gagging clause.


“The real question for Unite members now to ask is why do Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly want to buy my silence? What is it that they don’t want Unite members to know about?


“If I sold my right to speak I would also be selling the democratic right of every member of Unite to know the truth. I will never sell this right.


“The health problems I am now suffering are a result of the hunger and thirst strikes that I had to undertake to get the Unite leadership to stand by commitments they had made on our legal fees. This makes me even more determined that their efforts to bury the truth will not succeed.


“They have published lies on the Unite website about what happened in the dispute and especially about the role of the current Unite leadership. I will make sure that these are answered. I will be challenging Tony Woodley to set up an enquiry made up of rank and file members of Unite acceptable to both sides to establish the full facts of what happened and start to draw the lessons.


My public campaign for justice will resume as soon as my health permits.”


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