Gordon McNeill resumes hunger and thirst strike at Transport House
Start of protest delayed because Gordon collapsed and had to delay travelling to Belfast
Protest is over the Unite leadership’s insistence that Gordon signs up to a gagging clause before they give him a penny compensation
“I want Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly to be held personally responsible for whatever may happen now” Gordon McNeill
Gordon McNeill began his protest outside Transport House at 3pm this afternoon. The start of his protest had to be delayed for three hours because Gordon last night stopped taking pain killers and other medication in preparation for his hunger and thirst strike and was unable to travel.
Gordon is continuing his protest this afternoon and will begin a hunger and thirst strike at 10 am tomorrow morning. This protest is in defiance of the injunction served on him by Unite Irish Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly.
His protest will end as soon as Unite General Secretary, Tony Woodley and Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly agree to pay him the compensation they paid to his fellow shop stewards, Chris Bowyer and Madan Gupta, but without the clause preventing him from ever again speaking about the role of the union in the dispute.
Gordon today commented:
“Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly are offering me a bribe to keep me silent about the role of officials of my union. I will never accept these terms.
“I want them to pay me the compensation they paid my colleagues, but as a right not as a bribe.
“The full responsibility for what will now happen rests with Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly. The question that they will have to answer is why did they prolong this dispute by insisting on my silence on their role and the role of other officials of my union.
“All union officials should be accountable to the members they represent. But how can members make them accountable if they are not allowed to know the facts about what they have done? I am here defending the right of every Unite member to be fully informed about what their officials are doing.
“All my supporters have urged me not to go back to a hunger and thirst strike. My health has already suffered badly as a result of previous protests and I know the consequences of what I am doing. But I am left with no choice at this stage.
“I am in need of urgent surgery but have refused the operation until this is sorted out. I am not prepared to spend months recuperating knowing that at the end of it all I will have to start up my fight with my union leaders all over again. One way or another I want this resolved first.
“I am determined to see this through until I get justice. I invite Unite members and journalists to contact Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly and ask how they can justify paying bribes to members to keep them quiet.”