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PCS rep disciplined for exposing job losses

A UNION rep was disciplined after exposing plans to sack staff at job and youth centres in Work and Pension Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s own constituency, PCS conference has heard. 

North-east London job centre worker George Thompson told delegates on Tuesday evening how he was handed a final written warning for alerting colleagues to job cuts. 

The rep reported plans to slash staffing levels at Leytonstone job centre and Walthamstow youth hub — in Mr Duncan Smith’s Woodford and Chingford seat — to colleagues.

He also warned the public about how services would be hit in a press release to the local newspaper. 

Bosses were angry that the union campaign had caused embarrassment to cuts cheerleader Mr Duncan Smith, who was forced to deny the claims.

And they responded in December by handing Mr Thompson a written warning for an alleged breach of confidentiality. 

“If he commits any disciplinary offence in the next two years he could be sacked, no matter how minor it is,” PCS official Steve Cawkwell told the Star yesterday. 

“They are trying to stop members from saying what any union rep would say about job cuts.” 

Delegates at the union’s annual conference resolved to consider industrial action to end the disciplinary action and fund a legal challenge if Mr Thompson is sacked.

Mr Cawkwell added: “I think it’s important the union must defend the right of lay reps to publicly campaign for policy. 

“Otherwise it will be left just to full time officers.”


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