Justice for sacked Unite Housing Rep at Peabody

Following the sacking of Unite rep Teresa Santucci, thirty Unite members leafleted the HQ of Peabody housing association this morning handing out leaflets calling for ‘justice for Teresa’.

Peabody Protest Housing Workers

Unite members from the housing workers branch (LE1111) were joined by members of Unite’s community section and BASSA showing solidarity. NSSN (National Shop Stewards Network) members also helped leafleting . It was ice cold but leaflets received a warm response from Peabody staff members going in work; some joined Unite on their way in, most took leaflets and many said how pleased they were to see the union.

Peabody HQ

After nineteen years of service Teresa was sacked on the spot with no procedure and no allegation regarding her performance or behaviour. Following this Peabody’s chief executive responded to Unites protests saying that relations between Teresa and her line manager had ‘broken down’. Not a reason to sack a long standing staff member without warning and with no procedure you might think. When Unite publicised its belief that Teresa was sacked because of her disability and her trade union activities, Peabody hit back by claiming that they had sacked Teresa on capability grounds. They claimed in the press that management had tried to resolve the problem ‘creatively’. But the organisation’s capability procedure had not been used. In fact they jumped to make damaging and false allegations in the press as an attempt to divert attention from their own behaviour. Messages of support have flooded in from around the country and the Unite Housing Workers Branch is determined to send out a clear message that it will not allow workers to be treated in this way and it will certainly not allow trade union reps to be threatened or harassed. The branch has a growing membership in the sector which is now being swelled by new members from Peabody.

The Peabody offices are on a busy road with many bus routes passing by, seeing the red flags many buses sounded their horns and some drivers stopped to take leaflets. Unite bus drivers clearly remember the lessons learnt in their recent London wide (and successful) strike for an Olympic bonus.

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