An email leaked to The Bolton News has revealed that Bolton Council is carrying out a full investigation into the incident, which saw a group of strikers enter the market and hand out the leaflets urging shoppers to boycott businesses.
It is understood that three union representatives, including two high-ranking Unison members, have been suspended from their posts in the council during the probe.Well, I’m shocked. Not.
Thousands of public sector workers and members of Unison, GMB and Unite unions went on strike in Bolton on Thursday, July 10, as part of a national pay dispute. A group of 60 — who identified themselves as Unison members — sparked controversy when they picketed the market as part of their protests, claiming the complex was unsafe without health and safety officers, fire wardens and cleaners on site.
Leaflets handed to passers-by urged them to “support our fight by withdrawing your business from Bolton Market” and lambasted market traders for refusing to support their fellow workers in their fight.‘Their fellow workers’ are actually self-employed traders who, if they don’t work, don’t eat.
The stunt was initially dismissed by a Union spokesman as a “light hearted and spontaneous protest” .Doesn’t sound all that lighthearted:
Businessman Andrew Hacking, who runs market stall Cheapasmokes, said: “It was chaos. They were putting leaflets on the stalls and at one point said they were going to take the alarms down from the doors. There had to be extra security put on the doors.”Sounds like just the sort of thing they tried in past campaigns. The ones that made ‘union’ a very dirty word indeed.
One to watch.