Unite in the UK has launched legal action over the sacking of its vice-chair and Ineos Grangemouth convenor Mark Lyon, accusing Ineos of ‘hypocrisy’ and making a ‘mockery’ of justice.
Mark who has 25 years of service to the company was tried in his absence and told of his dismissal on 4th February for not stopping the union from commenting over fears of job losses at the petrochemical plant which were reported in Scottish national newspaper The Daily Record on 2nd December 2013.
The move follows the resignation of Unite’s other Grangemouth convenor Stevie Deans last year in protest of his treatment by the company and comes as Ineos drops its defamation claim over accusations by Unite that it had ‘victimised’ Mr Deans.
The sacking of Mark Lyon comes in the face of significant medical evidence that he is suffering from a serious stress-related illness as a result of the treatment he has endured at the hands of the company.
Unite believes that Ineos was determined to rush through a disciplinary process against Mr Lyon, denying his legal representatives the appropriate time to prepare his defence.
Unite will be appealing the company’s decision and issuing an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and victimisation for trade union reasons.
IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina stated:
Unite is the largest trade union in the UK and a centrally important member organisation of IndustriALL. We stand firmly alongside Unite and the Grangemouth members in face of this intransigent employer. To sack Mark Lyon on pathetic charges is pure union busting, totally in breach of international labour standards. Mark Lyon is a committed trade unionist with a long history of representing oil and chemical workers in the UK.
Pat Rafferty, Unite’s Scottish secretary, said:
Once again, a decent man and loyal employee has been hounded out of his job by Ineos. The rank hypocrisy of Ineos knows no bounds. The company withdrew its defamation action against Unite to “draw a line under the dispute”, yet at the same time it was drafting a letter dismissing a Unite convenor.
Mark Lyon has been subjected to a grotesque mockery of the disciplinary system which saw him tried in his absence. While he attended a doctor’s appointment, his employer was sacking him on trumped up charges.