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13.11.2020 / News / Press releases /

Security guard & union activist suspended by outsourcing firm Wilson James because of his and his union’s belief that ‘outsourcing is discriminatory’

  • Union activist Mr Cetin Avsar has been suspended by outsourcing firm Wilson James because he led a strike at his former job at St George’s University to be “taken in-house and given the same terms as all in house employees”
  • Wilson James also claimed that Mr Avsar and his union’s belief that outsourcing was discriminatory “means there is a conflict of interest between your opinion and work with the union which lead to your protesting, and your employment with Wilson James”. 
  • Wilson James has provided a dossier of photos and videos of Mr Avsar on strike and expressing his views in the press about outsourcing  
  • Mr Avsar’s union United Voices of the World (UVW) has vowed to seek an injunction in the High Court to stop Wilson James from dismissing Mr Avsar in what is described by UVW as one of the most an blatant and egregious violations of a worker’s human rights they’ve seen.

Trade union United Voices of the World (UVW) has vowed to apply for a high court injunction to stop the dismissal of Mr Cetin Avsar, a security guard employed by security, aviation and construction company Wilson James to work at the Francis Crick Institute in Kings Cross, London, in what UVW has described as “a blatant and egregious breach of Mr Avsar’s human rights.”

Wilson James has suspended Mr Avsar and invited him to a disciplinary hearing after only 3 weeks on the job following the company’s discovery that he led a strike in his previous job “to be taken in-house and given the same terms as all in house employees” and because he is a member of UVW union who supported him and “believe that outsourcing is antiquated and discriminatory”

The full grounds of his disciplinary hearing taken from the letter of invitation are:

In you (sic) most recent employment with Noonans (sic) where you were employed as a Security Officer for about 2.5yrs at St. George’s University, you were leading a campaign to be taken in-house and given the same terms as all in house employees. The union you have joined and who have supported you in your campaign are United Voices of the World (UVW), who in their words ‘believe that outsourcing is antiquated and discriminatory’. You planned a 13 day strike action earlier in the year to protest on the above. Wilson James are also a contractor, which fundamentally means that there is a conflict of interest between your opinion and work with the union which lead to your protesting, and your employment with Wilson James”.

Speaking in response to his suspension and threatened dismissal, Mr Avsar said the following:

“I am totally shocked by the way Wilson James is treating me. They are totally victimising me for being a member of UVW union and for having taken lawful strike action against my previous employer Bidvest Noonan at St George’s of London. This has caused me a lot of distress. I have done nothing wrong. They are breaching my human rights and I will not stand for it”.

Also speaking in response to Mr Avsar’s victimisation, Petros Elia, UVW Co-Founder and Organiser, said the following:

“In my 8 years as a trade unionist I have never seen such a blatant and egregious violation of a worker’s human rights. This is far more than just a case of victimisation – Mr Avsar is also being punished for his beliefs that outsourcing, a practice which more often than not sees BAME and migrant workers in London receive inferior pay rates to their White in-house counterparts, is racist, discriminatory and unjust. The hypocrisy of Wilson James is staggering. They have slapped a Black Lives Matter poster on the front of their website and waxed lyrical about how their industry “needs to do more for those from BAME backgrounds”, but in the same breath are unlawfully punishing a BAME key worker for having taken lawful industrial action against a great institutional racism at his former workplace”. 

He then went on to say,

“This is a violation of at least two of Cetin’s human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, the rights to Freedom of thought, belief and religion and Freedom of Assembly and Association and we will apply for interim relief if he is dismissed and an injunction to try and prevent his dismissal in the first place. We will win and we will make  Wilson James regret they ever dared go after one of ours”.

###

Editors notes:

Support Cetin!

You can support Cetin by writing to Wilson James directly via our Action Network Campaign. Click here!

For more information or quotes please contact:

  • Petros Elia, UVW Co-Founder and Organiser, email petros@uvwunion.org.uk tel 07884553443
  •  Kane Shaw, Press Officer, email. kane@uvwunion.org.uk tel.

We can provide copies of the emails sent by UVW Union and copies of the evidence Wilson James has presented for the disciplinary hearing. See below for a full copy of the letter sent by Wilson James to Mr Avsar: 

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