Solidarity with Max Watson and Jawad Botmeh

Two members of London Metropolitan University Unison, including the branch chair, have been suspended. Union activists launched a campaign to defend them

February 13, 2013 · 2 min read

LMU Unison branch chair Max Watson, a contributor to Red Pepper, and fellow union activist Jawad Botmeh, recently elected as staff rep on LMU’s governing body, have been suspended by the university. Branch members insist that the pair have done nothing wrong and believe Max has been targeted because of the strength and leadership he has shown as their chair.

The university has launched an investigation into a ‘serious matter of concern’ relating to ‘gross misconduct’, believed to be related to Jawad’s appointment to the university five years ago.

Jawad declared a conviction on application to work at the university. But the 1996 conviction for conspiracy to cause explosions was deemed an appalling miscarriage of justice by many including Amnesty International and his local MP Jeremy Corbyn.

‘Kangaroo court’

Max explains ‘on Thursday last week a “Kangaroo court” summoned me to a hearing that lasted 30 minutes. I had no time to prepare and I had no indication what it was concerning’.

He also states: ‘This is not about me or Jawad, in the end. It is about our right, as workers, to organise in the workplace and to elect our own reps. It’s about justice and solidarity for those who put their head above the parapet. It’s about every one of us standing should to shoulder in defence of our jobs and in defence of our right to organise.’

In December Max wrote in Red Pepper of how his union branch helped stave off privatisation proposals at the university.

How you can help

You can send messages of support and find out more on the LMU Unison branch website.



Net zero emissions by 2050? It’s a sham

Youth climate activist Lola Fayokun calls for climate justice not half measures

We hacked tube ads to call out the Home Office’s hostile environment

Our Future Now on how they helped the Home Office be a little more honest about its policies


Review – Finding a Voice: Asian women in Britain

Finding a Voice: Asian women in Britain, by Amrit Wilson, reviewed by Maya Goodfellow

Workers unite online

They're logging on to combat lagging labour laws, costly court proceedings, and outsourcing management, writes Gaia Caramazza

The political whiteness of #MeToo

We need to confront how the movement is shaped by the power of whiteness, write Alison Phipps