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Defying all justice

Fire alarm rep sacking row continues
Shaun Noble, Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The boss of a Birmingham drug and alcohol charity, which sacked health and safety rep Alison Morris for raising concerns with her manager over fire safety, has received nearly 3,000 emails calling for her reinstatement.


David Biddle, the chief executive of CGL (Change, Live, Grow) the city’s leading substance abuse charity, has received thousands of emails supporting Alison Morris’ reinstatement.


Unite member Ms Morris was sacked last month after she pointed out the fire alarms at the charity’s Scala House office in January were not working.


Unite, the sole recognised union at CGL, said that the 300-strong workforce in Birmingham backed Alison Morris’ immediate reinstatement – and if this did not happen, an industrial action ballot was very much on the cards.


Unite activists, colleagues, service users and members of the public have been asked to demonstrate in support of Alison for a second time.


Her internal CGL appeal will be heard on Monday (May 16). Alison is a drugs referral team leader with a 14-year exemplary record working for the NHS and the charity.


Unite said Alison had reported that a fire officer who inspected the building had told her the building may be closed if the fire alarm problem was not sorted the following day.


Senior management argued she said it would close – and this, according to the bosses, constituted as allegedly intentionally misleading management. Unite strongly disputes what the management claimed Alison said.


Reinstate Alison call  

“This is one of the most unfair and cack-handed of sackings that I have come across – it defies all justice,” said Unite regional officer Caren Evans. “We call upon CGL to immediately reinstate Alison, an exemplary employee, to her job.


“Unite has lodged an appeal against the sacking, to be heard on Monday, and also an unfair dismissal claim. The union and her work colleagues stand four-square behind her.”


Evans reveals that, “Further evidence has emerged in a statement from a person who was present in the building, that shows the management of CGL was made aware of the failure of the fire alarm on January 25, some 24 hours before they started to take any action on the situation, and yet still did not engage with the statutory health and safety reps.”


Evans continued that Alison’s “workmates know that without her actions in raising concerns that if a fire broke out there would have been no alarm and their lives would have been at risk.”


And she added, “Any union rep would have done the same, CGL workers know that, and they know they could be next for the chop based on a spurious trumped up charge.


“If Alison is not reinstated, there is a strong likelihood we will be holding an industrial action ballot on this issue.”


  • The demonstration to support Alison Morris will be held on May 13 at Holloway Circus, Birmingham B1 1 BT between 12:30 and 14:00.


  • You can help Alison’s reinstatement campaign by signing the petition and sending a letter to David Biddle, Chief Executive of CGL. See here for more information.

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