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Strike leader suspended by firm over opposition to outsourcing, union claims

A SECURITY guard and trade-union activist has been suspended by his employer over his opposition to the outsourcing of jobs, the United Voices of the World (UVW) union said today.

UVW member Cetin Avsar was allegedly suspended by outsourcing firm Wilson James because in his previous job he had led a strike  against work being contracted out.

Mr Avsar had led a strike at St George’s, University of London, for jobs to be “taken in-house and given the same terms as all in-house employees.”

UVW has vowed to seek a High Court injunction to prevent Wilson James from dismissing Mr Avsar, describing his treatment as “one of the most blatant and egregious violations of a worker’s human rights” that it has seen.

Wilson James, a security, aviation and construction company, hired Mr Avsar to work at the Francis Crick Institute in King’s Cross, London.

According to the union, he had been in the job for just three weeks when management summoned him to a disciplinary hearing after finding out that he had planned a 13-day strike earlier this year while in his previous job.

Mr Avsar said: “I am totally shocked by the way Wilson James is treating me.

“They are totally victimising me for being a member of the 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.”

UVW co-founder and organiser Petros Elia accused Wilson James of “staggering hypocrisy.”

He said: “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.

“Wilson James 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.”

Mr Elia alleged that at least two of Mr Avsar’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights are being violated.

Wilson James said that it was aware of the allegations by UVW, but it would not be appropriate for the company to comment further as the situation concerning Mr Avsar remained under review.

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