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Sack the death threat militants, say unions.

A Birmingham trade union forum has called for the sacking of militants accused of using death threats to deter council witnesses from testifying at an investigation.

Leaders of the council's main trade unions have told city leaders to severely punish any of the left wing activists identified as being behind the Unison campaign.

Union Forum chairman Mr Steve Foster said those responsible would also be barred from joining any trade union.

The investigation is into allegations that the council's 18,000-strong Unison branch - the largest in the country - has been improperly wasting money, some of its militant officials have been bullying and intimidating members and that it has been infiltrated by the Socialist Workers Party to trigger off confrontation with the Labour-run council.

Unison has offered a counselling service to women council officials who have been targeted by death threats and warnings that their homes will be attacked. Many are refusing to testify unless they are given protection.

Mr Foster said all the other council trade unions - the Transport and General Workers' Union, Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, General and Municipal Boilermakers, and construction union UCATT - condemned the tactics.

"If these charges are proved, those responsible should be kicked out of their union," he said.

"It is a very serious situation. I would expect the council to take its own disciplinary action against them too."

A city council spokesman said it would take strict action against any employee found responsible for the campaign of intimidation. "We would treat it as a sackable offence," he said.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 17, 1999
Words:255
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