Hackney Council bullying row: Unions to hold meeting for victims to come forward

Hackney Service Centre.

Hackney Service Centre. - Credit: Archant

Three major unions who are taking on Hackney Council over an alleged culture of bullying, harassment and racism are holding a meeting for victims to share their experiences.

Natasha Johnson.

Natasha Johnson. - Credit: Archant

An independent investigation has been commissioned by the town hall into claims from Unite, Unison and GMB that abuse and discrimination is rife within its workforce, particularly at the Hackney Service Centre call centre behind the town hall.

An 18-page letter sent to all Hackney councillors in October details a number of allegations, including workers’ complaints about discrimination being swept under the carpet, or resulting in them being punished for speaking out.

Fuel was added to the fire when Unite shop steward Natasha Johnson was sacked last month, partway through an employment tribunal she had brought against the council alleging racist, disability and sexist discrimination. Natasha, who had been suspended for 11 months before being sacked, is still awaiting the outcome of that hearing.

The unions have secured the right to include ex-staff members in the investigation, and they will be holding a briefing on Monday night for people who want to have their say.

Anyone who wants to attend should email 0tolerancetobullyinginhackney@gmail.com.