Ouch! In an open letter in support of striking Tower Hamlets council staff Helel Uddin Abbas, one of the few adults in Tower Hamlets politics, has attacked Mayor John Biggs and called for the abolition of the directly elected Mayor position – or both!
UNISON staff are currently striking over the Tower ‘Rewards’ scheme which Mayor Biggs and CEO Will Tuckley have been trying to impose on them for the last year.
The Dynamic Duo’s sole negotiating tactic seems to be threatening the mass sacking of 4,000 people unless they agree with them. Not subtle.
Take it away HUA!
Open letter in support of LBTH Council Staff
“John Biggs has always had a confrontational style of managing, consultation in his dictionary means that people do as he tells them.
He is also very good at spending other people’s money so he is acting in the way he always has, do as your told because John knows best, as well as wasting money on unnecessary, and in one case potentially illegal projects.
At the moment the borough is obstructing at great expense an enquiry into more than a million pounds of public money.
An employment tribunal asked for documents in relation to a case of wrongful dismissal and, after months of delay, they were sent heavily redacted.
When I was the leader I brought in forensic accountants to look at a similar situation, they called in the police and eventually three people went to prison.
Like many other people I had hoped that with the demise of Lutfur Rahman’s regime we could now move forward in Tower Hamlets, instead, we are heading down a path of confrontation and cover-up this time under the banner of the Labour Party.
This cannot be allowed to continue and there are two courses of action open to us. Abolish the post of the mayor or retain it with a change of incumbent, in other words, de-select John Biggs.
Helel Uddin Abbas
Former Leader of Tower Hamlets Council”
Update: Ten Labour Party councillors have written an open letter to Mayor Biggs expressing their views on the Mayor’s handling of the Tower Hamlets UNISON strike.
The letter has been signed by councillors Shah Ameen, Shad Chowdhury, Marc Francis, Ehtasham Haque, Tarik Khan, James King, Ayas Miah, Victoria Obaze, Mohammed Pappu and Gabriela Salva Macallan.
“We believe that the use of Section 188, essentially sacking all staff and expecting them to come back to work upon the imposed terms and conditions, is unjustified.
“We are concerned that the unions have been unable to independently verify the Equalities Impact Assessment for the Tower Rewards scheme made available to them.
“As Labour councillors, we believe in the right of workers, particularly workers so vital to our borough, to determine the terms and conditions of their work through collective agreement. In a borough with such high levels of poverty and inequality we think most local residents will agree.”
First salvo in the battle to be next Mayor of Tower Hamlets perhaps?
Either way anyone who gets rid of the curse of the Directly Elected Mayor disaster gets our vote.