Protest against attempt to jail former airport worker Gordon McNeill


Former Airport worker Gordon McNeill has resumed hunger/thirst strike on Thursday to lift a gagging order clause preventing him speaking out against the role of trade union officials during the dispute.
Gordon commented: “Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly are offering me a bribe to keep me silent about the role of officials of my union. I will never accept these terms.

“I want them to pay me the compensation they paid my colleagues, but as a right not as a bribe.

“The full responsibility for what will now happen rests with Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly. The question that they will have to answer is why did they prolong this dispute by insisting on my silence on their role and the role of other officials of my union.

“All union officials should be accountable to the members they represent. But how can members make them accountable if they are not allowed to know the facts about what they have done? I am here defending the right of every Unite member to be fully informed about what their officials are doing.

“All my supporters have urged me not to go back to a hunger and thirst strike. My health has already suffered badly as a result of previous protests and I know the consequences of what I am doing. But I am left with no choice at this stage.

“I am in need of urgent surgery but have refused the operation until this is sorted out. I am not prepared to spend months recuperating knowing that at the end of it all I will have to start up my fight with my union leaders all over again. One way or another I want this resolved first.

“I am determined to see this through until I get justice. I invite Unite members and journalists to contact Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly and ask how they can justify paying bribes to members to keep them quiet.”



The protest will take place on Monday 1st September AEEU House(new headquarters of Unite), 26 Antrim Rd, Belfast between 1-2pm

The following day Unite trade union leaders enforced court injuction against Gordon protesting outside Transport House by Wednesday next week or else he could be fined or imprisoned.

After being served with the injuction Gordon stated,
“This just shows the lengths that the Unite leadership are prepared to go to keep me silent. Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly are so determined to shut me up they are prepared to put me in jail rather than allow me to protest outside an empty building!

”It is a scandal that trade union leaders should use the courts to prevent a peaceful protest. They are setting a dangerous precedent that will be taken up by employers and by the government to prevent pickets and protests by trade union members or by communities.

“If Tony Woodley and Jimmy Kelly think that, by approaching me with a bribe in one hand and a court order in the other, they will shut me up they can think again. I am appealing to all trade unionists to stand with me to defend the basic freedoms of speech and association”

For further information contact Gordon on 07934632366

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