Although we have just launched this website (January '06) we have been working on a number of projects involving individuals who have been victimised because of their dissent.
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At the end of March BNP councillor, Arthur Redfearn, will have his employment tribunal hearing in the case of his dismissal from his job with West Yorkshire Transport Services (WYTS).
WYTS claimed that they had sacked the Bradford City councillor on “health and safety grounds” after it was discovered he was standing for election as a BNP candidate. But now a tribunal will consider whether he was discriminated against and whether YWTS's claim of health and safety reasons was genuinely founded and properly formulated.
Arthur's solicitor, Philip Chapman, said: “This case is important, not just for him but there's a public interest as well. It is about the principle of whether somebody can be penalised in the workplace in this case losing his job simply because he has chosen to be a member of a particular political party.”
Awaiting the outcome of Arthur's case will be Tina Wingfield, a Primary Care Health Worker from Cumbria . She was suspended from work after a report in a local newspaper linked her with the British National Party.
Tina worked for the North Cumbria NHS Trust in Carlisle as a graduate mental health worker, but a week after the report appeared in the News and Star she was told that she was suspended from her job pending an internal enquiry. After nearly three months of investigations the Trust said they had found “no evidence of unprofessional behaviour and as a result will not be taking any disciplinary action.”
But the Trust went on to say that the post she had been employed in had been discontinued and they were unable to offer her suitable alternative employment.
Tina's appeal against her dismissal has now been put on hold after solicitors for the North Cumbria NHS Trust asked the tribunal to delay proceedings “until the outcome of the Redfearn case.”
Arthur Redfearn and Tina Wingfield are staying cheerful despite being discriminated against by their employers because of their political beliefs.