ASLEF to appeal over fascist finding

28 July 2005

ASLEF the train drivers union intends to appeal against a decision by an employment tribunal in favour of the fascist Jay Lee who was expelled from membership in April 2002.


Keith Norman, ASLEF acting general secretary said:


“This decision is not unexpected but the law is wrong. The effect of the law is to force trade unions to accept into membership fascist activists.


“Freedom of association is a basic human right. The effect of this decision is to force thousands of train drivers – who detest racism and fascism – to be associated with the fascist Lee who now openly celebrates his hostility to the union and its values and proclaims his intention to ‘claim thousands of pounds’ from the union.


“It is particularly perverse that the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 allows for heavy financial penalties against the union. There is a minimum ‘award’ of £5000 plus for an expelled fascist – who has suffered no financial loss – but no such minimum award to a worker suffering racial discrimination or sacking.”


Lee joined the British National Party in 1992. In February 2002, being then employed as a train driver, he applied for and was accepted into membership of ASLEF. In April 2002, the ASLEF general secretary received a report about Lee’s activities in the BNP. On 19 April 2002 the Executive Council of ASLEF expelled Lee from membership. On 13 March 2003 the Appeals Committee of ASLEF chaired by the President of ASLEF heard Lee’s appeal and concluded that he should be expelled.


Art. 11 of the Convention, headed "Freedom of Assembly and Association", reads as follows:


1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.


2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State".

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