A longstanding Brighton union rep warned yesterday that “chaos is set to hit the city of Brighton’ in one of a series of swiftly deleted tweets.
The @GMBSussexBranch account, which belongs to GMB Sussex branch secretary Mark Turner, also tweeted harsh criticism of the local Labour party, comparing them the Tories.
Mr Turner has been off work due to illness since last autumn. In October, a scathing report into a culture of intimidation, bullying and discrimination by GMB reps and members at Cityclean was published.
Yesterday afternoon, Mr Turner’s account tweeted: “Chaos set to hit the city of Brighton. The sleeping giant has awoken watch this Twitter feed for further information.”
GMB said the deleted tweets were under investigation. Labour declined to comment.
A GMB spokesperson said: “We wish to reassure the people of Brighton that this tweet does not reflect the views of the GMB union. We are launching an immediate investigation into how this tweet was posted.”
Brighton and Hove News sent a private message to the account, asking if Mr Turner was still working for GMB at Brighton and Hove City Council.
The account replied: “Mark hasn’t gone anywhere.”
Another of the deleted public tweets posted yesterday afternoon said: “The Labour council has lost its identity. It’s implement in Tori [sic] cuts by cutting vital services and making compulsory redundancies. At the same time cutting the unions to support their members.”
This was followed up with: “This is the new Bella Sankey, Labour council on how to treat the vulnerable how to treat their own staff at the same time, suppressing the unions to support their members to protect vital frontline services.”
Last month, a council report said that the recommendations of the report into issues at Cityclean were in the process of being implemented.
It said: “The findings of the report are harrowing to read and describe a working environment at Cityclean that can only be described as toxic.
“Given the nature of the allegations, much of the report relates to the behaviour of individuals, many of whom are either GMB representatives or a group of people who were described to the KC as being ‘protected’ by the GMB.
“It is important to note that the KC inquiry did not involve an investigation of specific allegations made, and individuals accused, most of whom did not come forward to speak to the KC, had not at the time of publication been given the opportunity to answer the allegations.
“There were a number of recommendations of formal disciplinary action, and this is the process through which individuals identified in the report are being given the opportunity to answer the allegations against them.”
The report also updated on the November report’s first recommendation, to stop councillors – also known as members – being involved in decisions on whether to sack workers for misconduct via members appeals panels.
It said as this needed to be done in consultation with the GMB and Unison, it would need six months to implement.
Other recommendations include reviewing “alleged agreements” which are not written or agreed, requiring all staff, including union reps, comply with the council’s behaviour framework and removing the GMB union office and parking space at Cityclean.