Rail drivers union Aslef will have to pay thousands of pounds to a British National Party member, after an employment tribunal ruled that the union had unlawfully expelled him.
Jay Lee, a Virgin train driver, was kicked out of Aslef when it found out that he was an activist for the far-right party. His victory entitles him to a minimum award of £5,000.
He said: “I have fought for over a year to get justice in this case and to defend my civil rights. Aslef knew it was in breach of the law when it expelled me and yet it thought it could get away with it. I have been totally vindicated and now intend to make [Aslef] pay for it.”
Keith Norman, the acting general secretary of Aslef, said the union would appeal, suggesting that the effect of the law was to force trade unions to accept fascist activists as members.
“Freedom of association is a basic human right,” he said. “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.”
Norman added: “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 £5,000 plus for an expelled fascist – who has suffered no financial loss – but no such minimum award to a worker suffering racial discrimination or sacking.”