Llandudno, 5 April: Abdul Hadi Jiad and
Adli Hawwari addressed the NUJ's Annual Delegate Meeting about their
dismissal by the BBC World Service.
Abdul Hadi Jiad asked ADM to be very careful with the
spelling of his name - "if you say 'Jihad' they'll
take me to Guantanamo Bay".
"I don't feel sad about what's happened," he said, "I feel
encouraged." What happened is that I pressed the BBC to
enforce its own guidelines and agreements. On 21 January I
offered to withdraw my tribunal cases in return for an
undertaking that it would do this; and I was dismissed."
The response by NUJ members to that dismissal was
what was heartening.
"Our dismissal is a flagrant breach of human rights and
trade union rights and of employment rights," he went on:
"We need you to stand with us, and we need a 'yes' vote
in the ballot for industrial action by all the BBC Chapels."
Adli Hawwari told ADM that this is not about two individuals
- but about the effect of their dismissal on colleagues
in the World Service. "We were making progress on
challenging the adverse conditions under which we
were working - and the dismissals send a message that
challenging your boss is dangerous."
Everyone must be presumed innocent of any charges
against them. No charges should be brought without a
fair hearing, without representation, without a right
The BBC ballot on industrial action starts on
Wednesday 9 April and continues to
the end of the month. ADM voted unanimously to
condemn the BBC for its "carefully-orchestrated
plan to demonise the two... in the national press"
and demanding an independent investigation and
new procedures for dealing with grievances.
Delegates also signed a letter in support of action
to go to members in the BBC.