Ken Loach’s suspension from Bectu overturned amid union dispute

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Ken Loach's suspension from Bectu overturned amid union dispute

Unique: Ken Loach has been reinstated to a decision-making role at Bectu after his sudden suspension last year, but the bitter internal dispute at Britain’s biggest film and TV union shows no sign of abating.

Deadline revealed in December that iconic BAFTA-winning British film director Loach had been kicked off BECTU’s Writers, Producers and Directors (WPD) branch committee after 60 years of association with the union. Two others were also suspended and six other members faced disciplinary action.

An appeals board at Bectu’s parent union Prospect has now overturned the suspension, meaning Loach and others can be reinstated to committee roles. Loach told Deadline he was relieved that “common sense prevailed” and that the process underlined the importance of transparency within trade unions.

Loach and his colleagues were disciplined over how the branch oversaw the resignation of a representative who wrote a letter raising questions about the leadership of Prospect boss Mike Clancy.

Prospect’s appeals board found that WPD branch officials made a “serious mistake” when they treated the representative’s hasty statement as “equivalent to a formal resignation” and did not do enough to “establish clarity and reach agreement.”

But the decision, seen by Deadline, said the suspended sentence did not fit the crime. Prospect’s disciplinary panel gave “insufficient importance” to the context in which the WPD branch officers made their decision. For example, in 2022, he was “strongly criticized” for not responding promptly and forcefully to inappropriate emails sent to branch members in the past.

The Prospect claimed last year that this was part of the basis for the suspension, so the decision made no mention of WPD officers engaging in “bullying and discrimination.” Loach said the allegation was “baseless” and that Prospect had not presented evidence to support its claim.

The issue is the latest flashpoint in years of tension at Bectu following the union’s merger with Prospect in 2017. Bectu veterans, including Loach, believe that film and TV employees have not been well served by the merger and others have complained about conflicts. Of cultures.

Sources said members of the WPD branch are viewed as troublemakers by Prospect and have been unfairly targeted by Clancy. “He saw an opportunity to get rid of the most vocal people at Bectu. It was a hostile act,” said a source familiar with the matter. “We live to fight another day.”

The Prospect did nothing to defuse tensions in a statement to Deadline. A spokesman said: “The committee maintained the solid grounds of its [Prospect] The National Executive Committee delved into the inappropriate behavior of the branch and a number of individuals and concluded that there were serious errors in judgment and violations of union rules.

“As a democratic organization it is important that branches maintain the highest standards of behavior and conduct, and it was imperative for us to fully investigate the very serious allegations.

“While upholding the key findings in relation to the conduct, the NAC reached a different conclusion on the sanctions to be imposed while voiding the penalties. This shows that our democratic processes are strong and the NEC will now implement the agreed actions to ensure that the branch is run in line with Prospect’s values ​​in the future.

“The NAC’s decision contains numerous and clear criticisms of the branch’s actions. The decision also clearly concludes that, if its recommendations regarding giving the Branch Committee more time to correct its behavior were taken on board, this would not guarantee that the individuals concerned considered their behavior and must have followed the rules of the prospectus.

Latest feature of elasticity, old oakwas nominated for Outstanding British Film of the Year at the BAFTA Film Awards. He won a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006 and a Feature Award in 1969 Who Considered one of the greatest British films of all time.

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