Sarah McDonald was at the lobby before being unjustly banned for three years


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About 40 members of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union (MSF) lobbied a meeting of the union's National Executive Council (NEC) on Saturday 2nd September at the MSF Head Office, Moreland St., London E.C.1. The lobbyists demanded the resignation of the MSF General Secretary Roger Lyons. They argued that recent revelations about Lyons' credit card expenditure and expenses claims have brought MSF into disrepute. Lyons, who earns about 100 000 per annum, claims another 20 000 per annum from the union for meals, travel, gifts and equipment for his personal use.

The lobbyists protested at the secrecy and bullying used to cover up Lyons' misconduct. They pointed out that information about his expenditure only became public as a result of Employment Tribunal cases brought by former employees of the union. Until this happened, the NEC had done everything it could to prevent members finding out what was going on.

As Lyons approached the Head Office building, wearing a large pair of designer sunglasses, he visibly panicked at the sight of the lobby. He darted down an alley beside the building and was then observed hammering desperately on a side entrance. When this refused to yield, he scuttled round to the back of the building and was lost to sight.

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A spokesperson for the London Region Defence Campaign commented, "We want to know if the union paid for his designer shades. At any rate, he will have to wear them wherever he goes from now on."

The MSF NEC has been forced into reopening an investigation into Lyons' misconduct. This will focus on the established details of his expenditure plus a so far unproven allegation of large-scale fraud involving union funds. This investigation will be carried out by MSF accountants HW Fisher & Co under the supervision of the Certification Officer, the government official who oversees the affairs of trade unions. The investigation should be completed by the end of 2000.

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Notes for editors:

1) The London Region Defence Campaign (LRDC) has been set up by MSF members to resist attacks on our democratic rights by the MSF hierarchy. More information about our activities can be found on our website

2) Photographs of the lobby can be obtained by contacting Hugh MacGrillen on hughmacgrillen@netscapeonline or 020 7226 5436/020 7794 5999.