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Trade union official unlawfully arrested on picket line launches crowdfunder to fund legal challenge

Franck Magennis, who was unlawfully arrested on 13 January as part of a picket line to fight for the rights of NHS workers, has launched a crowdfunder to help fight his case.

Franck Magennis, a barrister of Garden Court Chambers, was arrested during an industrial dispute over the role of outsourcing at St. George’s University in London. Franck was representing the independent trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), a members-led, campaigning trade union of migrant and precarious workers.

UVW, which organised the industrial action, has said that the arrest marked a ‘potential watershed in industrial relations’ and could set a ‘dangerous precedent for the erosion of civil liberties and workers’ rights, if left unchallenged’.

Franck has set up a CrowdJustice page as he seeks to raise £5,000 to cover the initial disbursements and costs risk with a stretch target of £30,000 to fund costs in the event that Franck loses his case at trial. It is hoped that the monies raised will cover disbursements and the Defendant’s costs in the event that Franck is ordered to pay these if the claim is unsuccessful.

Should Franck’s claim prove successful, and the money is not needed to pay disbursements and adverse costs, all funds raised will go into the Union’s strike fund that supports workers financially when they take strike action.

Franck Magennis said:

“This case is more important now than ever, as our society attempts to erode the lawful right to strike. The police have been emboldened by the anti-worker rhetoric of Boris Johnson’s conservative government, who think they can act with impunity, putting workers’ rights and civil liberties at risk. By supporting our crowdfunder, and standing up against my unlawful arrest, we send a message that this will not be tolerated. It is up to everyone to protect workers right to strike.”

Speaking on behalf of her client, Susie Labinjoh, of Hodge Jones & Allen said:

“The right to engage in lawful industrial action is a cornerstone of our democracy. Trade union members exercising those rights should not be subjected to arbitrary arrest. Where the police fail to uphold and respect trade union members’ rights, as they did in this case, they need to be held accountable.”

To support Franck’s case, the crowdfunder can be viewed at:

For further information, please contact:

Yellow Jersey PR:

Georgina Whittle, Associate Partner
M: +44 (0)7835770967 | T: +44 (0)20 3004 9512

Alex Crean, Account Executive
M: +44 (0)7753170777 | T: +44 (0)20 3004 9512