Unions accepts Clarks apology and invites him to be a healthcare assistant for a day
UNISON has welcomed Jeremy Clarkson’s apology to public sector workers and invited him to join a healthcare assistant to experience the reality of daily life on a hospital ward.
The union had earlier threatened legal action and called on the BBC to sack the Top Gear presenter after he said would like to see striking public sector workers taken outside and executed in front of their families.
More than 5,000 viewers also complained about the comments made last night on BBC1’s One Show. Clarkson apologised late this afternoon, saying he was sorry if his remarks caused offence.
In the light of the apology, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “We are pleased Jeremy Clarkson has seen the error of his ways. It is only right the he apologises for the huge offence he caused to public sector workers and their families.
“We would like to invite him to spend a day on a hospital ward, with one of our healthcare assistants. They do vital work caring for patients – cleaning up sick, bathing patients, and wiping bottoms. We think he has many of the personal skills necessary for the job.”
The GMB, which said it worked with unions in Latin America where members were executed, has also demanded that Clarkson should apologise.
Earlier, Dave Prentis said: “Clarkson’s comments were totally outrageous, and they cannot be tolerated. We are seeking urgent legal advice about what further action we can take against him and the BBC, and whether or not his comments should be referred to the police.
“Public sector workers and their families are utterly shocked by Jeremy Clarkson’s revolting comments. We know that many other licence fee payers share our concerns about his outrageous views. The One Show is broadcast at a time when children are watching – they could have been scared and upset by his aggressive statements. An apology is not enough – we are calling on the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson immediately. Such disgusting statements have no place on our TV screens.
“Jeremy Clarkson clearly needs a reminder of just who he is talking about when he calls for public sector workers to be shot in front of their families. Whilst he is driving round in fast cars for a living, public sector workers are busy holding our society together – they save others’ lives on a daily basis, they care for the sick, the vulnerable, the elderly. They wipe bottoms, noses, they help children to learn, and empty bins – they deserve all our thanks – certainly not the unbelievable level of abuse he threw at them.”
GMB international officer Bert Schouwenburg said: “Jeremy Clarkson’s vile and offensive comments about executing trade unionists in front of their families are insensitive in the extreme and completely unacceptable. GMB works with trade unions representing employees on banana and pineapple plantations in Latin America where activists have met exactly the fate that Mr Clarkson describes.
“In Guatemala, for example, 50 trade unionists have been murdered since 2007, the last of these being on 16th October of this year when SITRABI member, Pablino Yaque Cervantes, was shot and killed in broad daylight, the fourth SITRABI member to be killed this year.
“Suggestions are that Mr Clarkson made his remarks in jest but that does not make them any less reprehensible. The BBC should not use taxpayer’s money to employ a person who harbours such extremist views. If Mr Clarkson has an ounce of humility he should publicly apologise and make a substantial donation towards the education of poor Mr Yaque’s fatherless children.”
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