With more than 1.3 million members, UNISON is a huge public-sector workers union in the United Kingdom. It is almost inevitable that some bad apples are among them. Early this month, Mark Taylor, a store manager for Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, Wales, pleaded guilty at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court to a dozen separate charges of embezzlement and was sentenced to 10 months in jail. Taylor, a branch secretary for UNISON’s Pontypridd and Rhondda branch, had diverted pounds 23,000 (roughly US$33,400) in member dues.
Taylor, 45, had embezzled the alleged sum back in 2003, but was unwilling to acknowledge taking part in any offense. “We take no pleasure in seeing anyone go to prison, and had Mr. Taylor’s admission come early we’d like to think this could have been avoided,” said Trina Coomber, the union convenor for Cwm Taf National Health Service Trust’s south district. “Since 2003 he has been offered many opportunities to admit his full part in these financial wrongdoings, and it was his choice not to do so until now.” She added that Taylor was in the process of slowly paying back the money. (South Wales Echo, 3/5/09).