Branch Motion In Support Of Mark Harding

Hammersmith & City RMT branch has passed two motions in support of Mark Harding. The branch invites other branches to adopt the same motion should they wish.

The motion
This branch/region (etc) condemns the arrest by BTP of Mark Harding, the RMT Branch Secretary of Hammersmith & City Branch. Mark was arrested despite only carrying out legitimate trade union activities whilst on the picket line outside his place of work.

This branch further condemns the detention of Mark for nearly 13 hours, an extraordinary length of time in light of the minor nature of the allegation (name calling) that led to the police being called.Mark strenuously denies all allegations.

In light of the above this branch therefore further condemns the charge brought against Mark under Section 241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act, although this branch notes that in using TULRA the police are making it clear that they are attempting to criminalise Mark for his TU activities.

This branch condemns the draconian bail conditions that were placed on Mark, which sought to ban him from any & all trade union activity, including even attending his own defence meeting.

This branch congratulates the RMT’s legal representatives who swiftly challenged & overturned the bail conditions, but we note that this move by the police is part of a trend of criminalising and restricting the right to protest.

This branch/region (etc) calls on the General Secretary of our union to write to the Head of the BTP in order to protest about the harassment, arrest and detention of Mark Harding. We further call on the General Secretary to raise the matter with the TUC, as the use of TULRA against one of our members is part of a worrying trend of criminalising dissent and the right to protest. Many of the TUC's affiliates are preparing to mark the 30th anniversary of the miners' strike. The police attacks on freedom of assembly and the right to protest were honed in that dispute and continue to be developed to this day; think 'kettling' for example. The anniversary events mean little if our members are still under attack today.

Lastly, Mark’s own branch, Hammersmith & City branch, gives notice that in the event of any sanction, criminal or civil, via the courts or the employer, we reserve the right use any and all means at our disposal to defend Mark, including an immediate industrial action ballot.

Every Job Matters dispute and Mark Harding's case
This Branch/Region (etc) congratulates all those members of RMT & other trades unions who made the 48hr strike to smash LU's ticket office closure plan & proposed station grades reorganisation so successful.

This Branch/Region calls on the LTRC Regional Organiser, the Council of Executives member for the LTRC region, and the leadership of the RMT nationally to commit to:

A) no settlement of the above referred to dispute (Every Job Matters) without the terms of any proposed deal/settlement being put to a mass/open members' and reps' meeting for endorsement/rejection;

B) no settlement of the above referred to dispute (Every Job Matters) while any disciplinary proceedings related to or arising out of said dispute, are outstanding against any of our members.