Socialist Worker

Outrage over attack on union rights after RMT's Mark Harding is arrested

Issue No. 2390

Mark Harding

Mark Harding (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Tube workers launched a campaign at a 100-strong meeting on Monday of this week to defend a worker who was arrested and held for 13 hours.

Mark Harding is Hammersmith and City RMT branch secretary and a respected union rep.

After a complaint from a scab to police Mark was arrested for doing what any effective trade unionist does on a picket line. He tried to convince a scab not to cross.

Mark’s bail conditions banned him from his workplace and from taking part in any trade union activities. These have since been overturned.

At the meeting RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley insisted the “dispute cannot be settled without all charges against Mark Harding being dropped”.

Mark told Socialist Worker, “I want to thank everyone who has sent messages of support. Solidarity is crucial.”

Shaken by the strike, the Tories want new powers to stop workers walking out. They want new laws to restrict union rights in “essential” services.

London mayor Boris Johnson called for a minimum 50 percent turnout in strike ballots. 

But  fewer than 17 percent of registered London voters gave him their first choice vote, on a turnout under 40 percent.

That’s why defending Mark is an issue for the whole union movement to take up. It is an attack on the right to organise.

Campaign materials will be available from the RMT.

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