6 June 2016
RMT Press Office:
Blacklist Support Group reveals photographic evidence of undercover police spying on RMT union.
Photographic evidence shows that in October 2004 the spy cop was present at the industrial dispute following the sacking of the prominent union militant Steve Hedley (now elected as Senior Assistant General Secretary of the RMT union) at the Kings Cross terminal for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link .
The presence of the police spy from the Met's disgraced Special Demonstration Squad was captured on camera by the freelance photographer Andrew Wiard.
The photographs show the police spy standing behind an RMT banner with the slogan ‘Reinstate Steve Hedley’ while handing out leaflets to construction workers who had walked out in support of the victimised union activist.
Photographs available for use in the media upon request from Andrew Wiard firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Hedley commented:
"I am appalled that a secret police spy thought that it was justified to turn up on a peaceful RMT picket line in order to gather information. I had earlier housed this person rent free as he claimed he was being made homeless and feel shocked that taxpayers money could be used like this to betray the trust of people engaged in completely legitimate industrial action. We heard a lot growing up about police states in other countries whilst it turns out our state was doing exactly the same thing here".
The photographs were rediscovered by Dave Smith while researching for the updated version of the book Blacklisted and first made public at the GMB conference in Bournemouth on Sunday (5th June).
Smith commented afterwards:
"We were standing up for workers rights but apparently the British state considered us such a threat, that we were kept under constant surveillance by shady anti-democratic units in the police. This is nothing less than political policing and has no place in a democracy.
This took place during the Tony Blair government and I want to know why trade unions were were being spied on under a Labour Home Secretary. David Blunkett has serious questions to answer".
The CTRL dispute is recorded on Consulting Association blacklist files of Steve Hedley and GMB organiser at the time, Steve Kelly.
Both Steve Hedley and Dave Smith have been granted core participant status in the Pitchford public inquiry into undercover policing.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"RMT has been aware for some time that there was a destroyed "rail file" at the heart of the black listing conspiracy that has never been properly investigated. These photographs show clearly that rail union activists were being targeted as part of the police operation and it time for the truth to be dragged out.
"Both of RMT's assistant general secretaries, Steve Hedley and Mick Lynch, were blacklisted and the union is demanding to know how many others were being spied on by the police and the employers organisations. The fight for truth and justice goes on."
Blacklist Support Group