Analysis News

Prosecution of GMB strikers collapses

State submits no evidence in persecution of workers as trial collapses in farce

Brighton Law Court

The prosecution of the so-called ‘GMB three’ has collapsed in farce. The three had been arrested last May charged with wilful obstruction of the highway under the Thatcherite 1980 Highways Act anti-strike law after attempting to ask drivers not to cross their picket line at the Biffa waste management company depot in East Sussex. One of the vehicles involved was described as “a manager driving a vehicle who GMB and the strikers believe does not have the correct paperwork to drive the vehicle he was in”.

The trio were found not guilty at Brighton Law Courts on Friday after the ‘crown’ submitted no evidence against them.

GMB officer Gary Palmer attacked the political nature of the case:

This was always a political case about the rights of people during a cost-of-living crisis to win enough money to look after their families. Our members were taking part in lawful industrial action to win a decent pay rise. This was an attempt by the company and the police to restrict the right to protest.”

Local trades council chair Simon Hester noted at the time of the arrests that the Tory-run Wealden District Council was feeling the pressure over the strike’s impact on its outsourced refuse collection:

A number of GMB full-time workers and I were blocking vans from leaving the depot. We knew Friday would be a stand-off because the council had recalled all the vans to the Amberstone depot on Thursday.

“Vehicles were in line waiting to leave the depot, and I was in front of the trucks. They sent officers to deal with pickets. When the chief inspector arrived, he said we would be arrested for blocking a highway. 

“He also made it clear that we needed to stop blocking vans because public pressure on the council to clear the streets of rubbish was starting to mount.

Huge congratulations to the GMB Three, but if the CPS did not intend to put forward any evidence why on earth was the case allowed to proceed so far as to get anywhere near a courtroom?

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    1. Reply to Paul
      Yes she was Paul and she brought in legislation designed to crush the unions and curtail their ability to take industrial action. She was a Tory , doing what Tories do and nobody was even slightly surprised.
      In 1997 we elected a Labour government which was in power for 13 years. During those 13 years although they illegally invaded Iraq, introduced tuition fees and Private Finance Initiatives etc etc neither Tony Blair or Gordon Brown who followed him repealed even one piece of Thatcherite anti Trade Union legislation including the Act under which these Trade Unionists were charged. Blair and Brown were ” New Labour” a so called centerist ( but in reality a right of centre) party so nobody should have been surprised. I have no doubt that Starmer if he ever gets into government won’t repeal any of it either.
      Also Skwawkbox asks why if there was no evidence the case was brought against the strikers. Clearly it was a malicious prosecution and I hope GMB sues the CSP on behalf of their members and gets them some compensation for the ordeal they have been put through.

    2. But she was Blair’s and Starmer’s pin up girl, and is still worshipped in most parts of Essex.

      1. Well WHY didn’t YOU! Until today!!

        Yep, this is the guy that gave every indication he was a left-wing Jeremy Corbyn supporter when Jeremy was leader, but more-or-less as soon as Jeremy stepped down he not only started supporting a bunch of right-wing fascists who were now running the party, but also denigrating Jeremy on a regular basis, albeit fraudulently, and endlessly repeating his falsehoods, as black propagandists do of course.

        Needless to say, being a full-time paid Establishment shill, SteveH has at least one full tme researcher working for/with him!

      2. Allan – For 2 reasons, Firstly I was curious to see if any of Jeremy’s devoted disciples would spot it and link to it (as surely any serious Corbyn fan would) and secondly why would I want to steel the thunder of any genuine cobynista out there. I was also sort of working on the theory that any true fan would easily have seen this article and wouldn’t be able to resist drawing attention to it whilst the fakes would either miss it or ignore it.

        You can go off people and feel let down when someone fails to meet one’s initial expectations. It’s not a religion and Jeremy isn’t a deity. It is OK to change ones mind. Lots did, 20% of the membership deserted Jeremy in the 2yrs leading up to the 19GE.

        ps, Is there a reason why nobody has mentioned this? I am surprised you didn’t just happen to come across it yourself.
        “Labour members have responded with fury after 19 sitting councillors were told they will not be able to defend their seats in May’s elections. The decision has been slammed as undemocratic, an attempt to silence members, and a demonstration of “utter contempt” by those not selected.

      3. Having just scrolled down the page (after posting my above comment), I see that our resident shill posted one of the falsehoods he’s always repeating (so as to try and discredit Jeremy) re Jeremy prevaricating. And the fascist piece of unowat does so knowing precisely why Jeremy has refrained from announcing that he is planning to stand as an independent – ie because if he had done so he would have been expelled from the LP immediately.

      4. Allan – …You really can’t be serious, are you having a laugh?

  1. BREAKING: Smarmer moving to prevent Corbyn from standing at next election.

    quelle surprise

    1. It looks like I was right about Keir regarding Jeremy as an electoral liability

      Here is an extract from the motion that Keir has put forward to the NEC for them to vote on.

      “This meeting of the NEC considers and agrees that:
      in order to effect the NEC’s primary purpose to maximise the Labour Party’s prospects of winning the next general election, and to avoid any detrimental impact on the Labour Party’s standing with the electorate in the country as a whole;
      the Labour Party’s interests, and its political interests at the next general election, are not well served by Mr Corbyn running as a Labour Party candidate; and
      it is not in the best interests of the Labour Party for it to endorse Mr Corbyn as a Labour Party candidate at the next general election.
      Accordingly, this meeting resolves that:
      1 Mr Corbyn will not be endorsed by the NEC as a candidate on behalf of the Labour Party at the next general election;
      2 the general secretary write to Mr Corbyn immediately after this meeting to advise him of the above; and
      3 Mr Corbyn remains a member of the Labour Party and, save as set out above, his rights to attend Labour Party meetings and voting rights afforded under the Labour Party rule book remain unchanged.

      1. The likelihood is that come tomorrow the ball will be very firmly in JC’s court. If this is passed by the NEC tomorrow (Tuesday) the question is will Corbyn at long last stop prevaricating and announce that he will be standing as an independent?

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