Thursday, 12 February 2015
Steve Hedley: Bringing unions into "disrepute".
Trade unions are an essential part of a democratic society and exist to obtain better terms and conditions and defend it's members from unfair treatment. Despite the general decline in membership and influence there still exists a strong trade union movement in the public sector.
One of those unions is the RMT, a very successful, if at times unpopular body with sections of the public due to the impact they can have when the London Underground has a strike.
The RMT are currently led by Mick Cash, a Labour supporting man who replaced the late Bob Crow. The union continues to exert it's not inconsiderable industrial muscle to protect it's members.
Currently the union has just completed a ballot for strike action to defend one of it's members from dismissal by 299 to 221 votes. The RMT Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley was invited to give the unions case on LBC Radio.
Then everything went pear shaped.
Wading in with unreasoned belligerence, Hedley managed to lose the plot with very strange remarks about "are you still beating your wife" to presenter Nick Ferrari.
You can listen to the three minute sequence here:
LBC Radio: Interview
This is now to be the subject of legal action which will distract badly from the sacked drivers case.
Now Steve Hedley is not one of the most pleasant individuals and has attracted more than a little controversy in the past, not to say the least an accusation of "domestic violence" from a former partner. This was a subject of much debate across the Internet.
(See here: Caroline Leneghan.wordpress.com)
Now whilst the police did not proceed with any action over this, the RMT did have an investigation in which they found that Hedley "had no case to answer".
Nevertheless there remained some disquiet on the left about the whole affair which blew up not long after the "comrade delta" affair which ended up ripping the Socialist Workers Party apart.
Hedley ended up resigning from the Socialist Party so as to avoid the on-going case at the time having a detrimental effect on the SP. He remained active in the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition, standing in the local elections which led to a campaign being launched against his candidature (see here).
It was therefore quite astounding that Steve Hedley would even choose this line of "argument" (if you can call it that) to try and get one over on Nick Ferrari, who's original question was not actually unreasonable.
RMT members were seriously let down by Hedley's blustering incoherence.