GMB wants to know how Cleveland Police got hold of private details of union members

policeThe GMB has called for an investigation into why police officers visited union activists at home the day before a big jobs demo.

The union is also demanding to know how Cleveland Police got hold of the names and contact details of the two unemployed activists.

In an email seen by USi News, one activist writes: “Why, on Friday, was I contacted on my mobile phone and a voice message left by PS Brown? And why did he later come knocking at my door, asking about the protest that was taking place on Monday morning?

“They knew I’d been involved in previous disputes which is really frightening and shocking.”

Around 100 people on Monday attended a peaceful demonstration outside Wilton, Redcar, to protest at what the union says is discrimination against local workers who find it difficult to get construction jobs on site.

The GMB is now taking legal advice over the phone calls and home visits of its members.

GMB national officer Phil Whitehurst said: “We need to know who instigated this witch hunt, why were unemployed construction workers targeted for questioning, how the police got their names and private mobile telephone numbers and home address. We need to know why were they, rather than the union, linked to the planning, or knowledge of this peaceful protest.

“Above all we need to know why Cleveland Police devote resources to targeting peaceful trade union protest rather than fighting criminal activity in the area.

“Somewhere the police have a naughty boys’ list and are hounding people for being trade union members.

“It wasn’t long ago the police force was marching on the streets of London for their own jobs. Why should they be harassing people who are doing exactly the same thing?”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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