On the 28th of February in a post entitled "Bill-Gate"... How Much Longer Can these people survive? We had a bullet point:
* Taxi drivers, exercising their democratic right of protest, harassed by senior officers from TfLTPH.
In John Mason's email to his legal department (CC'ed to Jim Thomas) he stated:
"Serious allegation and untrue!"
He also challenged us to put up or shut up.
Our statement was made, giving an opinion which many Taxi drivers in the trade hold, after details of a TfL notice to the trade as a whole and also, a letter to individuals drivers who were exercising their right to demonstrate.
On the 13 July 2012 John Mason made an announcement in the LTPH Notice 08/12: IMPORTANT NOTICE Possible Taxi Driver Demonstrations.
He warned "Any taxi driver participating in such demonstrations who fails to comply with the instructions issued by the Police could face arrest.
Moreover drivers who are observed acting improperly could suffer possible suspension or revocation of their licence."
It is the second part of this statement that many feel is a step to far. LTPH are not a police force and can only act against drivers when complaints are made by a third party. It is not their job to go out and observe. Many Taxi drivers felt this was an attempt to intimidate and harass drivers into not demonstrating. As far as we know TfL have not issued such a statement when faced by demonstrations or strikes by tube or bus staff.
In answer to a freedom of information request by the UCG, LTPH said:
"No, details of vehicles participating in the demonstration were not
Below is a photo of a young lady caught taking close ups of plate numbers and drivers faces at the Trafalgar Square Demo. She was accompanied by two security guards wearing hi-vis jackets issued by TfL.
THIS IS THE LETTER SENT OUT TO A NUMBER OF TAXI DRIVERS WHO ATTENDED THE PARLIAMENT SQUARE DEMO OVER EXCLUSION FROM THE OLYMPIC LANES.
When a group of unsuspecting drivers got this letter, they all felt they had been harassed and unfairly victimised. One driver became so ill with the stress caused by the letter, he couldn't work.
In an email from John Mason to his Legal Dept, we again see him denying our claims, saying they are untrue.
But we believe the facts Speak for themselves.
Our opinion, is also backed up by this video produced by and on behalf of the RMT.
A WORD FROM RMT CHAIRMAN MIKE BAILEY
First They Came For The Trade Unionists... from On the Barricade on Vimeo.
PLUS THIS FROM THE UCG WEBSITE: