Mick Lynch stands down as RMT AGS amid allegations of bullying by NEC members

RMT assistant general secretary Mick Lynch has stepped down after accusing members of the union’s national executive of bullying and harassment.

Lynch, who has been acting general secretary while general secretary Mick Cash was off work with stress, will himself take time off work with stress.

He has been replaced by Steve Hedley, the union’s senior assistant general secretary, who was suspended by the union’s NEC in April after being accused of saying on social media that he would throw a party if Boris Johnson died of coronavirus. He is appealing against the decision.

In an email sent to members yesterday, Hedley wrote: “You may have read an email today from Mick Lynch in which he resigned his position and where serious allegations were made.

“All allegations received by this Union will be investigated in a fair and transparent way and, if necessary, appropriate action taken. In the meantime, the NEC has restored me to the role of Senior Assistant General Secretary pending my appeal to the Annual General Meeting. I will therefore be stepping in to cover Brother Cash during his period of sickness.”

In his resignation letter, Mick Lynch wrote: “As I perceive it, this Union is currently beset with seemingly intractable problems that have created an intolerable, toxic atmosphere which makes a good relationship between myself and the National Executive Committee impossible.

“I regard the current stance of the NEC as overbearing, harassing and bullying towards myself as an elected national officer and I am of the view that the same continued stance has caused the long-term illness of our elected General Secretary.

“The constant hounding of senior officers by the members of the NEC has made it impossible for the Union to be managed properly, efficiently or professionally in the way that established precedent, working arrangements, the rule book, AGM and previous NEC decisions have provided for.

“The stance and attitude of the NEC goes beyond their duties and responsibilities under the constitution of the Union and has had the effect of undermining the role of General Secretary itself and the individuals that have been carrying out the role.”

He went on to write: “In 42 years as a trade union activist, I have never seen a union so divided as this one now – dominated by petty squabbling over matters that are not important to the mass membership.

“I now consider it best for me to take some time off work due to stress related ill-health created by this situation in order to recover and consider my future with the Union.”

In his email to members, Steve Hedley concluded: “At this time of unprecedented attacks on our union with the threat of mass redundancies looming, the need for unity has never been greater. All the National Executive, officers and I are calling for every one of us to come together, putting personal differences aside, to defend our members’ pay, terms conditions and jobs against the coming onslaught.

“Our motto as a union is ‘Unity is strength’ and we must now make this phrase a rallying cry and turn it into action to oppose the attacks coming our way in all the industries that we organise in. Our members need a strong and united union, together we must provide it.”

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