THREE union members are appearing in court after allegedly blocking lorries outside a depot during a recent bin strike.

Three members of the union, including GMB regional organiser Gary Palmer, were arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway at the Amberstone Road depot in Hailsham on May 27.

Police made three arrests after they “repeatedly asked those involved to clear the highway”. Some of the members allegedly failed to comply.

They will appear at Hastings Magistrates’ Court in Bohemia Road, Hastings and the union are calling for a “show of support” outside the court from 9.30am.

The Argus: Gary Palmer was one of three GMB members arrested last month. Picture from Socialist Worker's TwitterGary Palmer was one of three GMB members arrested last month. Picture from Socialist Worker's Twitter

Justin Bowden, GMB regional secretary, said: “We are calling for a show of solidarity for our three members who were arrested while supporting the now-settled six-week refuse strike. 

“GMB is not seeking to influence the verdict in the court case at all, but simply to show support for our members, whom we believe were peacefully protesting on a lawful picket line. 

“We are pleased to have the support of the local trades council and would welcome anyone else wishing to come down on Wednesday morning to show solidarity and friendship to our three members.” 

In a video during the arrest, one person can be heard shouting "bully boys for Biffa". Biffa runs the service for Wealden District Council.

The Argus: Striking workers outside Amberstone Road depot in HailshamStriking workers outside Amberstone Road depot in Hailsham

GMB members will be joined by the Hastings and District Trades Union Council outside the court on Wednesday.

The trade union for Hastings described the arrests as an “outrage” and called for their charges to be dropped.

They claim the arrests happened after three bin lorries driven by “strike breakers and agency staff” attempted to go past the picket line.

GMB members and picket supervisors were said to have blocked the path before a “tense stand-off” ensued.

A Sussex Police spokesman said at the time: “Pickets or assemblies in trade disputes are not immune from criminal law and police have powers at their disposal to respond to any issues or breaches of the peace, including any offences of blocking the highway.

The Argus: GMB regional organiser Gary PalmerGMB regional organiser Gary Palmer

"However, the use of any powers must be carefully considered to ensure they are necessary and proportionate.

"When police arrived at the scene, a number of persons were blocking the highway. The officers repeatedly asked those involved to clear the highway, but some failed to comply.”

The Wealden bin strike was called off two weeks ago, June 14, after workers for Biffa were offered up to a 27 per cent pay rise.