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Tags: bob crow, recession, rmt, tfl, the commune, tube strike
Categories : 2008 financial crisis, organising for class struggle, rmt, strikes, the commune, trade unions
Kieran Hunter looks at the public reaction to June’s 48-hour London Underground strike
‘England fans hit strikers for six’ declared a headline in The Sun referring to the fact that the inconvenience attendees suffered getting to Wembley due to the tube strike did little to impact upon attendance, or dampen enthusiasm about, England’s 6-0 victory over Andorra. Revelling in this, The Sun published pictures of England fans holding up signs declaring that Bob Crow, RMT general secretary and organiser of the tube strikes, ‘is a ******’ (1).
The public response to the two-day strike across London’s tube network in mid-June has largely been a reaction to their immediate experiences, rather than one of solidarity with the striking workers. In many ways, as one commentator has observed, the reaction was not particularly different to the reaction to the heavy snow that brought the London transport network to a halt earlier in the year (2). Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: bob crow, boris johnson, rmt, tfl, tube strike
Categories : rmt, strikes
Many Londoners have been fuming about the extra hours its taken them to get into work and back home since RMT members on the tube went on strike at 7pm on Tuesday. Unfortunately, some have taken to blaming the RMT, understandable given the vicious propaganda carried out by Boris Johnson, Transport for London, and the likes of the Evening Standard. However, as socialists, we need to point out that the line we get spun by the bosses is rarely the whole truth (or even the truth at all). For this reason, this video explanation by RMT General Secretary Bob Crow of what really happened in the negotiations – the truth about ‘the demand for a 5% raise’ and redundancies – is useful for us. Crow invites the bosses to sue him for slander or libel if what he says is untrue.
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Tags: bob crow, crisis, fbu, mcdonnell, nut, people's charter, rmt, the labour movement, the left, the unions
Categories : 2008 financial crisis, fbu, labour party, mcdonnell, nut, rmt, the left, trade unions
In recent weeks and months a “People’s Charter” has been elaborated by a commission involving a number of leaders of the trade unions and the left, notably the leadership of the RMT railworkers’ union but also John McDonnell MP, leading officials in other broadly radical trade unions such as the FBU and NUT, and prominent members of Respect and the Communist Party of Britain. This “charter for change” has not yet been finalised, but it appears that its text will be decided upon and then launched at a rally, rather than openly and democratically discussed across wider layers of our movement. We disapprove of the manner in which this project has been carried out, and do not think much of the current raft of “programmes for government action” issued by left groups which say little about what action we ourselves must take and what movement we need to do it.
However, we publish this draft of the document (see below) in the hope that it will provoke discussion and allow dissenting voices in the labour movement like our own to be heard: as always, feel free to post comments and replies. A more thoroughgoing analysis and critique appears in the second issue of The Commune. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: bob crow, john mcdonnell, labour party, pcs, rmt, the commune, workers' representation
Categories : events, labour party, mcdonnell, pcs, rmt, the left, trade unions
by Chris Kane
About 120 people attended Saturday’s conference, which was called by the RMT rail union. It was much smaller than a similar event held a few years ago and unfortunately clashed with the anti-war march and the Socialist Workers Party conference. The event itself was not built widely with a clear agenda or purpose. The contrast between the vibrant militant youth of the anti-war mobilisations and this conference could not have been greater: it was veterans of the left, mostly over forty, male and white. But there was an open and extensive debate and plenty of time was allowed for contributions from the floor.
RMT leader Bob Crow opened the event by responding to criticism by a 90 year old communist who said that “this is just a talking shop”. Crow defended it on the basis that “there is a need to talk to break down the barriers of the past”. He said that if New Labour were to found itself as a political party today there would hardly be a “trade union which would affiliate”. It was in his view a thoroughly capitalist party and could not be reclaimed: he praised John McDonnell MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP, and pointed out that when they are gone, there will be no similar people to replace them. Read the rest of this entry »