Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/641/10368
Time to strengthen RMT's fighting leadership
At the end of October, RMT members in London Transport will be voting for a new representative on the union's national Council of Executives.
Socialist Party member Lewis Peacock is currently seeking branch nominations. Lewis is the assistant branch secretary of the largest RMT branch, London Underground Engineering, and also the assistant secretary of London Transport regional council. Lewis has an impressive industrial record under his belt.
Until it spectacularly collapsed, much of LU engineering was privatised and run by Metronet. Metronet workers fought successful strike action, defending jobs, pay and conditions in 2007. Lewis was involved in successful negotiations over the transfer back into London Underground, including winning passes and pension rights.
The RMT is widely seen as one of the most combative trade unions, with a leadership that is willing to fight for members' interests. General secretary Bob Crow made an important 'call to arms' when he called for generalised strike action against the Con-Dem cuts. The RMT initiated the National Shop Stewards Network, which is now playing a leading role in fighting the cuts.
RMT's leadership has taken steps towards a working class electoral alternative to the Labour Party, first with No2EU - Yes to Democracy in the 2009 European elections, and then supporting candidates of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the 2010 general election.
But the RMT will face an onslaught from the government and employers, who will seek to encourage a right wing in the union in order to undermine the current leadership. In this election, it is crucial that the fighting leadership is strengthened, and these policies and important political steps are defended. This is why we believe it is important to vote for Lewis Peacock.
Socialist Party members of the RMT also argue that members who support militant left policies and programme need to organise in the union in a Broad Left, to defend and build support for those policies and programme.
In The Socialist 6 October 2010:
Defend Child Benefits
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party workplace news
Health and Safety
Europe: fighting the cuts
International socialist analysis
Socialist Party review