Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/959/26010

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 August 2017

RMT and the Labour Party affiliation debate

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Jared Wood, RMT Neasden

The RMT transport workers' union annual conference (AGM), held in June, recognised the magnificent victory of Jeremy Corbyn in becoming leader of the Labour Party and vowed to continue supporting Jeremy and his allies to transform Labour into a fighting, socialist party of struggle. There was unanimous agreement that the victory of Corbyn raises the possibility of RMT once again affiliating to the Labour Party.

But the discussion and decision of the RMT AGM also recognised that the structures of the Labour Party remain, at this time, in the hands of the right wing. Delegates were opposed to RMT dedicating its political fund to the support of MPs, councillors and mayors who vote for austerity cuts and privatisation, especially those who have direct authority over our members' terms and conditions on Merseyrail, Rail North and London Underground.

The decision of the Welsh Labour government to privatise metro services in south Wales, taken since the RMT AGM, has further highlighted the contradiction RMT would face in funding a party that is carrying out attacks on our own members.

The issue of Labour affiliation is also complicated by the hostility of many workers, including RMT members, to Labour in Scotland.

RMT has a close and long-standing relationship with Jeremy and John McDonnell, as demonstrated by both the leader and shadow chancellor attending the RMT AGM. Ian Mearns (MP for Gateshead), coordinator of the RMT parliamentary group, also attended and spoke.

In a fringe meeting, John McDonnell thanked RMT for being the first trade union to make funds available for Jeremy's leadership election campaign. This relationship has been developed while RMT has maintained an independent political position.

Recognising this, one of the concerns raised at the AGM in relation to any future affiliation, was the potential loss of RMT's ability to fund Jeremy and John's fight to transform the party if our political fund has been dedicated to the central Labour Party machine.

The RMT AGM therefore agreed to begin a process of discussion, both with the members of our union and with the Labour Party to establish on what basis, if any, RMT may want to affiliate to the party.

The resolution below has been passed by the Neasden RMT branch since the AGM and will be discussed at a forthcoming London transport regional council (LTRC) meeting. The resolution seeks to identify some of the key questions that were raised in the AGM discussion and that members will need answers to, in order to consider RMT's formal relationship with Labour.


Resolution from Neasden RMT branch to London transport regional council of the RMT

This branch/LTRC notes the decision of the 2017 RMT AGM to conduct a consultation regarding our union's relationship with the Labour Party.

We endorse the position set out in the resolutions from the National Executive Committee (NEC) on political strategy and the resolution on political strategy submitted by Neasden branch that formed part of the discussion at the AGM.

In keeping with the AGM decision reached, we urge the NEC and general secretary to ensure that discussion with Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and other relevant representatives of the Labour Party are conducted in good time to inform branches and regions of our union during the forthcoming consultation.

In the course of these discussions RMT should seek a response to the following points that were raised by delegates in the AGM discussion:

In the light of responses on all of these issues, branches and regions will be better placed to make an assessment on the balance of advantages and disadvantages of affiliation to Labour.


See also:

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 August 2017:


What we think

Coordinate the strikes to defeat the Tories


Socialist Party news and analysis

Glasgow jannies win famous victory against council cutters

Bin workers - fighting back wins!

Hundreds evacuated after Labour council dismisses cracks in tower blocks

Amazon tax halves as revenues soar - nationalise now!


Workplace news and analysis

RMT and the Labour Party affiliation debate

Defiant Barts NHS workers fight to stop Serco sabotage

Three-week Argos distribution strike

BA poverty pay dispute enters new phase of action

McDonald's workers vote to walk out in historic strike

Bin workers say: Sack Suez, stop rubbish cuts!

PCS: strikes to defend jobcentres


Fighting the far right

US: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

Lewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

Opposing the National Front in Grantham

Charlottesville solidarity


Socialist Party feature

The Single Market: a neoliberal tool of the bosses


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Come to Socialism 2017

Chatsworth ward campaigners demand answers

Vital women's services under threat

Hull youth festival

West Midlands Young Socialists fight for free education on results day

NHS campaign receives Labour Party backing


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Mutinies and strikes: when Bolshevism threatened British bosses

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 August 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

RMT:

triangleMerseyrail protest

triangleRMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

triangleRMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

triangleStrike against driver-only operation on five rail networks

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

Labour Party:

triangleNo fudge with the right wing

triangleCarlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

triangleCorbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

triangle100 years since women won the vote

Labour:

triangleSave Salford nurseries!

triangleLabour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

triangleBlairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor

Union:

triangleUnison national women's conference

triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

Councillors:

triangleStriking back against academies in Newham

John McDonnell:

triangleMcDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

Rail:

triangleRail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

Merseyrail:

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: How can we get Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into our local council?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/2/18

UCU

Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

21/2/18

Strike

German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

21/2/18

Cardiff

Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success

21/2/18

Nottingham

Nottingham hospital black alert

21/2/18

East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

21/2/18

West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

21/2/18

Wales

Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

21/2/18

Bradford

Bradford protests against kids' service cuts

21/2/18

May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

21/2/18

Kirklees

Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

21/2/18

Salford

Save Salford nurseries!

21/2/18

Caerphilly

Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

21/2/18

Council

Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

21/2/18

Leicester

Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!

21/2/18

UCU

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999