Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1109/31618

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 November 2020

RMT union AGM votes to defend union democracy - now for a fighting general secretary

RMT union members demonstrating against Johnson's threat to the right to strike, London 19.12.19, photo JB

RMT union members demonstrating against Johnson's threat to the right to strike, London 19.12.19, photo JB   (Click to enlarge)

Ted Woodley, RMT AGM delegate (personal capacity)

This year's RMT transport union's annual general meeting (AGM) was like no other I have ever attended.

Delegates were relieved that the conference took place at all. Due to Covid, it was organised as an online event, and at the last minute, the national executive committee decided to curtail it from five days to only two, to be concluded early next year.

As a result, the agenda was reduced substantially, with only the items which could not be dealt with later included.

However, the item by which this AGM will be remembered was an appeal against the national executive committee's decision in April, to suspend and discipline senior assistant general secretary Steve Hedley for comments he had made on Facebook back in March.

Steve has held a position of opposing the 'national unity' arguments of so many others in the trade union movement since the Covid crisis began, and has argued against the leadership calling off strikes.

Steve put forward a forceful defence, and delegate after delegate spoke in his support.

However, when general secretary Mick Cash rose to speak against the appeal, he demanded delegates vote it down, otherwise he would stand down from his position. The delegates responded to this ultimatum by supporting the appeal 44 for, with 23 against.

Minutes after the AGM had concluded, an online report announcing the general secretary's retirement was retweeted by RMT head office, which disappointingly included attacks on the rank-and-file leadership of the union, and blamed bullying and factionalism for the reasons behind his decision.

These disgraceful comments, after a highly democratic decision, follow a controversial series of letters from the general secretary to the membership attacking our national executive committee over the summer. It is clear that Mick felt that the national executive committee, and now even the AGM, the parliament of the union, has no right to disagree with or challenge him. He was wrong.

The AGM passed judgement on this unacceptable position, and the process to elect a new general secretary now begins.

Socialist Party members in the RMT think that there needs to be a single left candidate who stands on a programme including:

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 11 November 2020:


News

Capitalists vs working class - not in it together

Tory U-turn: Free school meals

Tory U-turn: Furlough extended - not enough to save jobs

Covid and poverty rising - Welsh lockdown ends with little progress

Covid law used against striking workers - for workers' control of safety measures

Schools need union action for safety


US election

After the polarised elections - what way forward?

Trump out! But mass workers' struggle needed

Trump is out - our readers react


Spycops

Spycops inquiry : why the capitalist state feared and continues to fear socialism


Workplace news

Rolls-Royce: Lancashire workers' strike shows the way to fight aerospace cuts and job losses

RMT union AGM votes to defend union democracy

Sainsbury's and Argos: Closures, cuts and soaring sales

Fight the witch-hunt of Corbyn and his supporters


Campaigns

Donate to the Socialism 2020 appeal now!

Solidarity with Manchester students - fight for democratic control of campus safety

Southampton trade unionists demand: "We won't pay for Covid"

Labour movement conference to defend Corbyn and discuss new party

The struggle for a new mass workers' party

Selling the Socialist


Review and readers' opinion

Trotsky's ideas live on in the CWI

The Socialist Inbox

Readers of the Socialist react to effects of lockdown


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 November 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

RMT:

triangleTransport for London given funding stop gap

triangleMayor and government compete to attack London transport: fight for no cuts!

triangleRMT: Programme to fight redundancies and cuts

triangleUnite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour

Union:

triangleCovid crisis: "We won't pay the price"

triangleYoung Socialists organising for our future

triangleAfter Corbyn: TUSC and the fight for working-class political representation

triangleObituary: Paul Chettle

Democracy:

triangleMillennials disillusioned with 'democracy'

trianglePCS executive majority cancels union democracy

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Capitalist democracy versus socialist democracy

Transport:

triangleTransport for London funding crunch

triangleOnline rally: Fight the London transport funding cuts!

Appeal:

triangleDonate to the Socialism 2020 appeal now!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

25/11/20

NEU

Little Ilford school strike stands firm - council must use reserves!

25/11/20

Heathrow airport

Heathrow workers to strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

18/11/20

Socialism 2020

How will Socialism 2020 work?

18/11/20

Yorkshire

Optare: Right to strike defended

18/11/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

18/11/20

Manchester

Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now

18/11/20

Leicester

Stop Leicester hospital closure

18/11/20

Police

#SpyCops inquiry - Revealing police violence against Socialists

18/11/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialists organising for our future

18/11/20

BAME

Race disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all

18/11/20

Ilford

Overcrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion

18/11/20

UCU

Strike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

18/11/20

Hackney

Hackney council parking services brought in-house

14/11/20

Steel

Fight Tata Steel jobs threat - nationalise now!

12/11/20

TUSC

Ex-MP Chris Williamson joins TUSC

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: [email protected]

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999