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From: The Socialist issue 873, 7 October 2015: Kick out the Tories!

Search site for keywords: RMT - Election - Union - TUSC - Strike - London underground - Anti-union laws - Unions - Working class - Rail - Trade unions - Bob Crow - General strike - Portsmouth - Socialist Party - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

RMT president election: back Sean Hoyle

Nick Chaffey, Socialist Party Southern region

The election for president of the RMT comes at a time of huge importance for union members facing widespread attacks on pay, jobs and working conditions across the transport industry. It also comes at a time when growing anger and opposition to these attacks is increasing and members are looking for effective ways to fight back industrially and politically.

Under the leadership of the late Bob Crow, the RMT gave a lead to its own members and the wider trade union and labour movement through militant trade unionism industrially and politically. The union championed the power of coordinated action and backed the call for a 24-hour general strike against austerity in 2011.


It has also supported the need for working class political representation through the launch of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in 2010. These traditions were represented in the successful recent London Underground strikes blocking attempts to implement 24-hour working through cutting jobs, pay, terms and conditions.

In this year's election, Portsmouth RMT member and TUSC supporter Sean Hoyle has emerged as the strongest left candidate, receiving 37 branch nominations, making him best placed to continue building a fighting, democratic, socialist trade union.

Sean has made clear his intention to continue the militant traditions of the RMT, "My goal is to represent the views of members and not to shrink from the fight to defend them."

"The McNulty report, commissioned under Labour and being implemented by the Tories, is a threat to 20,000 rail jobs and, in attacking the role of the train guard, public safety. Our union is the first and the last line of defence at sea fighting the scourge of poverty pay, in the offshore oil industry countering the cuts demanded by oil bosses in the wake of the oil price crash, on the roads where members face low pay, long hours and dangerous working conditions. Trade unions are under attack from the government and I want to ensure the RMT leads the fightback against the undemocratic anti-trade union laws."

Sean backed the support given to Jeremy Corbyn from the RMT in his election as Labour leader but remains committed to ensuring the union only backs politicians who act in the interest of RMT members. Speaking at the TUSC conference in September, Sean emphasised the central role the RMT and TUSC have played in making the case against all cuts.

Anti-union laws

In the months and years ahead the RMT must campaign for the ideas of generalised strike action against the proposed new anti-union laws and in defense of jobs and services. The Tory government is making massive new cuts to transport spending and this threatens the jobs and working conditions of all RMT members.

Sean Hoyle is committed to a militant industrial response to this threat. As RMT president he can play a vital role as we seek support for a coordinated fight against austerity throughout the trade union movement.

We also advise that members backing Sean give their second preference to Glenroy Watson from London Underground, who was a TUSC candidate in last year's London council elections.

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