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Continuing Bob Crow's legacy after RMT general secretary election
Mick Cash has been elected as the new general secretary of the RMT. The election was called after the tragic early death of Bob Crow earlier in the year.
Bob spearheaded the RMT's transformation into one of the most militant unions with a proud record of defending its members' jobs, pay and terms and conditions.
Under Bob's stewardship, the RMT recognised the need to strengthen the rank and file within the labour movement by initiating the National Shop Stewards Network.
But it also saw the need to fight for a workers' political alternative to the mainstream parties by playing a key role in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, confirmed by conference motions at three consecutive annual meetings.
However, the result of the election, in which five candidates stood, did show that there is a need to build a strong left rank and file organisation within the RMT.
This could have ensured that those activists who are determined to fight for Bob Crow's political and industrial legacy within the union united around a single candidate. This need is still posed as Mick Cash's victory now leaves a vacancy in one of the assistant general secretary positions.
Undoubtedly the pro-big business Labour Party, and behind them the bosses generally, would welcome any opportunity that may arise to reverse the union's bold stance on independent working class political representation.
As Mick Cash is a longstanding Labour Party member, increasingly rare among RMT activists, some union members will fear that his election could make it harder to resist this pressure in the future.
Mick's comment that his election will mean that "there will be no deviation from RMT's industrial, political and organising strategy mapped out [by] Bob's leadership" will be welcomed.
The Socialist Party looks forward to continue working with the RMT, now under his leadership.
- Election result: Mick Cash 8,938; Alan Pottage 4,006; Steve Hedley 1,885; John Leach 1,428; Alex Gordon 1,176
In The Socialist 1 October 2014:
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