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RMT national conference
Transport workers plan fightback
As we go to press, members of transport union RMT are discussing how to fight back at their national conference.
The union faces a number of major disputes - notably on Network Rail and the London Underground. In addition, the RMT faces a serious attack on the right to strike, as proposed new anti-strike laws could declare transport an "essential service".
Socialist Party members will be arguing for greater coordination between RMT and other transport unions to fight these attacks.
The RMT is also leading the way on working class political representation. It is one of the core components of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), which includes the Socialist Party.
Pro-TUSC delegates will be ar-guing to maintain and strengthen that link. They will also call for the RMT to encourage other unions to join the fight for workers' political representation. In particular, the Fire Brigades Union conference in May agreed to approach other unions on this question.
Socialist Party member John Reid sits on the RMT's leading body, the council of executives. He spoke to the Socialist about the struggle on London Underground.
"All four unions are balloting for strikes against the imposition of night tubes. The cost is intensified unsocial hours and huge job losses. The reward is a two-year real-terms pay cut, and a derisory one-off 'bonus'. All four unions demand an above-inflation pay award, reduction in hours and proper work-life balance.
"Drivers' union Aslef returned a massive 98% yes vote for action on an 81% turnout. The other unions expect large yes votes. There will be a shutdown of the tube on 9 July.
"The Aslef result has buoyed up the mood, and would smash the Tories' proposed strike ballot restrictions. But we do not accept legislation on union democracy from a government elected by only 24% of those eligible to vote."
In The Socialist 24 June 2015:
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