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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 April 2020

RMT transport union: Lift the suspension of Steve Hedley

Steve Hedley

Steve Hedley   (Click to enlarge)

The following statement of Red Lines - the bulletin of Socialist Party members in the RMT transport union - calls for the lifting of the union executive's suspension of Assistant General Secretary (AGS), Steve Hedley.

"Following comments he made on Facebook, AGS Steve Hedley has been suspended from his duties by the RMT's National Executive Committee.

Socialist Party members in our union understand Steve's hatred of Tory austerity, and the misery it has caused for millions of working-class people. The current pandemic is tragically showing the effects of Tory policies.

However, it is also a sensitive time, when millions are worrying about their own health and that of their loved ones, and some RMT members may have been offended by Steve's comments.

Steve's Facebook posts put his opposition to Johnson and his Tory government in personal terms.

The workers' movement's opposition to the Tories isn't personal but is because of the Tories' anti-working class policies, such as brutal austerity, the privatisation of the NHS, and railway and transport network, plus their anti-union laws, which include those which are now planned to be targeted at rail unions like the RMT.

However, the suspension is completely wrong. Steve has been to the fore of the union at a senior level, in resisting the massive pressure on us from the Tories, the Trade Union Congress, and other unions to join in the national collaboration during the Covid crisis.

Any capitulation to this, and any pulling of our punches against the bosses at this time, will have a far greater detrimental effect on our union and our members than comments made on Facebook. The suspension should be lifted so that he can get on with fighting for RMT members as AGS."

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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.

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In The Socialist 22 April 2020:


Frontline workers speak out

Where's our PPE? Where's our testing? Where's our money?

London bus drivers' action over safety stops front door boarding

Care homes coronavirus scandal: blood on their hands

PPE shortages: "I feel so bloody angry"

Trade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

Management tells carers PPE would 'worry' residents

Councils must demand control of supplies and reversal of austerity

More dispatches from the front: 'There are so many more patients dying'


World economy

World economic crisis: A Marxist approach to the coronavirus crunch


Workplace news

No 'back to school' until outbreak is under control and trade union agreed safety arrangements

DWP: Action on workers' safety, and protection of pay and conditions needed

JD Sports: Shut up shop and give us full pay!

RMT: Lift the suspension of Steve Hedley

Bromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!


Lenin at 150

Lenin at 150: A revolutionary life - and the relevance of his ideas to today's working-class struggles


Coronavirus news

National plan for testing needed

Capitalist press attacks Tory incompetence

Tory think tank proposes attack on pensions

Shocking increase in domestic violence killings

US private healthcare system in meltdown

Coronavirus news in brief


Workplace safety

The history of struggle to make the workplace safe


Campaigns

Excellent support for Socialist Party special appeal

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Clapping, driving, postering - for workers' rights

The role of the Socialist during the corona crisis

Policies that really protect the NHS

Coronavirus: Students' charter

Socialism the Podcast: What do our listeners think?


Readers' opinion

Covid-19 patient speaks out: fantastic support from under-resourced health workers

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters


 

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