Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/587/7524

From The Socialist newspaper, 8 July 2009

RMT Annual General Meeting: "If provoked - Will strike"

London Underground strike of RMT tube workers, photo Paul Mattsson

London Underground strike of RMT tube workers, photo Paul Mattsson

A number of delegates at the transport union RMT's AGM wore T-shirts picturing a viper and the wording "If provoked - will strike". These T-shirts summed up the mood, both of the leadership and rank and file delegates, who are undoubtedly preparing themselves for defensive battles on jobs, pay and conditions.

Elaine Brunskill

What was clear from the AGM was the understanding that management has drawn up battle lines, and militancy is required. The RMT have already had 61 ballots for industrial action so far this year.

One delegate encapsulated this mood when he said: "We can pass all the resolutions we want, but we must also launch the campaigns. We have to reach every mess room, every depot."

He added: "When you put your cross [for strike action] - it might be for one day. But, you don't stop until the goal is won."

A resolution was passed, with 63 in favour and three abstentions, backing the union's decision to stand in the European elections under the banner No2EU - Yes to Democracy.

It called on the AGM to endorse the Council of Executive's proposal to hold a convention in Autumn to discuss with socialists and trade unionists on how best to defend and promote working class interests.

A resolution from the RMT young members' conference entitled "When I'm 64" was carried. The resolution said that although young people could work in the industry from 16, they are not allowed to contribute to the majority of occupational pension funds until 18 - effectively denying them two years worth of pension entitlement.

Delegates applauded the young members for putting forward a motion on pensions. Delegates were outraged that, while the pensions of workers were under attack, the former Royal Bank of Scotland boss, who had presided over the biggest corporate loss in British history, walked away with a massive pension.

One delegate said he'd wanted to retire at 55, but the capitalist crisis had "scuppered that", as in order to have "dignity in old age - you need a few bob in your pocket."

Another delegate pointed out his pension pot had been reduced by 3,000. He added: "Where has it gone? Into the back pockets of the rich."

Pat Sikorski, RMT assistant general secretary, explained how New Labour are attempting to deflect the blame for this capitalist economic crisis. They are pushing the idea of greedy public sector workers, in order to justify attacks on wages and conditions.

Another delegate, speaking on a resolution condemning zero-hour contracts, explained that management are wanting a: "Martini workforce - anytime, anywhere, anyplace."

Throughout the AGM, delegate after delegate told of the battering workers are enduring from bullying bosses.

General secretary Bob Crow explained how employers are using zero-hour contracts in an attempt to turn the clock back. "When they want you - you get work. When they don't want you - you get nothing." This means: "No holiday pay, no sick pay. Six hours work one day - nothing the next!"

The credit crunch is also being used by management attempting to squeeze the terms and conditions of RMT members.

This includes the use of agency staff, who are being taken on for longer periods.

RMT members are also suffering where employers use attendance policies as a disciplinary tool.

On the London Underground 8,000 of the 10,000-12,000 workforce are on such a warning. Constant bullying has led to the current dispute.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
  • 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 Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 8 July 2009:

Action now to defend public sector


Youth fight for jobs

Jobs not dole


Socialist Party editorial

Brown's dead duck government

Postal workers need a national fightback


Socialist Party news and analysis

National Express goes off the rails

First Bus - no to pay freeze

Demanding justice for Shrewsbury 24

News in brief


Socialist Party women

Why women don't have real equality


International socialist news and analysis

Police trigger ethnic clashes in Xinjiang

Honduras coup - a warning to workers in Latin America

Sri Lanka: Protest over DfID role


Socialist Party reviews

Stalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky

Arundhati Roy - politics and literature


Education

Higher fees in higher education

Drama students enter the stage of struggle

Teachers' MOTs

First strike against Trust schools

Strike against BSF proposals


Socialist Party workplace news

RMT Annual General Meeting: "If provoked - Will strike"

Save jobs at Vestas wind turbine plant

Private companies caught in jobcentre scam

South West Wales Media: Fight for jobs, defend conditions

Oilc - fighting for decent working conditions in the North Sea


 

Home   |   The Socialist 8 July 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

RMT:

triangleRMT: Support Alan Pottage for assistant general secretary

triangleGreat British Railways shake-up offers no end to profiteering

triangleRMT: Militant industrial and political strategy must be fought for

triangleRally for sacked RMT rep Declan

triangleTrade union fighters rally to support victimised workers

Strike:

triangleReaders' comments

triangleLeicester University workers strike against redundancies

triangleEngineers in fourth week of strike action

triangleTV review: Mrs Thatcher vs the miners

Pension:

triangleNews in brief

triangleArcadia and Debenhams closures: Nationalise to save jobs and pensions

triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

Pay:

triangleSparks win victory!

triangleJohnson's G7 hypocrisy

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/6/21

Leicestershire

Engineers in fourth week of strike action

16/6/21

PCS

Conference 2021: Divide between union leaders and rank-and-file exposed

16/6/21

Electricians

Sparks win victory!

16/6/21

NHS

Underpaid, overworked - NHS workers say: 'Enough is enough'

16/6/21

Enfield

Enfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

16/6/21

Unite

Left candidate needed for Unite general secretary election

16/6/21

Finance

National finance meeting

16/6/21

Unison

Socialist Party to the fore at Unison LG conference

16/6/21

Birmingham

Birmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

16/6/21

Cornwall

Johnson's G7 hypocrisy

16/6/21

Homelessness

Pandemic homeless

16/6/21

Protest

International solidarity protests

16/6/21

Socialist

Queues at Socialist Party stall in Cov

16/6/21

BFAWU

Majority of BFAWU members vote to break from Labour

16/6/21

NHS

Now is the time to fight for the NHS

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: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999