Category: Political

TUSC Local Elections Conference

Don’t leave politics just to shades of the Establishment!*


Help build the anti-austerity challenge at the May elections.

Please visit the TUSC local elections conference Facebook event at


*Sunday, February 7th, 11:00 to 13:30*

Zoom link


Meeting ID: 828 9659 5909
Passcode: On request


Those details will also be available on the Facebook event above and also the TUSC website at






RMT is fighting for the future of work in public transport and the maritime and offshore sectors. The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed the importance of every worker in key services like public transport. It’s exposed the folly of attempting to run critical public services like commercial enterprises, the bankruptcy of privatisation and the outdated dogma of outsourcing.


Yet under the cover of the pandemic and with the support of government, employers across our industry are once again attacking jobs.


RMT is committed to fighting for jobs. We will fight redundancies using every tactic at our disposal, as we’ve always done. But we also know we’re not alone.


Across the UK employers are looking to impose a new round of austerity on working people. We must also support and link up with the campaigns and struggles of other unions, workers and communities who are seeking to protect and improve their jobs and communities. We will seek to build a united campaign that fights for a new deal for public transport and our members.


At the September statutory meeting the NEC gave further consideration this matter and adopted a “NEC policy statement” report and “a policy report” with the following decision: “That we note and adopt the documents on file titles, “NEC Policy Statement” and “Policy report”.


The NEC is alarmed by media reports this morning that UK firms have already started consultation on 300K redundancies. This threat faces many RMT members at this time and will affect more in the coming months. It is crucial that our union stands together to defend jobs and conditions.


The General secretary is therefore instructed to:


Distribute this decision and the NEC Policy Statement to all branches and regions and to inform all members of the statement by email and text.


Instruct all branches and regional councils to hold a meeting (in line with current NEC advice on meetings) to launch the policy as soon as possible.


To promote the policy in any way possible at the forthcoming TUC congress.


To promote the policy throughout the trade union movement wherever and however possible


To conduct a press campaign to launch the policy


To carry an article on the policy in the next edition of RMT News


The progress of this policy is to be monitored at regular meetings of the relevant special subcommittee, which will report to the NEC.”


I can advise you that our policies were pursued at the TUC and continue to be so in the wider movement and with the press and politicians and there will be further press work and campaigning to promote the policy.


As set out above, the NEC has instructed me to circulate the NEC policy statement and I encourage all branches to read, promote it among your members in their workplaces and more widely. This can be found here:




Political attack on TfL Funding

MT reveals that Londoners are being offered 22 times less funding than private Train Companies in politically motivated attack on TfL
TRANSPORT UNION RMT has revealed today that Londoners face a bleak future in which the capital’s transport network will be starved of money if the government gets its way.
The union’s research exposes the double standards at the heart of transport policy, and has shown that the ‘take it or get taken over’ ‘offer’ made to TfL would mean London getting the equivalent of £1 per passenger journey over the next six months, compared with £22 per passenger journey which is being handed out to the government’s friends in the failing Train Operating Companies.
Chiltern Railways, which runs through Boris Johnson’s constituency are set to receive more than £20 per passenger journey, while Transpennine Express, which runs through Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Yorkshire constituency stands to get £36. 
Commenting on the revelations, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“It cannot be right that Londoners are being threated with 22 times less funding per passenger journey than the private train companies.
“We welcome the support that’s been given to the rail industry but we have to see the same standards applied to London’s massive transport network.
“Instead we’re seeing a politically motivated attack which is starving the capital of transport finding and piling on the pain for ordinary Londoners and small businesses.”

General Election Result 2019

Sadly, the Tory party have won the general election with a clear majority.


Key to this was Jeremy Corbyn and others within the Labour party leadership misunderstanding the millions of working class people who felt betrayed by all the main parties, who suffered years of austerity, who expressed this rage in the Brexit vote, and now in this general election.


The RMT, and the rest of the trade union movement, must prepare for the coming period of struggles and anti union attacks from this government.


The fightback begins today.

2019 General Election

2019 General Election
As you will be aware a General Election has been called for Thursday 12th December 2019.
This matter was considered by a Special Meeting of the NEC this week, who have determined in line with existing policy that the union adopts the same approach as it did previously at the 2017 General Election.
Therefore, RMT’s position for the 2019 General Election is as follows,
The outcome of this election is clearly either a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn whose key policies include support for trade union and employment rights, repeal of anti-union legislation, public ownership of the railways and opposition to austerity or a Tory Government who wish to introduce even more vicious anti-trade union legislation, further austerity and privatisation and attacks on the working class and therefore it is clearly in the interests of RMT members for Labour to maximize its vote, for the Tories to be defeated and for there to be a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
The NEC have requested that our members be advised of this position and also the key policy commitments that Labour has previously given that will benefit our members, which I shall be compiling and sending out shortly.
The NEC has also determined that in line with our previous approach Branches can support Labour candidates from their political funds without any reference to the NEC.
Branches are also entitled to submit requests to support other candidates to the NEC for consideration under rule and in accordance with previous AGM decisions.
I will keep you advised of developments. 
Yours sincerely 

March and Rally against the Tories Birmingham 29th September 

March and Rally against the Tories Birmingham 29th September 


Please see the details below of an important national event at which I will be speaking along with other speakers from the Trade Union movement.


All branches should organise to maximise attendance and use of branch resources is a legitimate expense. Please do all you can to bring it to attention of members and ensure a strong RMT turnout.




Now is the time to show the full strength of our opposition to this failing government and a large RMT presence on the march will do just that.


Mick Cash

Pre- SGM Fringe Meeting for SGM delegates and Observers (RMT)

Dear Comrades,


The LUEngineering Branch are organising a fringe meeting at the Special Annual General Meeting for delegates and branch observers (RMT).


This will be to show case the debate and highlight the reasons why our branch, and many others, believe that we should retain our existing political strategy and not affiliate to the Labour Party.


We will name guest speakers at a later date


The fringe meeting will take place the night prior to the SGM at the same venue, i.e. Tuesday 29th May 2018, from 18:30 at the Doncaster Trades and Labour Club, 3rd Floor

Discussion on RMT Affiliation to the Labour Party

RMT Paddington No.1 Branch and SW&W Regional Council host a discussion on RMT Affiliation to the Labour Party



‘The past we inherit, the future we build’



Special Meeting

Wednesday, 25 April

2018 18.00hrs

Friends House

173-177 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ


All members WELCOME


RMT members are being consulted on our union’s affiliation to the Labour Party.


Come and hear the arguments and take part in the discussion.

Or watch and comment online via live-stream s5B4Qa




John McDonnell, MP

Hayes and Harlington


Steve Hedley, Senior AGS, RMT (personal capacity)


Paul Jackson, Secretary, LU Engineering Branch

(Speaking against affiliation)



Meeting poster

RMT Wishaw and Motherwell: Reasons they are against Labour Party Affiliation

RMT Wishaw and Motherwell:          12th April 2014


RMT affiliation to the Labour Party:

Branch and Regional Council Consultation




1)  On this and each and every occasion, we must examine what is in the best interests of our Members.


In relation to the “RMT Labour Party Affiliation Discussion Paper” circularised to Branches and Regional Councils, we are of the view that it does not provide in clear, concise and unambiguous terms answers to concerns of crucial importance for the Union and its Members. It also has clearly been presented with opinion, giving a particular bias towards affiliation to the Labour Party.


Any document of this nature should have informed Branches of the dates of the Meetings between the Union and the Labour Party and who was present representing both Organisations. It should also have indicated who the authors of the Discussion Paper were.


2)  We should remember that we were once affiliated to the Labour Party, so we understand very well the processes and machinery of how the Labour Party operates. The Document is replete with explanations of the processes within the relevant structures of the Labour Party: all portrayed as giving the Union some type of significant status when we know, in reality, that is not how it works.


3)  We should never ever forget that the Labour Party expelled the Union from its organisation. It is worthwhile to reflect on how this Union (an affiliate since its inception and our predecessor Union had laid the foundation of the Labour Party) was expelled.


4)  We were expelled by the Labour Party because we wanted (through the Rules of the Union) to allow our Regions, Branches and Members to have a democratic say on what political parties and candidates they choose to support – not just Labour. The Labour Party as an Organisation had failed to uphold the principles on which it was formed. Its political direction and policy objectives acted contrary to the values and aims of our Union and therefore was not acting in the best interests of our Members. We wanted to back candidates and parties who demonstrated clear support for the Trade Union and its policies and we did so. The Union judges candidates solely on their merits as advocates of policies that match the Union’s own programme and which would deliver for our members, their families and their communities.


Affiliation to the Labour Party would stop all that because it insists that the Union as an affiliate cannot support candidates in an election whether it be Local Authority, Scottish Parliament or Westminster Parliament that are in opposition to Labour Candidates.



RMT Wishaw and Motherwell  opposes Affiliation to the Labour Party:


It is our position that we support the status quo in relation to political affiliation viz. that we remain without any affiliation to any current political party. We consider that there should be no infringement of the Rules of the Union that were introduced to allow Branches to submit bona fide requests for support and endorsement of candidates to include those from outwith the Labour Party, whom Branches consider will act in the best interests of our members. These Rules must remain.  In this context we reject any interpretation or suggestion that all candidates must declare support for the Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn as being in complete contradiction of the Rules of the Union.


It is claimed that there is a transformation taking place within the Labour Party because of Corbyn’s leadership. We are not convinced.

In any event it would be a mistake to affiliate to any organisation under the circumstances whereby a leader is seen as the reason for joining – Corbyn in this instance. This would be a gross error and Labour and Trade Union Movement history informs us so.

We as a Branch are implacably opposed to all the actions and policies of the reactionary and reprehensible Tory Party and Government. We note that in the General Election of 2017, even when the Tories delivered an inept campaign based on deceit, regressive policies, division and incompetence under the leadership of one of the most useless Prime Ministers ever, the Labour Party failed to remove them from Office. In Scotland the once powerful Labour Party are now the third party in the Scottish Parliament and at Local Authority level in some areas have taken control through arrangements with the Tories.


Throughout the UK where our Members are fighting to save jobs, pay and conditions there are Labour led authorities not prepared to give support. This is not a new state of affairs in the Labour Party.


It is argued that a mass party of labour can be born through the ranks of the current Labour Party – “a mass party of labour that fights in the interest of the working class and Labour now has the potential to be that Party”, it is said.  Have we forgotten that the principal reason as to why the Union is not affiliated to Labour is because the Labour Party abandoned the cause of acting on behalf of working people? The Party lost trust and will not be transformed.


The correct position adopted by our late, lamented General Secretary Bob Crow was to argue for a “new party of labour” – “the time for an alternative party of Labour is now”. His position was clear in relation to the Labour Party. On the 16th of February 2014 only a few short weeks before his passing he was asked by Andrew Neill, in an interview on the Sunday Politics show “Will the RMT reaffiliate to the Labour Party?” and he replied “I have got no intention to”.

Our current General Secretary on his election to succeed Bob Crow stated “it is important to understand that there will be no deviation from the industrial and political strategy mapped out under Bob’s leadership.”  Mick Cash himself was not averse to establishing an alternative party to Labour. Addressing the ASLEF 2015 Annual Conference he said “I cannot see in my time as General Secretary that we will get back into the Labour Party”. Because we have a huge problem with the party that was born out of our movement endorsing policies that work against this movement.”


Labour lost the 2015 and 2017 General Elections.


Currently we have in our Rules the freedom to allow Branches to seek approval to support political candidates from any Party who act in line with our Union policies.  This could and has included in the past individual Labour Party Candidates.

Why would we want to change this favourable position?

This important freedom within our Rules allows our representatives (National Executive Committee, National Officers, Regional Organiser and others) acting on the Members’ behalf not to be constrained when dealing with the Government, Devolved Administrations, Regional and Local Authorities. In effect the Members’ interests are paramount and not compromised by or subservient to any political party allegiance.


It should be noted that our Members in Scotland in the context of the Scottish Independence Referendum of September 2014 voted in a referendum ballot to support the case for Scottish Independence. The Labour Party is implacably opposed to Scottish Independence and even seeks to deny the Scottish people another vote on this issue. (their 2017 General Election Manifesto states this). How’s that for an organisation that claims to support Democracy?  The Labour Party are directly acting against the Union policy on this matter as dictated by our Members.


Of course, over the years successive Labour Governments have failed to repeal the Anti-Trade Union Laws, Renationalise the Railways, shied away from policy commitments and failed to tackle in any meaningful way a rotten political system that has produced austerity, inequality, division and severely impacts on the most vulnerable in our society.


Those who argue for re-affiliation contend that it is different now under Corbyn’s Leadership. They are wrong – bitter experience has taught us that the Labour Party are to be judged by their actions in government and not by promises in opposition.


We should stand by the principles inherent within our Rules. Our current political strategy is in the best interests of our Members. Bob Crow expressed the benefit to our members when he said –


“By freeing ourselves from the shackles of automatic Labour support, RMT’s political influence is thriving with political groups established in the British, Scottish and Welsh parliaments and assemblies that involve a base of supportive Labour representatives, Greens and SNP. The condition for joining is that elected members sign up to the core political priorities laid down by the Union”


The Branch agrees with this assessment and concludes that there is no convincing argument for affiliation to the Labour Party.   END.

Why LUEngineering Branch decided against Affiliation to the Labour Party

Following several branch meetings to discuss the matter of whether to reaffiliate to the Labour Party, our Branch decided against.


We also decided to take part in the broader campaign to keep our political independence



Click here to read why



Please ‘like’ the campaign facebook page –



Here are others that agree


The Campaign to defend RMT’s political Strategy supporters include (Individuals in a personal capacity):

LU Engineering Branch

RMT Offshore Energy Branch

Wishaw and Motherwell Branch

Paul Shaw – NEC (Maritime North)

Paul Reilly – NEC (Midlands)

Andy Budds – NEC (Yorks & Lincs)

Del Marr – NEC (South East)

Mark Northard – NEC (Scotland)

Andy Littlechild – NEC (London Transport)

Gordon Martin – RO (Scotland & N. Ireland)

Jake Molloy – RO (Scotland)

Warwick Roberts – MerseyRail Guards Rep

David King – Newcastle Rail & Catering Br Sec and striking North Rail guard.

Michelle Rogers – Br sec Mans Sth & former NEC member

David Hainey – Br Sec (Wishaw and Motherwell)

Mike McCaig – Br sec Offshore Energy Br.

Joe Kirby – Asst Sec Offshore Energy Br

Paul Jackson – Br Sec LU Engineering Branch.

Les Harvey – LU Engineering Asst Sec

Lewis Peacock – LU Engineering Political Officer

Paul O’Brien – LU Engineering Chair & SGM del.

Carlos Barros – Piccadilly/District West Br President

Cat Cray – Political Officer LTRC

Glen Hart – LTRC Secretary & Chair BAEM Advisory Ctte

John Reid – Former NEC member and retired member.

Paul McDonald – Wimbledon Br Sec & Wessex Regional President

Ted Woodley – SGM delegate

Gary Harbord – SGM delegate

Jared Wood – SGM delegate

John Holmes—SGM delegate

Greg Hewitt – former NEC member

Conor Cheyne – Inverness Br & Young Member

Declan Ritchie – LT Region Asst Sec


Labour Party Affiliation

RMT Labour Party affiliation consultation – please be involved in the discussion


As you may be aware your union is consulting RMT Branches over whether the union should affiliate to the Labour party and I am writing to explain the current situation and to advise you that your NEC is asking for the widest possible  involvement of members in this discussion by attending any meetings of your Branch where this will be discussed.

The decision to hold this consultation was made by a meeting of the RMT 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM is your union’s supreme governing body and is comprised of elected rank and file RMT delegates.  Your AGM determined,

“Jeremy Corbyn has now twice been overwhelmingly elected leader of the Labour Party and the General Election saw the popular embrace of a left programme which is now officially Labour Party policy. Not only is the socialist leadership of the Labour Party now in a very strong position the left in the Labour Party in general is in its strongest position for over a generation.


Just as it was in the interests of our members to support Jeremy Corbyn being leader of the Labour Party and to support Labour at the election, it is now in the interests of our members for the union to do all it can to support, defend, and develop the socialist advances that have been made both within the Labour Party and the country as a whole.

How we do this however is a matter debate, with a number of strongly held and honourable views. It is also important that we seek the maximum possible involvement of Branches and Regional Councils. Therefore we recommend that there is a consultation with Branches and Regional Councils on whether the significant socialist advances within the Labour Party described above should be defended and advanced by the union affiliating to Labour, or not,with a report back to a Special General Meeting.

This is consistent with our existing AGM policy to create a mass party of Labour that fights in the interests of the working class as Labour arguably now has the potential at least to be that party.  It is also consistent with our policy that any questions of affiliation are a matter for our union’s supreme governing body.”

Following union discussions with the Labour Party last year and your NEC’s subsequent decision to raise a series of issues with the Labour Party as requested by the 2017 AGM your union received a letter from the Labour Party inviting the union to affiliate to the Labour Party.  The union also received from the Labour Party responses to the issues we have raised and these have been provided to Branches.


Your NEC is urging Branches and Regional Councils to respond to the consultation and hold special meetings as necessary and encourage the widest possible involvement of our members.


Your NEC has asked that Branches and Regional Councils respond by no later than Friday 18th May 2018 to enable a report back to a Special General Meeting which will take place no later than 1st June 2018.


Please contact your Branch if you wish to be involve in this important discussion.