As we move slowly towards the coming local elections and elections in London a big step forward has recently occurred with the RMT union publically backing TUSC candidates and allowing its branch’s across the country to back TUSC candidates standing in elections. I am so pleased about this and hopefully will lead the way for more moves of trade unionists standing for TUSC and giving working people a voice.
The national executive of the RMT union has voted to back candidates of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the London elections on 3 May.
RMT general secretary, Bob Crow, announced the decision to applause at a rally to launch TUSC’s election campaign to win seats on the London Assembly.
The executive also voted to allow its union branches around the country to back other TUSC candidates in the local council elections which take place on the same day.
Prior to taking the decision, the RMT executive had written to every single branch in the Greater London area to ask if there were any objections to the proposal to back TUSC. There were none.
Bob Crow said:
“While Labour leader Ed Militant may get up and condemn the budget for the rich, what would they do under the same circumstances? Exactly the same, except over a longer period of time. A hundred and seven years ago this union moved a resolution to say we want a party of labour and to get rid of liberalism; now we have to say we need to get rid of Labour and we need a party of trade unionists and socialist.”
Speaking at the same meeting, Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack pointed out that the privatization of the London fire service had started under Labour.
“The FBU rejects the whole austerity agenda”, he said. “We may be small but we can grow. Our message can get an echo – the alternative is a dire future that offers nothing to millions.”
RMT President Alex Gordon, who is the leading candidate on the TUSC London list said:
“The RMT has a proud tradition of fighting politically. There is nothing to be ashamed about being a trade unionist and a socialist – millions of people out there are looking for an alternative. Labour is ashamed of its background. With TUSC, there will be no running away from supporting strikers – it’s on the tin. They’ve got the millionaires – we’ve got the millions who are deprived of a voice”
The backing given to TUSC candidates by the RMT national executive and its general secretary, the FBU London Region and its general secretary, represents a significant step in the building of a left-wing alternative to the Labour Party. This should now be publisised widely and to the wider labour movement that trade unionists do have a voice again and TUSC can be that vehicle for them. Everyone can get involved in TUSC whetheryour in work out of work a pensioner a socialist or a trade unionist this formation can be a stepping stone towards the eventual formation of a new mass workers party we feel.
It is crucial to get official union support on board as not only does this bring the name to a wider layer of workers but also gives us credibility as a force. Many still in the labour party who are disillusioned understandably tell me often well we would leave labour and vote for someone else if there is a credible alternative. Well TUSC hopes and is taking big bold new steps to being just that. With your support and the wider class support TUSC can turn from a minority party to a major force in this country in the coming period.
You can find out more about TUSC and our policies at