Saturday, June 28, 2008

RMT Annual General Meeting report part 1

Writing that report on RMT's AGM is taking a while, so I'll post some tasters now and finish the story tomorrow (hopefully).

This is the first time I've been a delegate to RMT's AGM, but not being the shy, retiring type, I had a hatful of resolutions to propose, and something to say on several others.

Industrial issues that reached the conference included refusal to work on the grounds of safety, short-notice duty changes and, of course, the Tube cleaners' fight for decent pay and conditions. Resolutions on staff assaults, lethal Unimog machines and pensions all attracted a lot of support although little controversy.

There was certainly controversy on Israel / Palestine, where I proposed a resolution calling for support for the Palestinians and an independent Palestine alongside Israel, condemning Hamas, and proposing solidarity campaigning rather than boycotts. The issue of contention was the boycott, which existing RMT policy supports and which Bob Crow vigorously defended in opposing the resolution. The resolution was carried with a big majority, and I look forward to helping the union put it into action.

The AGM heard John McDonnell give a thorough report on the work of the union's Parliamentary group. I complimented him on his defence of abortion rights and recorded my disappointment at the few members of the Parliamentary group who voted the wrong way.

Later that day (Thursday), the union agreed to take steps forward to assert working-class political representation, passing this resolution proposed by my good self.

More later ...

Pic: The five (count 'em) women delegates.